Date Posted
4 Feb 2017

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PhD Project
University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Graduate Assistant

4 Feb 2017

NOTE: this position listing has expired and may no longer be relevant!

Position Description

Two Open Ph.D. Studentship in the Center for Advanced Computer Studies (CACS) at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, USA (duration four years)
Job description:
Research project: Development of an Algorithm and a Tool for Accurate Comparison of Protein and Chemical 3-D Structures
Dr. Raghavan is the Director of the Center for Visual and Decision Informatics (CVDI) that is established following the Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) model popularized by the NSF. CVDI is the only I/UCRC in the Nation that has its research focus in the areas of visual analytics, Data-driven decision making and other modern technologies relevant to big data challenges. CVDI currently has an Industrial Advisory Board consisting of sixteen industry and government organizations. The research activities funded by BoR ITRS program are in the scope of CVDI. The broad objective of this project is to integrate basic research on algorithm development for molecular three dimensional (3-D) structure study with economic development by directly working with industry partners. This proposed research, in combination with other CVDI projects, represents an exciting opportunity for university – industry partnerships and multidisciplinary collaboration and has the potential to enhance research and education and to improve economy.
Expected Results:
The short-term specific objectives are to develop a new algorithm and a new tool for protein 3-D comparison by working with industry partners. The long-term objective is the development of a software platform that will be applicable not only for protein 3-D comparison, but also for any chemicals or objects with spatial shapes, while concomitantly developing university – industry relationships leading to the use of our platform for creating new businesses and job opportunities in Louisiana. Five specific scientific aims have been proposed: (i) Specific Aim 1: Develop a tool to extract 3-D coordinates from available 3-D structure database; (ii) Specific Aim 2: Develop a new algorithm for accurate protein 3-D comparison; (iii) Specific Aim 3: Develop a web-based platform for protein 3-D comparison, allowing other researchers to use and evaluate our algorithm; (iv) Specific Aim 4: Extend our protein structure algorithm to chemicals with 3-D structure information by working with the industry partner(s) and investigate chemical and protein structures using theoretical approaches; (v) Specific Aim 5: Integrating our 3-D comparison algorithm into available 3-D database. Success of the proposed research activities will add intellectual properties that are the foundation for a patent. UL Lafayette is in the process to pursue the intellectual property (IP) protection necessary to maximize the commercial potential of said research, the commercial success of the industry partner, and ultimately, maximize accrual of economic impact in the state of Louisiana. The project will generate publications for top-tier journals. In addition, a PhD dissertation will be completed.
We are looking for talented, creative and highly motivated students. A suitable background for this open position must have BS or MS (preferred) degree in computer science. Fluent written and spoken English and solid programming (C/C++/Python/R/Matlab) skills are required. Excellent skills in statistics, applied mathematics and data science are essential. Skills in computational chemistry/biology are acknowledged. If English is not native language, TOEFL is required ( The candidate must take GRE and meet the requirement of the Graduate School ( The recruited candidates are expected to enroll as a PhD student at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
The salary will be set in accordance with the rates budgeted in the funded proposal. The monthly salary is $1,500. The accepted students will also receive full tuition support.
Expected starting date:
The expected start date is 1st August 2016 or as mutually agreed upon by both parties

How to Apply

For further information, please contact: Dr. Vijay Raghavan Distinguished Professor The Center for Advanced Computer Studies (CACS) Telephone: 337-482-6603 Email: Or by contacting Dr. Xu at Dr. Wu Xu Associate Professor of Biochemistry Department of Chemistry Telephone: 337-482-5684 Email: How to Apply: Applications must be submitted via electronic application system through the graduate school website ( You are encouraged to Dr. Raghavan at before you submit your application.

Position Category: Technology. Position Type: PhD Project.

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