Postdoctoral researcher @ the group of Specialized Metabolism - Goossens lab

Ghent VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology

07 Jan 2022


VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology

Alain Goossens Lab



Postdoc researcher: Characterisation of phosphoregulation mechanisms in jasmonate-mediated plant stress responses

About the lab

The group of Specialized Metabolism (, led by Prof. Alain Goossens at the VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology, is looking to recruit 1 junior postdoctoral researcher. The Goossens lab focuses on the characterization of plant signalling networks that steer plant specialized metabolism within tightly regulated fitness programs, in particular those modulated by the phytohormone jasmonate and leading to the biosynthesis of bioactive specialized metabolites in crop, medicinal and model plants.

The Department of Plant Systems Biology (PSB) belongs to the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) and the Ghent University (UGent), both equal opportunity employers. PSB is a world-leading plant science institute located at the heart of a renowned Plant Biotech campus in the lovely and lively city of 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 for more information.

Your project

Wounding, touch or herbivore attacks trigger systemic signalling cascades that lead to increased endogenous synthesis of the phytohormone jasmonate, which subsequently reprograms the plant cell to launch defence responses. Phosphoregulation has emerged as an important step in the regulation of jasmonate-mediated plant defence programs, but our molecular understanding of this mechanism is still limited. To fill this knowledge gap, the candidate will be involved in a project that aims to generate a high-resolution phosphoproteomics network that will pinpoint kinases involved in the modulation of mechanical stress and jasmonate signalling in the model plant Arabidopsis. The candidate will first use phosphoproteomics analysis and targeted kinase screens to pinpoint the lead kinases. Subsequently, the candidate will use cutting-edge proximity labelling technology to map the protein-protein interaction landscape in which these kinases are operating. Finally, phenotypic and functional characterization of the most relevant kinases will be carried out through an innovative strategy that combines genome editing and protein engineering to reveal the molecular activity and physiological role of the Arabidopsis kinases in the regulation of jasmonate signalling and plant defence responses.

Together, this project aspires to unveil a novel, hitherto limitedly explored aspect of the plant defence signalling network. The project will benefit from close collaborations with leading researchers located in Belgium, Sweden and South Korea that will provide the necessary tools and platforms to successfully conduct research in phosphoproteomics, plant mechanical stress signalling and kinase functioning.


  • PhD in Plant Biotechnology, plant biochemistry, plant molecular biology or equivalent
  • Strong interest and hands-on experience in (phospho)proteomics, interactomics, RNA-sequencing and other NGS workflows is an asset
  • Advanced experience in fluorescence microscopy is an asset
  • Experience in guidance of master and/or PhD students is an asset
  • You’re fascinated by plant hormone signalling and stress responses
  • You can take initiative, function well in a team, breathe enthusiasm and have a hands-on mentality, perseverance and critical mind-set
  • Proficient use of the English language for both oral and written communication is a must

We offer

  • A full-time post-doc position in the Goossens lab for 2 years, with a possibility of extension to 4 years
  • 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 unravelling the role of phosphoregulation in jasmonate signalling in plants, please complete the online application procedure and include

  • a detailed CV
  • a one-page summary of past research activities (e.g. in PhD or postdoc projects)
  • a letter describing your fascination for the topic and the Goossens lab
  • the contact information of two referees

The position is available immediately. Applications are welcome until the position is filled.

Applications by email will not be considered.