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PhD H/F/X in statistical physics

This offer is available in the following languages:
Français - Anglais

Date Limite Candidature : mercredi 8 février 2023

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General information

Reference : UMR8023-FRAZAM-008
Nombre de Postes : 1
Workplace : PARIS 05
Date of publication : Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Scientific Responsible name : Francesco Zamponi
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 September 2023
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

Protein evolution proceeds via an interplay between random mutations at the
genetic level, and selection at the protein level. We can therefore model evolution as a
stochastic process in a sequence landscape. We have shown that this idea leads to
evolutionary models, which thanks to the inclusion of epistasis outperform qualitatively and quantitatively existing independent-site evolution models. Our goal is to use Monte Carlo sampling and transition path sampling in our sequence landscapes, in order to find connecting paths in sequence space changing protein specificity, which will be characterized experimentally. We also want to use similar techniques to reconstruct evolutionary paths from ancestral to extant amino-acid sequences.
This will allow us to address some of the most fundamental and fascinating questions
in evolutionary biology: (i) quantify the role of epistasis in protein evolution, in particular the contingency of mutations to the sequence context shaped by prior mutations, and the entrenchment by subsequent mutations; (ii) investigate the emergence of novel protein function when the reconstructed ancestral and the extant protein have distinct functional specificities, and reconstruct potentially promiscuous ancestral intermediates.

Work Context

The physics department covers a broad range of subjects

Constraints and risks

None

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