When your body gets infected, the immune system rapidly spreads the message using small signaling molecules, so called interleukines. These interleukines bind to immune cell surface receptors, which transduce the external signal to internal signaling pathways by recruiting other membrane proteins. The interaction of these membrane proteins leads to a series of molecular switches on the intracellular side, which initiates a physiological response specific to the ligand present on the outside. Interestingly, the receptor for interleukin 2 (IL-2) can also recognize IL-15. The receptor conformation is identical, yet the interleukins induce different phenotypes. How does the cell differentiate between these two ligands? A possible answer lies in the receptor binding dynamics.
Goal of the project
The goal of your project is to test this hypothesis by performing eGFRD simulations of the receptor binding and assembly dynamics. eGFRD is a highly efficient and exact scheme to simulate reaction-diffusion systems at the particle level. For more information, see www.GFRD.org.
You have a Bachelors degree in physics, chemistry or biology and participate in a Master study in one of these areas. You have a nationality of an EU-member state and/or you are a student at a Netherlands University. You must be available for at least 6 months. We are looking for an enthusiastic student with a strong background in statistical physics and an affinity with molecular simulations or modelling more broadly.
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