Postdoc Researcher: Understanding Biotic Stresses in Tomato Roots through Molecular Interactomics

Ghent VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology

27 Nov 2017


VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology

Alain Goossens Lab



About the lab

The VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology (PSB) is a world-leading plant science institute located at the heart of a renowned Plant Biotech campus in Ghent, Belgium. Its mission is to integrate genetics, genomics and bio-computing to unravel plant biological processes and to further translate this knowledge into value for society. Please visit us at for more information.

The lab of Prof. Alain Goossens at PSB, also called the Specialized Metabolism Group, focuses on the characterization of plant signalling pathways that steer plant stress responses, such as the biosynthesis of high-value bioactive metabolites in crop, medicinal and model plants.

Job description

The Goossens lab is looking to recruit a highly-motivated postdoctoral researcher, who will be involved in a project that aims at developing a platform to visualise and map the protein-protein interaction network that determines the response of tomato roots to beneficial and parasitic organisms living in its rhizosphere. More particularly, the candidate will take an active and leading role in the installation of a versatile and complementary tomato interactomics platform that will be based on affinity-purification-mass-spectrometry and yeast-two-hybrid-Seq. These two techniques will be applied to study the response of tomato roots to organisms in its rhizosphere and identify key players therein. The hypothesis is that we will identify “hub” proteins in tomato roots being targeted by effectors of different interacting rhizosphere organisms. Ultimately, this platform will also serve the whole tomato research community.

This project is a collaborative project together with the research groups of Prof. Sofie Goormachtig and Prof. Lieve Gheysen, both also located at VIB and/or Ghent University, and with which the candidate will also closely interact.

The ideal candidate will have a master and PhD degree in bio-engineering, biochemistry/biotechnology or molecular biology. A publication record in peer-reviewed journals and/or expertise in the areas of plant molecular biology, plant biotechnology, functional genomics and/or plant-microbe interactions, as well as experience in guidance of master and PhD students is an asset. The position is available from January 1, 2018 on.



  • Master and PhD degree in bio-engineering science, biochemistry, (molecular) biology or biotechnology
  • You can take initiative, function well in a team, and have a hands-on mentality, perseverance and critical mind-set
  • Proficient use of the English language for both oral and written communication
  • A publication record in peer-reviewed journals in the field of ‘animal and plant sciences’

Desirable but not required:

  • Expertise in the areas of plant molecular biology, plant biotechnology, functional genomics, proteomics, interactomics and/or plant-microbe interactions is an asset
  • Experience in guidance of master and/or PhD students is an asset

We offer

  • A 2-years postdoctoral position with a possibility to extension to a period of 5 years in total
  • A working climate where trust, international collaboration, and commitment are essential
  • Access to state-of-the art tools and infrastructure within an excellence-based research institute
  • A stimulating and supportive international research environment
  • Various training opportunities to broaden your expertise and skills

How to apply?

If you are interested in performing high quality science on molecular interactomics in tomato, please use the online VIB application tool.

Make sure your application includes:

  • A detailed CV
  • A one-page summary of past research activities
  • A one-page letter of intent describing how your research experiences and interests are aligned with those of the lab and research topic.
  • The names and contact details of 2-3 referees.

Applications by email will not be considered.

A first review of applications begins December 20th, 2017. A short list of applicants will be selected on the basis of CV and motivation letter. Short listed applicants will be invited for interviews. Applications are welcome until the position in filled.