Research Fellow (81325-127)

University of Warwick - School of Life Sciences

Fixed term contract for 2 years (to end by 30.05.20 at latest)

This project aims to quantify electrical signals between plant-colonizing fungi, plants, and bacteria, with a view to use such electrical signals as a manipulation of cross-kingdom interactions and engineering of a community. Electrical signals are known to arise in plants and fungi, but their role and potential as an engineering tool has not been fully explored. In recent work, we and others have shown that electrical signals also arise in microbial systems, with impacts on their colonisation and stress tolerance3,4.

Most recently, we have shown that a particular plant-colonizing fungus can also engage in auxotrophic interactions with bacteria and displays possible electrical signals during its growth. In this project, you will (i) further quantify these signals, (ii) decipher their mechanistic basis, and (iii) asses their role in plant-fungi and fungi-bacteria interactions. Following this, you will endeavour using external electrical signals to manipulate these interactions and behaviour of individual species.

Engineering synthetic microbial systems and manipulating existing microbial and microbe-host systems in predictive manner is an emerging frontier in synthetic biology1-3. We are at the forefront of this area of science at the Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre (WISB), with a dedicated research theme to the subject. Within WISB, this post will be based in the research groups of Prof. Orkun Soyer and Dr. Munehiro Asally, with additional input from Dr. Patrick Schafer and Dr. Marco Polin.

The ideal candidate should have a working experience in biophysics, biochemistry, molecular cell biology, engineering, experimental physics, or similar quantitative discipline. Familiarity with basic microbiological/biochemical experimental techniques (such as microbial cultivation, biological sample preparation, and extraction), as well as quantitative analytic techniques (such as image analysis, mathematical data analysis, and basic modelling) are essential. Experience working with microfluidic systems and fluorescence microscopy would be highly desirable.

Full details of the duties and selection criteria for this role are found in the vacancy advert on the University of Warwick jobs page. You will be routed to this when you click on the Apply button below.

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Midlands of England