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PDRA in the biophysics of eukaryotic cilia and flagella



The Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA UIB-CSIC) seeks to appoint a research fellow within the Physico-Biological Interactions in the Ocean group (https://imedea.uib-csic.es/infibio/) to start in May 2022 or soon after.

Project title: Biomechanics of eukaryotic cilia and flagella (RheoFlag)

Cilia and flagella are slender organelles common to a wide spectrum of eukaryotes, both marine and terrestrial. Their deformations -either passive or active- underpin essential processes, from mechanical sensing, self-organization and locomotion of aquatic microorganisms, to the generation of feeding currents in corals. The project aims to measure directly both viscous and elastic components of flagellar mechanics, developing the required experimental techniques and mathematical data analysis that will subsequently lead to an improved, experimentally-tested model of the flagellum. The results will critically advance our understanding of flagellar biomechanics and its coupling to intracellular cytoskeleton, and provide a novel viewpoint of the biomechanical role of individual protein species that make up the flagellar scaffold. This knowledge will be crucial to the development of the next generation of models scrutinizing spontaneous wave emergence and adaptation in flagella, with impact on microbial locomotion, reproduction and beyond.

The project, which will combine experiments and modelling, is fundamentally interdisciplinary. Based in the lab of Drs. Idan Tuval and Marco Polin (IMEDEA, Balearic Islands, Spain), it hinges on an exciting collaboration with Dr. Hermes Gadêlha (head of the Polymaths Laboratory at University of Bristol, UK), expert in microhydrodynamics and mathematical modelling of flagellar dynamics. The project will include extensive collaboration between the two groups, co-supervision of students and affiliation with the Polymaths lab at Bristol UK.

The Fellow is expected to have the background necessary to drive the development of the experimental part of the project. They will also benefit from initiatives organised by a related European Training Network which the host group is part of (PHYMOT) among many other interdisciplinary and international networking opportunities associated to this research.

Please direct all informal inquiries to Marco Polin ([email protected]) or Idan Tuval ([email protected]). We will review applications as they come and the position will close once we find a suitable candidate.

The position is open to candidates from any nationality, provided they can be employed in Spain by the beginning of the contract. The University of the Balearic Islands, to which IMEDEA is associated, can support selected candidates in their VISA application process.


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