- Job Title
- Postdoctoral Researcher
- Post Number
- Closing Date
- 31 Dec 2018
- Starting Salary
- £31,250 - £38,100
- Hours per week
- Project Title
- Regulation of stem initiation and plant architecture
- Expected/Ideal Start Date
- 04 Mar 2019
- Months Duration
Main Purpose of the Job
The postholder will investigate how regulatory genes and intercellular signals regulate development of the plant stem.
The genetic control of stem growth is central to plant architecture, but remains one of the least understood aspects of plant development. There is also a need for more precise genetic tools to modify stem growth and plant architecture.
Our previous work in Arabidopsis has shown that the ATH1 gene functions in a specific region of the shoot apical meristem, called the rib zone (RZ), to control stem development. Now, we aim to understand how ATH1 controls RZ activity and how it is connected to signals that activate stem growth during flowering. Based on this knowledge, we also aim to explore regulatory changes in ATH1 as a source of variation in plant architecture in both Arabidopsis and Brassica.
The post holder will develop this project by pursuing the following objectives:
1. Test whether ATH1 restricts the levels and signalling of the gibberellin hormone in the RZ
2. Test whether ATH1 and genes that mediate gibberellin signalling (DELLAs) converge on the regulation of brassinosteroid signalling to control RZ growth
3. Identify upstream regulatory interactions that repress ATH1 to promote stem elongation
4. Explore the role of genetic variation in ATH1 in Brassica architecture
Internal: Robert Sablowski, Sablowski group members
External: wider public (for public engagement activities)
Main Activities & Responsibilities
- Identify, plan, carry out and modify experiments to meet the objectives of the project
- Prepare results, reports and manuscripts for publication in leading scientific journals and other relevant media
- Disseminate research findings through presentations to various audiences at internal, national and international meetings
- Collaborate with colleagues within the Institute in the development of original and world-class research, including contributing to research proposals and grant applications
- Liaise with industry and other external stakeholders
- Ensure research and record keeping is carried out in accordance with good practice, Scientific Integrity and in compliance with local policies and any legal requirements
- Contribute to the smooth running of the group, including the effective use of resources, supervision of visitors to the laboratory and assisting with training others, encouraging scientific excellence
Education & Qualifications
- PhD (full award or expected within 6 months) or equivalent in cell biology, development or molecular biology or related discipline
- BSc or equivalent in Biology or related area
Specialist Knowledge & Skills
- Proficiency in general molecular biology techniques
- Good knowledge of statistics
- Experience with plant genetics
- Experience with confocal microscopy
- Experience in developmental biology
- Demonstrated ability to produce research results leading to high-quality publications in an area relevant to the project
- Experience of oral research presentations
- Experience of supervising, training and mentoring visitors and students
- Preparing data / information for grant proposals
Interpersonal & Communication Skills
- Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity
- Good interpersonal skills, with the ability to work as part of a team
- Demonstrated ability to work independently, using initiative and applying problem solving skills
- Excellent time management and organisational skills
- Ability to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders
- Promotes and strives for continuous improvement
- Promotes equality and values diversity
- Attention to detail
- Ability to maintain confidentiality and security of information where appropriate
- Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required
- Ability to undertake occasional travel (national and international) related to collaborations and/or seminars
Who We Are
John Innes Centre
The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant science and microbiology, carrying out fundamental and strategic research, to train scientists and making our findings available to society.
Our research makes use of a wide range of disciplines in the biological and chemical sciences including; cell biology, biochemistry, chemistry, genetics and molecular biology.
We pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive working environment for all. We have a diverse and multicultural scientific community and thrive on our European and international links. We are proud to hold a prestigious Athena SWAN Gold award, recognising the impact of our work in promoting gender equality in science. We are also a proud member of the Stonewall Diversity Champion’s programme and, as a Disability Confident employer, guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the post.
The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852), limited by guarantee (registered in England No. 511709) and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.
Cell & Developmental Biology
For further details about the lab, please visit
Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the Laboratory of Professor Robert Sablowski at the John Innes Centre based in Norwich, UK.
The control of stem growth is central to the way genes shape plants, but remains one of the least understood aspects of plant development. This knowledge will also lead to more precise genetic tools to increase crop productivity by modifying stem growth. Our previous work in Arabidopsis has shown that the ATH1 gene functions in a specific region of the shoot apical meristem, called the rib zone (RZ), to control stem development.
The successful candidate will join our team to investigate how ATH1 controls RZ activity and how this gene is connected to signals that activate stem growth during flowering. Based on this knowledge, another objective will be to explore regulatory changes in ATH1 as a source of variation in plant architecture in both Arabidopsis and in crop species.
The ideal candidate:
A PhD in cell biology, development or molecular biology is required. The ideal candidate will have a proven record of scientific productivity and will combine rigorous and creative thought with attention to detail and ability to integrate their own project and results with knowledge from the relevant literature. Experience with plant genetics, developmental biology, and good knowledge of statistics will be advantageous.
Salary on appointment will be within the range £31,250 to £38,100 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a fulltime post for a period of 3 years.
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. The John Innes Centre is also proud to hold a Gold Award from Athena SWAN and is a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.