Postdoc position on autophagy in plant-virus interactions

Updated: 38 minutes ago

Position/project: A postdoctoral position is available in the group of Professor Daniel Hofius at the Department of Plant Biology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Uppsala, Sweden. Research in the Hofius lab ( ) focuses on the molecular mechanisms of autophagy, a conserved degradation and recycling process required for cellular homeostasis, stress tolerance and pathogen resistance. Our discoveries have in particular contributed to the current view that autophagy plays multifaceted roles during plant-virus interactions ( ). Autophagy can act as an integral part of the antiviral host response through the selective degradation of virus material, while viruses have evolved strategies to counteract their “xenophagic” elimination and even hijack autophagy to promote pathogenesis. However, it remains largely unknown to what extent autophagy components and processes in the nucleus are involved in the virus-host interplay. Hence, the aim of the postdoc project is to identify the nuclear targets and activities of autophagy during virus infection and unravel their links to immunity and disease. The work will apply genetic, cell biological, biochemical and proteomic approaches and utilize different viral species in the Arabidopsis and Nicotiana benthamiana models. The long-term goal is to translate the new knowledge into the improvement of disease resistance in crop plants.

Qualifications: We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with a PhD degree in plant molecular biology, plant genetics, plant cell biology or related topics. Proven expertise in plant virology and host-pathogen interactions is most desirable, and prior work with proteomics, reverse genetics, confocal microscopy, and autophagy-related techniques are further assets. The candidate is expected to be a team player and enthusiastically drive a research project with strong initiative, creativity and independent thinking. Excellent communication skills in both oral and written scientific English are required. As postdoctoral appointments are career-developing positions for junior researchers, priority is given to candidates with a doctoral degree that is not older than three years. A competitive track record with previous scientific output such as a first author article is greatly valued.

Environment: The Department of Plant Biology ( ) offers a creative and stimulating international environment and is one of several departments that make up the cluster ‘Uppsala BioCenter’. Uppsala, Sweden´s fourth-biggest city, has two universities and with more than 50´000 students a vibrant student atmosphere. It is located in the Greater Stockholm area and has excellent connection to the Stockholm-Arlanda international airport.

Research & education: The department undertakes fundamental research on model organisms, agricultural crops, forest trees and bioenergy crops. Our main areas of research comprise the interaction of plants with microorganisms and other environmental stresses, plant growth and development, biotechnology and metabolic engineering, regulation of gene expression, population genetics, genome analysis and the development of breeding systems. Species in use are model organisms such as Arabidopsis, Physcomitrella, tobacco, crops such as rapeseed, basket willow (Salix), potato and cereals, and pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and fungi/oomycetes. The department is responsible for basic and advanced courses in general and molecular genetics, cell biology, gene technology, plant physiology, plant breeding, plant biochemistry and biotechnology, and molecular interactions between plants and pathogens. In addition, the department contributes to various courses together with other departments. 

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Uppsala, Sweden.

Form of employment:

Temporary employment for 24 months, with the possibility of extension.



Start date:

By agreement; the position is immediately available.


Please submit your application before deadline 14 June 2024. You can submit your application by clicking the button below.

Specific documents to be attached: Applications must contain (1) CV and copy of PhD degree, (2) statement of scientific interests and motivation for applying to this position, (3) description of research experience and other activities of relevance for the position, as well as (4) contact information of three references.

Union representatives:

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has a key role in the development for sustainable life, based on science and education. Through our focus on the interaction between humans, animals and ecosystems and the responsible use of natural resources, we contribute to sustainable societal development and good living conditions on our planet. Our main campuses are located in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, however, the university also operates at research stations, experimental forests and teaching sites throughout Sweden.

SLU has around 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and doctoral students and a turnover of over SEK 3 billion. We are investing in attractive environments on all of our campuses. We strive to provide a work environment characterised by inclusivity and gender equality, where different experiences generate conversations between people and pave the way for science, creativity and development. Therefore, we welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

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