Postdoctoral Researcher
Post Details
Job Title
Postdoctoral Researcher
Post Number
1003628
Closing Date
27 Feb 2019
Grade
SC6
Starting Salary
£31,250 - £38,100
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Understanding the role of exopolysaccharide production in Pseudomonas syringae plant infection
Expected/Ideal Start Date
01 Apr 2019
Months Duration
18

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Job

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the Laboratory of Jacob Malone at the John Innes Centre.

The phytopathogen P. syringae pv tomato (Pto) encodes several exopolysaccharide (EPS) operons. Our preliminary work strongly implicates EPS in P. syringae pathogenesis. In addition to biofilm formation and immune evasion, our data suggests that EPS may facilitate the formation of an aqueous environment in the plant apoplast, a critical disease-promoting process. In this collaborative project, the postdoctoral researcher will use a combination of molecular biology, plant infection biology and bio-imaging to examine the different roles of EPS in Pto plant infection.

This post will form part of a joint project with the Xin lab (SIPPE, China), and the post-holder will liaise effectively with the Xin lab researcher to achieve the overall objectives of the project. We anticipate that this project will lay the foundations for an extensive long-term collaboration between the Malone and Xin groups.

Key Relationships

Internal: Line manager, group members and, as necessary, other researchers, research support staff and students across the Institute.

External: Collaborators, specifically Dr Xiufang Xin and the employed postdoctoral scientist at SIPPE, China

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Identify, plan, carry out and modify experiments to meet the objectives of the project
50
Prepare results, reports and manuscripts for publication in leading scientific journals and other relevant media
20
Disseminate research findings through presentations to various audiences at internal, national and international meetings
5
Collaborate with colleagues within the Institute in the development of original and world-class research, including contributing to research proposals and grant applications
5
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
5
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
5
Continually strive for excellence, seeking out and acting on feedback and relevant learning and development opportunities
5
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
5

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
PhD (full award or expected within 6 months) in molecular microbiology, plant infection biology or a related subject.
Essential
BSc or equivalent in bioscience
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Molecular microbiology
Essential
Knowledge of bacterial genetic manipulation
Essential
Host-microbe interaction assays
Desirable
Cell biology and fluorescent microscopy
Desirable

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Demonstrated ability to perform research and develop novel ideas
Essential
Proven record in scientific writing
Essential
Experience of oral research presentations
Essential
Experience of host microbe interaction experiments
Essential
Preparing data / information for grant proposals
Desirable
Experience of supervising, training and mentoring visitors and students
Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Requirement
Importance
Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity
Essential
Good interpersonal skills, with the ability to work as part of a team
Essential
Demonstrated ability to work independently, using initiative and applying problem solving skills
Essential
Excellent time management and organisational skills
Essential
Ability to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders
Essential
Ability to follow instructions/Standard Operating Procedures
Essential
Promotes and strives for continuous improvement
Essential

Additional Requirements

Requirement
Importance
Promotes equality and values diversity
Essential
Attention to detail
Essential
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to work
Essential
Able to present a positive image of self and the Institute, promoting both the international reputation and public engagement aims of the Institute
Essential
Ability to maintain confidentiality and security of information where appropriate
Essential
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required
Essential
Ability to undertake occasional travel (national and international) related to collaborations and/or seminars
Essential

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.

Department

Molecular Microbiology

Our holistic approach integrates cellular physiology, molecular genetics (including functional genomics), biochemistry and structural biology. In the Department of Molecular Microbiology we study bacterial metabolism, physiology, gene regulation and development, and plant-bacterial interactions. Major themes of our work on Gram-negative bacteria are the molecular basis of signal transduction in response to various environmental signals and studies on the biology of ammonia channel proteins which are conserved in all domains of life.

The Department's comprehensive Streptomyces programme, studying antibiotic production, morphological differentiation and stress responses, is underpinned by the newly-acquired genome sequence of the model species S. coelicolor, and cutting-edge techniques in functional genomics. Another major research area is the Rhizobium-legume symbiosis where our studies range from bacterial quorum-sensing and plant-bacterial signalling interactions to the developmental responses of plants to their microbial symbionts.

The Department capitalises on the John Innes Centre's emerging strengths in functional genomics, structural biology and advanced cytological techniques, as well as exploiting novel links between research on bacterial and plant processes.

Group Details

The Malone lab studies the bacterial signalling pathways that control microbial interaction with plants. Our research combines biochemistry and molecular microbiology with cutting-edge systems biology approaches. In addition, we conduct extensive collaborative research on the broader plant-microbe relationship, including environmental microbiology, crop genetics and infection biology studies.

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Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the Laboratory of Jacob Malone at the John Innes Centre based in Norwich, UK.

Background:

The Malone lab studies the bacterial signalling pathways that control microbial interaction with plants. Our research combines biochemistry and molecular microbiology with cutting-edge systems biology approaches. In addition, we conduct extensive collaborative research on the broader plant-microbe relationship, including environmental microbiology, crop genetics and infection biology studies.

The role:

The phytopathogen P. syringae pv tomato (Pto) encodes several exopolysaccharide (EPS) operons. Our preliminary work strongly implicates EPS in P. syringae pathogenesis. In addition to biofilm formation and immune evasion, our data suggests that EPS may facilitate the formation of an aqueous environment in the plant apoplast, a critical disease-promoting process. In this collaborative project, the Postdoctoral Researcher will use a combination of molecular biology, plant infection biology and bio-imaging to examine the different roles of EPS in Pto plant infection.

This post will form part of a joint project with the Xin lab (SIPPE, China), and the post-holder will liaise effectively with the Xin lab researcher to achieve the overall objectives of the project. We anticipate that this project will lay the foundations for an extensive long-term collaboration between the Malone and Xin groups.

The ideal candidate:

The ideal candidate will have a PhD in molecular microbiology, plant infection biology or a related subject. They will have knowledge of bacterial genetic manipulation and host-microbe interaction experiments, ideally with some experience of cell biology and fluorescent microscopy. The candidate should have a proven ability to conduct independent research and develop novel ideas, alongside excellent communication skills and the ability to clearly present complex information.

Additional information:

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 18 months.

Interviews for the position will be held in March, with an ideal start date of 1st April 2019.

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.