SMIDDY Newsletter (24.06.2013)


1. Submit your abstract to SMIDDY 2013!
2. Postdoc: Immunological Modeling, Earth and Life Institute, Universite catholique de Louvain, Belgium
3. Postdoc: Infectious Disease Dynamics, University of Notre Dame, USA
4. M.Sc. position: Mathematical modelling of aquatic parasite dynamics, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
5. Workshop: Vector Transmission of Plant Viruses, 17-19 March 2014, National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), Knoxville, USA
6. PhD studentships and postdoctoral fellowships: Modelling Infection & Immunity, University of New South Wales, Australia

1. Submit your abstract to SMIDDY 2013!

Please visit the SMIDDY website for registration, submission of abstracts and further information:

Important dates:
– Abstract Submission Deadline: 31 July
– Registration Deadline: 31 August

2. Postdoc, Immunological Modeling, Earth and Life Institute, Universite catholique de Louvain, Belgium

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position to work on the mathematical modeling of the lymph node immune response to an antigen. The project will specifically focus on the Th1-Th2 dynamics under the influence of regulatory cytokines.

The position will be based in the group of Emmanuel Hanert[1] at the Universite catholique de Louvain. The successful applicant will develop spatio-temporal mathematical and numerical models of the Th1-Th2 differentiation and cross-regulation occurring in the lymph node following an infection or vaccination. That modeling work will be done in close collaboration with another postdoctoral researcher working in the group of Prof. Jean-Christophe Renauld[2] who is specialized in the experimental study of immunity and more specifically the role of cytokines in the immune system. A key outcome of this project will be to combine numerical modeling and experimental observations to better understand how the spatial distribution of memory T cells within the lymph node can influence its response to an antigen.

This position is partly funded by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Vaccines, the vaccine division of the GSK Group, whose main research center is located less than 10 km away from Louvain-la-Neuve. The post-holder will therefore have the opportunity to work closely with researchers from GSK. The position should ideally start on September 1st and is offered for 2 years. Candidates should have a PhD degree in a quantitative discipline like applied mathematics, physics or computational sciences with a strong background in numerical modeling and/or computational biology. Applicants should send a cover letter, a detailed CV, a brief statement of research interests, and names and contact information for three references. For further information, contact Emmanuel Hanert ( Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the post has been filled.


3. Postdoc in Infectious Disease Dynamics, University of Notre Dame, USA

An exciting opportunity exists to join the highly innovative, inter-disciplinary Global Epidemiology and Biostatistics Group led by Prof. Edwin Michael at the University of Notre Dame in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Eck Institute for Global Health.

The successful candidate for the Infectious Disease Dynamics position must be proficient in mathematical model construction and analysis and interested in the application of these methods to the development, fitting, and analyses of a suite of infectious disease models, from compartmental SIR-type models to more complex macroparasitic transmission models. Our current work encompasses the formulation, validation, and dynamical analyses of major vector borne, environmentally-mediated, and multi-pathogen models. Knowledge of the application of both analytical and numerical methods in model analysis will be essential. Experience with dynamical systems analysis is highly desirable. Expertise with individual-based and/or spatially explicit modeling techniques will be an added advantage. Experience with data-model assimilation methods will be important as a key focus of our work is to apply models to data from partners across the world in order to gain a better understanding of pathogen transmission and control at both local and global settings. Programming skills in Matlab and C are essential, and skills in R and parallel computing are an advantage.

The successful candidates for the position should:
– Have completed a PhD or equivalent degree
– Be willing to travel internationally
– Have strong written and oral communication skills, including the ability to publish research results and make scientific presentations
– Be expected to contribute to and collaborate with faculty and students within the Departments of Biological Sciences, Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics, Computer Science and Engineering, and the Center for Research Computing
– Have demonstrated ability to work independently under minimal supervision, as well as within a team environment with a strong commitment to team-based processes and outcomes

Location: Notre Dame, Indiana, USA

Tenure: The position has funding available for 2 years in the first instance

Salary: Based on NIH guidelines for postdoctoral fellow salaries

Qualified individuals should send in PDF format a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of research interest, and three letters of reference to the search committee chair, Dr. Edwin Michael at Files must be clearly named and identify the position you are applying for. There is no deadline and the review of applications will begin immediately upon receipt and will continue until the position is filled. For additional information about working at the University of Notre Dame and various benefits available to employees, please visit

4. M.Sc. position, Mathematical modelling of aquatic parasite dynamics, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada

I invite applicants for an M.Sc. studentship involving the mathematical modelling of an aquatic parasite. The research will involve describing the effect of temperature and salinity on developmental rates, determining how temporal trends in temperature and salinity affect population dynamics, and validating the mathematical model with data. A competitive salary will be offered and funding will be available for conference travel and to pursue collaborations. Applicants should email Dr. Amy Hurford ( This email should include a description of your research interests, any relevant past experience and you should attach your CV. I will consider applications as they are received. For full consideration applicants should indicate their interest before July 1, 2013. Applicants should be able to begin their studies between August 1, 2013 and January 1, 2014.

