Position Type:

Lassonde Undergraduate Research Award- summer research


Position Title: Research Assistant/summer researcher

Location: York University Keele campus

Professor: Andrew Eckford

Department: EECS

Contact for Professor (Email, phone):


# of positions available: 1

Project Description (200-500 words maximum)

In systems biology, biological “components” (like cells) are reprogrammed to perform specific tasks. In this project, we will consider how cells can be used as part of a communication system: for example, the cells may be used to amplify a chemical signal. When used in this way, the cells must expend energy, diverting energy from other important tasks such as searching for food and basic metabolism; as a result, the cells may die. This sets up a tradeoff: on the one hand, we want to send our signals as quickly as possible; on the other hand, if we over-use the communication, it may fail. In collaboration with another research group, we will quantify this tradeoff and develop strategies for keeping the channel alive for as long as possible, thereby maximizing the amount of information that can be sent.

Duties and Responsibilities of the student:

The student is responsible to conduct mathematical analysis of communication systems, develop simulation software, and write their findings. The student will be expected to work on-site in the Molecular Communication and Information Theory Laboratory, on the York University Keele campus.


Strong mathematical skills

Good programming skills in MATLAB and/or Python

Writing skills

Knowledge of LaTeX is an asset

Degrees, courses and Disciplines prerequisite*:

Undergraduate students in Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering are preferred. Students must have taken a statistics/probability course, e.g. MATH 2930. Courses in digital communication and signal processing, e.g., EECS 3602, EECS 3451, EECS 4214, are an asset. No particular background in biology is needed.

Stipend: TBD

Are you willing to host external students? (There is an additional cost.) No

Duration: 16 weeks minimum

Start Date: 05/01/2018 (estimated)

End Date: 08/31/2018 (estimated)

If you are interested in this research project, please contact Dr. Andrew Eckford at aeckford@yorku.ca