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Dr Janneke Balk

Reader / Project Leader


Research Profile

My research is focussed on the use of metals, in particular iron, by plants and microbes. Iron is a versatile catalyst associated with proteins in the form of iron-sulfur clusters, haem or mono/dinuclear forms. In the past years we have identified several proteins that are involved in the assembly of iron-sulfur clusters, using the model plant Arabidopsis, the green alga Chlamydomonas and yeasts. Ultimately, the iron that plants take up from the soil and use for their own needs is an important source of human iron nutrition.

Specific areas of interest include:


Interested in joining the group...?

If you are interested in doing research on plant biochemistry, metal proteins and/or mitochondria, please contact me by email to discuss possibilities to join the group as a post-doctoral fellow or PhD student.

APPLY NOW for a PhD position in our group: “How do plants sense iron?”


Student opportunities

We always have space for enthusiastic students at the BSc or Msc level to gain research experience in the lab. Every year we host third year undergraduate students in Biochemistry, Biology, BioMed and Microbiology from UEA for small research projects. We have also hosted 8 – 10 week summer students and A-level students through the Nuffield programme. Technical training includes protein expression and purification, enzymology, plant genetics and mutant characterization and spectroscopy of metalloproteins. The work done by students often features in our research publications.



Plant Fe Cartoon


John Innes Centre