Postdoctoral position to develop resistance against mycotoxigenic fungi in corn
29 November 2022, Minnesota: The 2Blades Group at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus, is seeking an exceptional candidate for an exciting opportunity to help the group make a positive impact on global agriculture and secure a stable food supply.
Background: 2Blades is a unique, non-profit, agbiotech organization with leading international expertise in plant science that contributes to the global value chain by advancing and delivering genetic resistance to the most critical unmanaged pests and diseases of major crops. Improved varieties that we develop extend a plant’s ability to recognize pathogens and activate its natural immune system to ward off disease. We work globally with the public and private sector to provide value by improving farmers’ productivity and incomes by reducing crop disease and yield loss, thereby contributing to more sustainable agriculture. We work on behalf of large scale and smallholder farmers and to date have produced successful resistance in wheat, soy, potato, tomato, and citrus.
The Postdoctoral Position: 2Blades has developed proprietary large-scale trait discovery platforms for identifying functional resistance genes. The successful candidate will use the trait discovery platforms to identify novel resistance genes effective against mycotoxigenic fungi in corn. The main activities will involve exploring the use of fungal effectors to accelerate resistance gene discovery, functional analyses of candidate genes using transient and stable expression systems, transformation, next-generation sequencing, handling large data sets and basic informatics. Other duties may include helping the 2Blades team with greenhouse and field experiments, and supervision/training of graduate students and student workers on molecular DNA-based techniques. The incumbent is also expected to help establish a laboratory environment conducive to efficient fungal pathogens research work by organizing existing supplies and equipment while helping to procure new equipment and supplies. We seek an individual with outstanding talent and abilities in molecular biology, phytopathology and/or genetics. The successful candidate will have a demonstrated record of achievement in academia or industry, and an eagerness to work as part of a multi-disciplinary, international team in collaboration with industry. Experience working with Fusarium and Aspergillus, soybean or corn protoplasts would be highly advantageous.
Essential requirements include:
- Highly skilled in molecular biology, plant breeding, phytopathology and /or genetics
- A Ph.D. in a discipline relevant to plant pathology and host resistance, preferably fungal biology, effector biology, or plant pathology, or also plant molecular biology, biotechnology, genomics, and genetics
- A demonstrable record of scientific achievement in academia or industry
- An ability to operate as part of a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, international team
- Excellent problem-solving skills
- Demonstrated excellence in written and oral communication skills for internal and external audiences
- Dedication to the mission of contributing to sustainable food production and improved food security
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