Postdoctoral Researcher in Plant Cell Biology

Ghent VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology

21 Jun 2018


VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology

Daniël Van Damme 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.

Within the framework of an ERC Consolidator grant, Professor Daniel Van Damme’s laboratory at PSB focuses on elucidating the mechanism of endocytosis at the plasma membrane in plants. Using cell biological and structural approaches, we aim to identify and elucidate the recruitment of the endocytic players at the PM, map interactions among them, and investigate how cargo is being recognized. We largely focus on the TPLATE adaptor complex (TPC) as central player in plant endocytosis. The TPC has its evolutionary origin in between the emergence of COPI and the functional specification of the AP complexes. While the TPC remained essential for plants, it was evolutionary lost in yeasts and animal cells, indicating that endocytosis operates differently in plants (Gadeyne et al., Cell 2014: Hirst et al., Elife 2014).

We are combining cell biology, interactomics (tandem affinity, cross linking and bio-ID), modeling, (sub)complex as well as protein domain purification and XL-MS to gain insight into how this complex is built and what its interaction partners are.

 Job description

The laboratory ( is looking for a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher, who will be involved in characterizing novel interactors of the TPLATE complex identified by cross-linking MS as well as targeted biotinylation (bio-ID). The project will consist of confirming interactions between TPC and the identified proteins, putative membrane proteins as well as soluble proteins, using cell biological tools including novel ones developed in the group. For the transmembrane proteins, the aim will be to determine the involvement of TPC and/or AP-2 in their internalization and for the soluble proteins, the aim will be to position these new players in the process of plant endocytosis.

The position is available from fall 2018, with the start date to be negotiated with the suitable candidate.



  • PhD in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Bio-engineering, or equivalent
  • A publication record in peer-reviewed journals showing expertise in the areas of plant cell biology, confocal microscopy and plant biochemistry
  • To take initiative, to function well in a team, and to possess a critical mind, determination and perseverance
  • Proficient in the English language for both oral and written communications

Desirable but not required

Expertise in the areas of plant development

We offer

  • A 2-year postdoctoral position with possibilities for prolongation
  • A working climate, in which 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 in plant cell biology, 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 experience and interests are in line with those of the laboratory and research topic.
  • The names and contact details of two to three referees.

Applications by email will not be considered.

A first review of applications will start immediately. A short list of applicants will be selected based on the CV and motivation letter. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interviews. Applications are welcome until the position in filled.