Post-doctoral position in fungal biology and comparative genomics

Closing Date: 31.01.2021 Reference ID: YG04/2020 Salary: £33,797 - £40,322

A Post-doctoral position is available in the 2Blades group at the Sainsbury Laboratory. The appointee will undertake innovative research to study Asian soybean rust (ASR), a key challenge for growers in South-America costing $ 2 billion a year. We are key partners in a consortium to study the genome of Phakopsora pachyrhizi which recently has been released. This is a key step towards understanding the biology of this pathogen with its highly repetitive and surprisingly large genome. You wil work within a team of highly skilled professionals to design new control strategies against this highly adaptive pathogen.

You will have significant responsibility and freedom to carry out the experimental challenges and answer the biological questions within this the project. You will handle next-generation sequencing data, including PacBio SMRT, Oxford Nanopore and Hi-C. You will develop tools to rapidly diagnose emerging races of the pathogen. The successful candidate will explore the use of fungal effectors to accelerate the breeding programme to identify genetic resistance against Asian Soybean Rust.

We seek an individual with outstanding talent and abilities in molecular biology, bioinformatics, phytopathology and/or genetics. The successful candidate will have a demonstrated record of excellence in academia or industry, and an eagerness to work as part of a multi-disciplinary, international team in collaboration with industry. Experience in genomics and genetics, and working with obligate biotrophic pathogens would be highly advantageous.

Essential requirements include:

  • highly skilled in molecular biology, bioinformatics, phytopathology and /or genetics
  • a PhD in bioinformatics, genomics, phytopathology, plant or molecular biology
  • evidence of experience in data science, analysis and visualisation
  • a demonstrable record of excellence in academia or industry
  • an ability to operate as part of a collaborative, multi-disciplinary and international team
  • excellent writing and presentation skills, ability to incorporate novel ideas in experimental plans, interpersonal and problem-solving skills
  • talent for communication with a diverse range of partners and stakeholders
  • drive to see research outcomes reach practical application

Salary will be within the UEA Research and Analogous Staff Grade 7 scale at between £33,797 and £40,322 pa; the appointment level will reflect qualifications, skills, knowledge and achievements. The position will be a two-year appointment.

The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) is a world leader in plant and microbial science that is dedicated to making fundamental discoveries in the science of plant-microbe interactions. For more information please visit

The 2Blades Foundation is a U.S. nonprofit organization that discovers and advances technologies that significantly reduce, or entirely prevent, crop disease in    to improve agricultural output and the lives of people around the world. For more information please visit

Applicants should provide a CV, including the names and contact details of two or more referees, and a covering letter of no more than one A4 addressing the selection criteria.

Closing Date: 31st January 2021 -Applications will be reviewed from 17th December 2020