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Post-doctoral Researcher 2Blades Group

The Sainsbury Laboratory

Post-doctoral Researcher 2Blades Group

A position is available in the 2Blades group for a post-doctoral researcher at the interface of plant disease resistance and biotechnology. The development of new technology has made genome sequencing and gene identification more accessible and affordable. Resistance genes can be easily sequenced from diverse germplasm, however functional characterisation of those genes remains a challenge. Deployment of resistance genes is limited by the breadth of genetic variation in crossable germplasm or transformation capability. 2Blades has developed a method for identifying functional resistance genes and established a large-scale trait discovery pipeline for disease resistance in wheat. The successful applicant will join an expanding research team led by Dr Helen Brabham in the identification of novel sources of disease resistance from wild relatives of modern crop species through functional characterisation and proof-of-concept experimentation. 

Having established a high-throughput transformation pipeline, the successful candidate will characterise populations and transgenic material in a variety of pathosystems, and there is scope to include phylogenetics and comparative genomics of both plant and pathogen material within the project.

The main responsibilities of the position will include:

  • Identify, plan, carry out and modify experiments to meet the objectives of the project.
  • Manage data and germplasm, prepare results and reports of research findings.
  • Contribute to the running of the team, including effective use of resources and supervision and training of others.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A PhD (Full award. Alternatively, PhD expected within 6 months or working towards) in plant-microbe interactions, plant biology, molecular biology, phytopathology, plant and/or pathogen genetics or related field.
  • Experience of phenotyping experiments with diverse patho-systems (such as Arabidopsis and cereals), preferably large-scale or high-throughput.

Experience of characterisation of transgenic material, and use of transient or stable systems for gene validation would be advantageous. Molecular biology skills including previous experience of PCR, DNA and RNA extraction, Next-generation sequencing, gene cloning, construct development, and/or transformation would be beneficial.

We are seeking someone who has proven ability to work independently and as part of a team, as well as excellent communication, organisation and data-management skills, and an aspiration to work as part of a collaborative, international group. Applicants should have an interest in agriculture and biotechnology and the desire to see research translated into the field. This position will require collaboration with internal and external stakeholders, local travel, and may require international travel.                                                                                                               

Post-doctoral Researcher 2Blades Group

Salary will be within the UEA Research and Analogous Salary Scale, Grade 7 at between £34,304 to £40,927 appointment level will depend on qualifications, knowledge and skills.

The position is available for one year in the first instance, with possibility of further extension.

This position is available as soon as possible and the start date can be flexible for the right applicant.

Applicants should provide a CV, including the names and contact details of two referees, and a covering letter addressing the selection criteria. Please apply online at

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Helen Brabham by emailing

The 2Blades Foundation is a U.S. non-profit organization that discovers and advances technologies that significantly reduce, or entirely prevent, crop disease in order to improve agricultural output and the lives of people around the world. The 2Blades group at TSL is a curious, enthusiastic, and innovative team nurturing a friendly and supportive working environment. For more information please visit

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. As a member of TSL, the successful applicant will have the opportunity to participate in an exciting, cutting-edge research environment. TSL is a proud signatory of the Technician Commitment and promotes an inclusive and diverse workplace. More information can be found at 

Ref: HB01/2021                                               

Closing Date: 7th November 2021

Location: Norwich
Salary: £34,304 to £40,927 Grade 7 - appointment level will depend on qualifications, knowledge and skills
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 8th October 2021
Closes: 7th November 2021
Job Ref: HB01/2021
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