Postdoctoral Researcher - The John Innes Centre

Salary:              £35,300 - £43,750 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.

Contract:          36 months, full time

Location:          John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK.

Closing date:    15 May 2024

Reference:       1004656

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral researcher to join the group of Prof Saskia Hogenhout (twitter: @SaskiaHogenhout) at the John Innes Centre (JIC) to study phytoplasma effectors in human and animal cells and animal model systems. 

Our established system involves phytoplasmas that are insect-vectored plant pathogens. Phytoplasmas have the remarkable ability to dramatically alter plant development by modulating host cellular pathways, leading to, for example, leaf and stem proliferations, delayed aging and increased longevity. The resulting ‘ Zombie plants’ (Nature Microbiology Reviews, New York Times) are under complete control of the phytoplasmas. We found that the phytoplasma virulence proteins are amazing tools to uncover cellular processes, including a novel way of targeted protein degradation, in diverse organisms, including humans. 

The successful candidate will set up human cell and animal-based systems experimental systems to analyse functional attributes of phytoplasma effectors. They will conduct structure-function analyses of the effectors to further optimise effector activities in human and animal cells. Finally, they will develop the phytoplasma effectors as tools to study biological processes in humans, animals and/or plants. 

You must have finished a PhD in Genetics, Evolution or Developmental Biology or equivalent. Knowledge of cell- and microbiology, biochemistry and animal genetics are essential. Proficiency in human cell culturing and transformation, coupled with expertise in cell biology and microscopy, as well as recombinant DNA technology, are required. Additionally, hands-on laboratory skills in protein engineering and experience in experimenting with an animal model system, including but not limited to Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, Zebrafish, mice, or other relevant models, are not required, but desirable.

You will be part of a basic research environment that involves sharing outcomes via the writing of publications and reports. You will give research presentations at group, institute and (inter)national meetings. 

You will have to work well within a collaborative team and have an interest in effectively communicating and sharing technologies and discoveries within this team and in campus/institute-wide expert and interest groups. You will be offered opportunities to setup collaborations, teach, participate in student supervisory committees and outreach activities, and to engage with industry, entrepreneurs and investors. 

About the John Innes Centre:

The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant and microbial sciences. We nurture a creative, curiosity-led approach to answering fundamental questions in bioscience, and translate that knowledge into societal benefits. Our strategic vision, Healthy Plants, Healthy People, Healthy Planet, sets out our ambitious long-term goals for the game changing impact of our science globally. 

Our employees enjoy access to state-of-the-art technology and a diverse range of specialist training opportunities, including support for leadership and management. Click here to find out more about working at the John Innes Centre.

About the Hogenhout Group:

The Hogenhout group at the John Innes Centre focuses on understanding the mechanisms that drive interactions between plants and insects and the role of microbes in these interactions. We use a range of molecular, biochemical, cellular biology and bio-imaging techniques to study processes in live cells and whole organisms along with biophysical techniques to analyse and engineer protein-protein interactions.





Application Instructions: 

Additional information:

Interviews will be held on 29 May 2024.

For further information and details of how to apply, please visit our website or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450814 or quoting reference 1004656. This role meets the criteria for a visa application, and we encourage all qualified candidates to apply.  Please contact the Human Resources Team if you have any questions regarding your application or visa options.

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. We are proud to hold a prestigious Gold Athena SWAN award in recognition of our inclusive culture, commitment and good practices towards advancing of gender equality. We offer an exciting, stimulating, diverse research environment and actively promote a family friendly workplace. The Institute is also a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852) grant-aided by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Application Closing Date: 
15 May 2024