A postdoctoral opening on Plant-Fungi Interactions (PFI) is available in the Cammue lab, more specifically in the PFI Plant Unit. The lab is renowned for its pioneering research on defense-related plant peptides including plant defensins (PDFs; e.g. AtPDF1.2) and other types of stress-induced peptides (e.g. OSIP108) primarily aiming at discovering their in planta role and mode of action. Our expertise on disease resistance mechanisms, mainly in Arabidopsis thaliana, allowed us to successfully use this model plant as a source of resistance traits in agronomically important pathosystems (e.g. tomato/Botrytis cinerea, corn/Cochliobolus heterostrophus, etc.).
Our research focus also includes defense mechanisms induced by biocontrol organisms, the so-called induced systemic response (ISR) both in a model plant (A. thaliana) and in crops (e.g. tomato, canola, wheat, …). We recently developed a ISR-marker platform allowing us to screen at high throughput for inducers of ISR and unravel their mode of inducing activity (e.g. via chemical genetic approaches).
We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with general experience in phytopathology and plant molecular biology. The person will in first instance be responsible for the coordination and execution of a 4 years research project investigating the role of PDFs and PDF-like) peptides of Arabidopsis thaliana in both root defense and development.
Though the candidate will be mainly working at our facilities at the University of Leuven, different aspects of the project will also involve collaboration with research groups at the VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology (PSB), a world-leading plant science institute in the Ghent area, to which the PFI-group is associated.
In second instance the postdoctoral fellow is expected to engage in other projects of the PFI-group, to help and initiate the setup of novel research projects, and supervise PhDs, (under)graduate students and technicians, as needed.
We are looking for a candidate :
- with proven expertise in the specified research field (molecular phytopathology, plant molecular biology, applied bioinformatics, …) preferentially with a strong publication record in peer-reviewed international top journals
- with a PhD in relevant disciplines and preferentially some postdoctoral experience
- with strong interest in pursuing top-level fundamental research as well as in translational research aspects
- who is well organized and can work independently, with good social skills and able to interact with researchers from other fields
- with excellent communication skills in spoken and written English
- who did not stay or was not engaged in a principal activity (work, studies, etc.) in Belgium for more than 24 months, this counting from the three years prior to the starting date of the offered postdoctoral scholarship. Short-term stays (such as holidays, participation in conferences and short stays in preparation for the stay as a postdoctoral scholarship holder) are not taken into account
- a postdoctoral scholarship (max. 3 years), but the successful candidate is expected to have the profile and intention to obtain an independent fellowship and/or research grants (e.g. ERC, Marie-Curie, EMBO, or national funding organizations)
- access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and services
- start date: the position is available from April 1, 2018
How to apply?
Motived candidates are asked to apply online. Top-ranked candidates will be invited for an interview in Leuven, Belgium.
Additional required information:
- Enclose a letter explaining your interest and suitability for the position,
- Specify your qualifications and concrete plans for application for an independent fellowship and/or research grants
- Provide the contact details of at least two references (including that of your PhD promotor)