Research Associate in Plant Subcellular Dynamics

University of Bristol - School of Biological Sciences

The School of Biological Sciences wishes to recruit a full-time Research Associate to participate in a Leverhulme Trust funded project on biophysical and molecular characterisation of ER-organelle interactions in plants. This full-time, 17.5 month post is available from 1st August 2018 (or earlier if possible). The post-holder will work in the laboratory of Dr Imogen Sparkes based in Biological Sciences.

Organelle dynamics in highly vacuolated plant epidermal cells appears erratic, yet defects in the molecular drivers (myosins) affect growth, development and response to external stimuli. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) pervades the cortex of the cell and appears intimately associated with several organelles (Sparkes et al. Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2011 14:658-65; Sparkes Mol. Plant 2011 4:805-12). This project will determine if organelles are attached, and isolate and characterise the molecular components involved in tethering organelles to the ER in Arabidopsis. This could have profound implications on ‘communication’ within the cell.

The post will include construction of expression vectors for plant cell transformation, live cell imaging (eg confocal / spinning disc microscopy), analysis of organelle dynamics using software such as Volocity and ImageJ, isolating and characterising novel tethering components. This project will entail periods of work off site with Dr. Andy Ward at the Central Laser Facility (Oxfordshire) to carry out optical tweezer work. This powerful technique will allow us to probe for direct physical interactions between organelles and the ER (Sparkes et al. Traffic 2009 10:567-71). The successful candidate will be expected to carry out work with both Dr Sparkes and Dr Ward, and also act as part of a larger interdisciplinary team with Prof Ashwin (Exeter University).

For further information please contact Dr Imogen Sparkes, e-mail or telephone +44 (0)117 39 41211.

The closing date for all applications is 23:59 on 22 March 2018.

The University is committed to creating and sustaining a fully inclusive culture.  We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and communities.

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South West England