Interdisciplinary training in biology, mathematics and/or experience in computer programming is ideal, but only proficiency in one of these areas is necessary where there is an interest to develop further skills in other areas.

Memorial University is located in St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. The city offers many unique experiences with a vibrant arts community, stunning coastline, and proximity to a variety of outdoor activities (hiking, fishing, cross-country skiing, etc:

5. Workshop: Vector Transmission of Plant Viruses, 17-19 March 2014, National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), Knoxville, USA

Objectives: Plant viruses are among the greatest limiting factors to modern agriculture. Climate change and the emergence of new viral strains affect the health and biodiversity of crops and of plants in general, while the continued growth of the human population emphasizes the need for sustainable agriculture. This workshop will provide a forum for discussion of current problems on vectored transmission of plant viruses, with the goal of identifying mathematical, computational, and statistical methods, as well as insights derived using these methods. In addition, this workshop may lead to new collaborations and working groups on methods for prevention and control of vector transmission of plant viruses, which promote sustainable agricultural practices and reduce species invasions. The problems in vector transmission of plant viruses are not simple; they are multiscale and often are driven by data from specific crops or fields. This workshop will bring together experts in plant pathogens, agronomy, and vector and plant virology, physiology, and ecology with mathematical and statistical modelers to discuss problems in prevention and control of vector transmission of plant pathogens.

Some sample breakout sessions envisioned for this workshop include the following:
– Linking genomics and other molecular information to epidemiological dynamics
– Evolution of novel virus strains
– Modeling transmission mechanisms (climate effects, environmental determinants, coinfection)
– Epidemiological consequences of mode of virus transmission
– Spatial spread of vector-borne infection
– Reducing and controlling the rate of spread of emerging virus strains
– Insect dispersal and vector behavior

Location: NIMBioS at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Co-Organizers: Linda J. S. Allen, Mathematics and Statistics, Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock; Vrushali A. Bokil, Mathematics, Oregon State Univ., Corvallis; Elizabeth T. Borer, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Alison G. Power, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY; Frank Van Den Bosch, Computational and Systems Biology, Rothamsted Research, Hertfordshire, UK;

For more information about the workshop and a link to the online application form, go to

Participation in the workshop is by application only. Individuals with a strong interest in the topic are encouraged to apply, and successful applicants will be notified within two weeks of the application deadline. If needed, financial support for travel, meals, and lodging is available for workshop attendees.

6. PhD studentships and postdoctoral fellowships: Modelling Infection & Immunity, University of New South Wales, Australia

The Complex Systems in Biology Group at the University of New South Wales is looking for talented students and post-docs with a background in mathematics, physics, computer science, or other quantitative discipline to join their team in Sydney, Australia investigating immunity and vaccination for chronic infectious disease. The group is an interdisciplinary team including immunologists, applied mathematicians, physicists, chemists, engineers and computer scientists. The team collaborates with a number of experimental groups to study and model immune responses in humans and animals. Our studies span from molecular studies of viral mutation and recombination in HIV through to population dynamics of malaria infection. The group has a high publication output and a strong history in successful interdisciplinary training. It is an ideal venue for scientists considering a career change from mathematics/physics or other disciplines to work in quantitative biology.

For more details of research interests see:

The University is located around 15 minutes by bus from central Sydney, and 15 minutes walk from the popular Coogee beach.

PhD student scholarships (APA/IPRS): A number of post-graduate scholarships are available to support tuition and living expenses for domestic and overseas PhD students to study in Australia. A variety of projects are available studying the dynamics of HIV and malaria infection, as well as the genetic recombination mechanisms involved in immune recognition and viral evolution. These projects are suited to students with a strong background in a quantitative discipline like mathematics, physics, computer science, or bioinformatics. Acceptance is competitive, with a first class honors degree (or equivalent) and a GPA of >87% required. No previous experience in biology is required.

More information at:

Post-doctoral Fellowships: The University of New South Wales offers a number of Vice-Chancellor’s fellowships to support post-doctoral students within 5 years of their PhD. These fellowships are funded at $71,000 – $85,000 p.a. (plus 17% superannuation) for up to three years.

The Human Frontiers in Science Program also offers post-doctoral fellowships or interdisciplinary fellowships for suitable applicants from member countries. (see

This position is ideally suited to someone with a PhD and strong publication record in their field wishing to commence or continue to develop a career in quantitative biology.

Interested students and post-doctoral Fellows should forward a CV and outline of interests to Prof Miles Davenport (

Closing date for Overseas PhD student scholarships is 30 August, and for Post-doctoral fellowships is 16 August.