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Postdoctoral Researcher (Østergaard Lab)

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the Laboratory of Professor Lars Østergaard at the John Innes Centre based in Norwich, UK.


Organ formation in multicellular organisms depends on correct establishment of cell polarity to acquire specific function and exact shape. In plants, the hormone auxin directs growth and organ formation throughout development. The mechanism for canonical auxin signalling involves binding of the auxin molecule to TIR1 F-box proteins. This allows interaction with AUX/IAA transcriptional repressor proteins, which – in the absence of auxin – repress Auxin Response Factor (ARF) proteins. Interaction with TIR1 leads to AUX/IAA protein degradation thus relieving the ARF proteins from repression. We recently identified an alternative auxin-signalling mechanism whereby auxin directly affects the activity of a transcription factor (TF) complex towards its downstream targets without the involvement of TIR1.

The role

This project will study how the alternative mechanism translates cellular auxin levels into developmentally-specific outputs. This mechanism involves auxin-sensitive transcription-factor complexes – including the atypical ARF ETTIN (ETT) – which mediate critically important polarity-switching processes during plant development. The candidate will use proteomics technology to identify and subsequently characterise auxin-controlled interactions between ETT and proteins regulating gene expression and chromatin state. In addition, the aim is to define the molecular mechanism by which auxin affects ETT-containing complexes through biochemical and biophysical studies.

The ideal candidate

The preferred candidate will have a strong background in plant genetics and molecular biology, with a PhD in Plant biology or a related discipline. Previous experience with plant hormone signalling, biophysical characteristics of protein-ligand interactions and/or chromatin dynamics will be a strong advantage.

Additional information

Salary on appointment will be within the range £31,250 to £38,100 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.  This post is for a contract of 23 months.

Interviews will be held on 25 April 2019.

Further information and details of how to apply can be found here, or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450462 or  quoting reference 1003650.

We are an equal opportunities employer, actively supporting inclusivity and diversity.  As a Disability Confident organisation, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy. The John Innes Centre is also proud to hold a Gold Award from Athena SWAN and is a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.

The closing date for applications will be 10 April 2019.  

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852) grant-aided by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

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