Ewa Szczurek

Research Interests

I like to work on new algorithms and statistical methods for better understanding of molecular data. I focus on computational cancer biology and on signaling pathways.

Current projects

  • Drawing the genealogical trees of tumors. Which cancer mutations come first? How much genetic diversity can we expect from tumor evolution? Is tumor evloution neutral, or is it driven by selection? These and many more questions about the family history of tumor cells I find very exciting!
  • Working out the bottleneck of metastasis initiation.
    Cancer makes astronomic numbers of trials to set up metastatic colonies. Only a few succeed. We figure out why.
  • Who talks with whom in cellular networks?
    I study cellular signaling pathways by kicking their members out and observing what happens.
  • Fighting cancer with its own weapons.
    I am analyzing the phenomenon of synthetic lethality between cancer genes. We can use synthetic lethality for cancer treatment. Once one gene is mutated, we can target its synthetic lethal target in order to kill cancer cells.

Open positions

We invite applications for PhD positions, starting August or September 2017. Areas of research in this project include mathematical modeling and data analysis in application to drug target and biomarker discovery in cancer. The PhD work will be concerned with the development of:
  • algorithms for discovery of predictive biomarkers for therapy success from genome-scale molecular profiling data of cancers,
  • search strategies for novel drug targets,
  • methods for prediction of drug combinations that would act synergistically to kill cancer cells.
The project will be conducted within research collaboration with Dr. Eike Staub at the Oncology Bioinformatics Department at Merck, Darmstadt, Germany. It offers an excellent opportunity to work on advanced computational methods driven by research questions core to the pharmaceutical industry.

This PhD program is aimed at students holding a master's or comparable degree in computer science, mathematics, bioinformatics, or physics. Candidates should have solid background in statistics, data analysis, mathematical modeling, excellence and experience in programming, interest in molecular biology of cancer, and should speak fluent English.

The net PhD salary will be c.a. 1250EUR per month (may vary due to currency exchange rates). The project is generously funded by Merck, Germany.

Call for applications:
Application deadline is June 30th, 2017. Please apply to szczurek@mimuw.edu.pl, attaching your CV, a contact list of references, and a short motivational letter.
Announcement leaflet in pdf.


Summer semester Previous courses