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Postdoctoral Researcher (Saunders Lab)

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 functionally characterise a series of putative wheat rust susceptibility genes and determine their role in relation to the obligate biotrophic pathogen Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, the causal agent of yellow rust disease.

The main purpose of this post is to identify the underlying mechanisms that enable successful colonisation by the yellow rust pathogen. The appointee will use a series of wheat mutants to explore the function of putative wheat rust susceptibility genes involving an array of techniques in molecular, biochemical and cellular biology.

This is a very exciting opportunity for the applicant to join a large multi-disciplinary research group to generate potentially new sources of resistance for one of the most economically damaging diseases of wheat worldwide.

The ideal candidate

Applicants should possess a PhD in plant-microbe interactions or wheat genetics. Expertise in molecular and cellular biology is essential, as is experience in gene editing. A background in plant pathology would be ideal. Applicants should also have a proven record in scientific writing and experience of delivering research presentations.

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 contract of two years in the first instance.

Further information and details of how to apply can be found here, or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450462 or  quoting reference 1003856.

Click here to find out more about working at the John Innes Centre.

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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