Postdoctoral Researcher
Post Details
Job Title
Postdoctoral Researcher
Post Number
1004109
Closing Date
11 Oct 2021
Grade
SC6
Starting Salary
£32,578 - £39,938
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Engineering cereal immunity using structure-guided design of effector/host interactions.
Expected/Ideal Start Date
01 Jan 2022
Months Duration
36
Interview Date
20 Oct 2021

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Job

Postdoctoral Researchers work with limited supervision to carry out individual and collaborative research projects relevant to the overall needs of the research programme.

Key Relationships

Internal: Line manager, group members and, as necessary, other researchers, research support staff and students across the Institute. This grant is a collaboration with the group of Matthew Moscou at TSL.

External: Collaborators, specifically including the group of Ryohei Terauchi at the IBRC in Kitkami, Japan.

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Identify, plan, carry out and modify experiments to meet the objectives of the project
65
Prepare results, reports and manuscripts for publication in leading scientific journals and other relevant media
5
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, liaising with industry and other external stakeholders
5

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
PhD (full award or expected within 6 months) or equivalent in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or related discipline. Preferably with experience in Plant Science.
Essential
BSc or equivalent in Biochemistry/Biotechnology/Molecular Biology/Plant Science or related discipline
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Extensive experience in techniques used to study the affinity of protein:protein interactions in vitro
Essential
Extensive, demonstrated, experience in the cloning of genes for successful expression of proteins for in vitro work
Essential
Extensive experience of purification of proteins from E. coli for in vitro work
Essential
Experience in Biochemistry approaches used to study protein:protein interactions derived from plant tissue
Essential
Knowledge of mass spectrometry to determine protein interactions (discovery proteomics)
Desirable
Appreciation of plant pathology assays to determine disease resistance/susceptibility phenotypes in plants
Desirable
Basic knowledge of protein expression and purification from plants
Desirable
Experience in structural biology techniques to understand protein function, and application of these to the study of plant-microbe interactions
Desirable

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Demonstrated ability to perform research and develop novel ideas
Essential
Proven record in scientific writing, and manuscript preparation generally
Essential
Experience of giving oral research presentations
Essential
Experience of supervising, training and mentoring visitors and students
Desirable
Preparing data / information for grant proposals
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. To include national and potentially international collaborations.
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
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 or conferences
Essential
Attention to detail
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.

For more information about working at the John Innes Centre, please click here.

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, appointing staff from across the world. Any candidate who would like further information on current or anticipated immigration requirements can contact the HR Team on +44 (0)1603 450888 or nbi.recruitment@nbi.ac.uk.

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, a founding signatory of the Tecnician Commitment 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).

Department

Biochemistry and Metabolism

Group Details

The Banfield Lab investigates the molecular basis of plant-microbe interactions. Specifically, we are interested in (i) the structure and function of host translocated pathogen effector proteins, how they interact with host cell molecules to perturb activity for the benefit of the pathogen, and (ii) the structure and function of intracellular plant immune receptors (NLRs). For the latter, we are interested in understanding how they recognise and respond to pathogen effectors and/or their functions, in particular via integrated domains. We then use information from both these areas to engineer new disease resistance specificities in crops of relevance to global agriculture.

Living in Norfolk

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Postdoctoral Researcher
Salary:            £32,578 - £39,938 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.
Contract:        3 years, full-time
Location:        John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK.
Closing date: 11th October 2021
Reference:     1004109

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the Banfield Group at the John Innes Centre, a BBSRC grant funded project.

Background:

The project will address the interaction between a newly identified family of effector proteins from the cereal crop pathogen M. oryzae (which causes blast disease on wheat, barley, rice and other grasses), with host proteins of relevance to both pathogen virulence and host immunity. Both bacterial and filamentous plant pathogens deploy translocated effector proteins to perturb host cell physiology for the benefit of the pathogen. These changes are mediated by molecular interactions, many of them between proteins. Plant immunity is triggered upon pathogen detection by dedicated immune receptors. Intracellular plant immune receptors of the NLR class are modular receptors that survey the host intracellular environment for signatures of pathogens, including translocated effectors. Some plant NLRs work in pairs and contain unconventional integrated domains proposed to act as baits for pathogen molecules. These bait domains maybe structurally and/or sequence-related to the effector’s virulence-associated target, suggesting a common evolutionary origin. This evolutionary relationship offers opportunities for immune receptor engineering.

The role:

This role will dissect the relationship between specific virulence-associated host proteins and NLR bait domains as interactors of effectors. We aim to use this information to design new specificities for plant NLRs that may have utility in crop disease control. The position would suit researchers interested in the molecular mechanisms that underpin how plant pathogens perturb host cell processes for their own benefit, and how plants respond to attack through immunity-related signalling, with a focus on biochemistry, structural biology, discovery proteomics, and plant genetics. The post-holder will work independently, showing initiative within a multidisciplinary project. They will also work with key national and international collaborators (including the group of Matthew Moscou at The Sainsbury Laboratory (Norwich), and Ryohei Terauchi at IBRC in Kitakami, Japan). The post-holder will have opportunities to develop their technical and transferable skills through training programmes, coaching and mentoring. The post-holder will carry out independent research work, of relevance to the funded grant, under the guidance of the project leader and as part of his research team.

The ideal candidate:

The John Innes Centre is a world-class research institute and is looking to appoint an exceptional candidate who has, or expects to soon receive, a PhD in the areas of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, or related discipline, and preferably with experience in plant science or plant-microbe interactions. The ideal candidate will have a keen enthusiasm for research and will be able to demonstrate their long-term career aspirations in science. As well as the ability to carry out independent work, they must also be a strong team player and have excellent communication skills.

Additional information:

Interviews will be held on 20th October 2021.

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.