- Job Title
- Postdoctoral Researcher
- Post Number
- Closing Date
- 16 Dec 2018
- Starting Salary
- £31,250 - £38,100
- Hours per week
- Project Title
- Epigenetic reprogramming in germ cells
- Expected/Ideal Start Date
- 21 Jan 2019
- Months Duration
- Interview Date
- 10 Jan 2019
Main Purpose of the Job
The laboratory of Dr Xiaoqi Feng at the John Innes Centre (JIC) is seeking a talented postdoctoral scientist to investigate the epigenetic regulation of germline development, a project funded by ERC for 5 years. The Feng laboratory uses the Arabidopsis male germline as a model system to study the mechanisms underlying germline epigenetic reprogramming. The ease of cell isolation, tolerance of Arabidopsis for epigenetic mutations, and the conservation in epigenetic machineries between plants and animals makes the Arabidopsis male germline a uniquely powerful model for understanding germline epigenetics. The postdoc will investigate the mechanisms underlying germline chromatin reconfigurations using a combination of genetics, epigenomics, imaging and developmental biology approaches.
Internal: Line manager, group members and, as necessary, other researchers, research support staff and students across the Institute.
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
- 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
- Continually strive for excellence, seeking out and acting on feedback and relevant learning and development opportunities
- As agreed with the line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the post, for example, contributing to the work of Institute committees
- Liaise with industry and other external stakeholders
Education & Qualifications
- PhD (full award or expected within 6 months) or equivalent in life sciences
- BSc or equivalent
Specialist Knowledge & Skills
- Good knowledge of epigenetics
- Skilled in genetics and molecular biology
- Bioinformatics skills
- Biochemistry and microscopy skills
- Demonstrated ability to perform research and develop novel ideas in molecular biology
- Proven record in scientific writing
- Experience of oral research presentations
- Experience of supervising, training and mentoring visitors and students
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 follow instructions/Standard Operating Procedures
- Promotes and strives for continuous improvement
- Attention to detail
- Promotes equality and values diversity
- Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to work
- Able to present a positive image of self and the Institute, promoting both the international reputation and public engagement aims of the Institute
- 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
Germ cells are “immortal” as they can be indefinitely transmitted through generations. A key regulator of their immortality is the genome-wide reprogramming of the chromatin state beyond the genetic (called ‘epigenetic’) code.
Understanding this reprogramming is a crucial aspect of germline biology. Conversely, germlines are also essential for understanding epigenetics because they mediate inheritance and uniquely undergo large-scale epigenetic changes.
Compared to animals, plant germlines differentiate much later and undergo distinct epigenetic changes despite highly conserved epigenetic pathways.
These differences make plant germlines invaluable for revealing the core principles of epigenetics and sexual reproduction. Plant germlines are also of enormous practical significance because they produce the seeds that comprise most of our staple food.
Xiaoqi’s research aims to answer 3 interconnected questions regarding plant germline epigenetics:
1) How do chromatin landscapes change during germline development and what are the underlying mechanisms?
2) What are the biological functions of these epigenetic changes?
3) How are environment-induced epigenetic memories transmitted and/or erased in germlines?
Through addressing these questions, she hopes to provide deep insights into epigenetic mechanisms and germline functions, and reveal how chromatin is developmentally regulated and in turn directs development.
The laboratory of Dr Xiaoqi Feng at the John Innes Centre (JIC) is seeking a talented postdoctoral scientist to investigate the epigenetic regulation of germline development, as part of an exciting project funded by ERC.
The Feng Laboratory:
The Feng laboratory uses the Arabidopsis male germline as a model system to study the mechanisms underlying germline epigenetic reprogramming. The ease of cell isolation, tolerance of Arabidopsis for epigenetic mutations, and the conservation in epigenetic machineries between plants and animals makes the Arabidopsis male germline a uniquely powerful model for understanding germline epigenetics.
Dr. Feng is an EMBO Young Investigator and BBSRC David Phillips Fellow. Her lab members have opportunities supported by EMBO, BBSRC and ERC for training and networking. JIC is an internationally-renowned plant biology research institute housing many world-leading scientists and featuring state-of-the-art infrastructure. The postdoc will benefit from the training in the Feng lab, various programs available at JIC, and interactions with scientists in JIC, and the closely associated Sainsbury Laboratory and Quadram Institute Bioscience. JIC is situated in Norwich, which is a beautiful and lively city with a lot of arts and history, and a great place to live.
The postdoc will investigate the mechanisms underlying germline chromatin reconfigurations using a combination of genetics, epigenomics, imaging and developmental biology approaches. In addition, they will also carry out the following activities:
• Prepare results, reports and manuscripts for publication in leading scientific journals
• Disseminate research findings through presentations to various audiences at 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
The ideal candidate:
The Feng Lab welcomes scientists who are passionate about epigenetics and/or germlines to apply. Candidates should have skills in genetics and molecular biology, and possess a proven record in scientific writing. They should have a PhD (full award or expected within 6 months of applying) in a life sciences subject.
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 2 years in the first instance, with the possibility of extension.
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.