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Postdoctoral Researcher (Saunders Group)

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the Laboratory of Dr Diane Saunders.

The Saunders group focuses on studying (re-)emerging plant pathogens that pose significant threats to UK agriculture. They use an array of different approaches, integrating molecular genetics, microbiology, plant pathology, population genetics, genomics and data mining to improve our understanding of how pathogens cause disease.

The role

The appointee will work on the obligate biotrophic pathogen Puccinia striiformis which causes yellow rust (YR) disease, which is a major threat to cereal crops and grasses worldwide, with each host infected by a different forma specialis of the fungus.

The main purpose of this post is to examine the fundamental mechanisms at the genomic level driving host specificity of the yellow rust pathogen on various cereal hosts. The appointee will generate next-generation sequencing datasets from infected field samples and assemble and explore the genomes of a number of P. striiformis isolates. The work will involve an array of techniques in evolutionary biology and next-generation sequencing technologies. This is a very exciting opportunity for the applicant to join a large multi-disciplinary research group to address key questions in pathogen evolution and adaptation.

The ideal candidate

The ideal candidate will have a PhD (full award or expected within 6 months) in Plant-Microbe Interactions or a related subject. They will have knowledge of bioinformatics techniques including next-generation sequence analysis as well as a demonstrated ability to perform research and develop novel ideas.

Candidates should have excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity.

Additional information

Salary on appointment will be within the range £31,625 to £38,575 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.  This is a full-time post for a period of 2 years.

Further information and details of how to apply can be found here, or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450462 or  quoting reference 1003740.

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.

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