PhD Student

Last application date
Aug 01, 2022 00:00
Department
LA21 - Department of Plants and Crops
Contract
Limited duration
Degree
You hold a master diploma in plant biotechnology, biochemistry, agriculture, or an equivalent degree at the time of employment (not later than 01.01.23).
Occupancy rate
100%
Vacancy type
Research staff

Job description

PhD candidate @ HortiCell - Protoplast regeneration

We are looking for an enthusiastic early career researcher or diploma student who is passionate about plants and with an interest in advancing agriculture in line with the sustainable development goals. You will isolate protoplasts from several major food crops and learn how to recognize the right stage and cellular type that has the capacity to start to divide and produce new plants. For this you use tissue culture technology and microscopy tools. You record with a good sense for detail how cells behave and what is required to identify and isolate the competent cells. Molecular tools and markers will be used to help with the selection and to understand what processes take place during protoplast regeneration. In a second face of the project, you will develop a new device and define conditions for protoplast regeneration. A parallel project involves a similar study using microspores instead of protoplasts. The job is challenging and exciting and will come with the thrill to be part of a research teams dedicated to achieving the set goals.

About the project:
CRISPR-CAS technology is a fantastic tool to edit and mutate genes and sequences in a targeted manner. Its easy set-up and approach opens the possibility to modify any sequence in any organism that can be transformed. However, it creates a new bottleneck and that is the capacity of the transformed cell to regenerate into a new plant. Although that it can be applied to tissue, ideally, we want to start from a single cell because it ensures the creating a new genotype. At HortiCell we have developed a new concept that aims to improve the regeneration of plant protoplasts. By identifying the cells that have the capacity to regenerate, the process of gene editing in crops can be dramatically improved. With this method, we can generate much faster and many more lines than currently possible, allowing breeders and plant biotechnologists to accelerate their research and genetic engineering programs. In this project, you will work on a new and innovative method to identify and select the protoplasts that are regeneration competent. You will work in a team that is exclusively involved in the development of the new technology using state of the art equipment. The team consists of a team leader, a technician, and several other PhD students with related topics. If successful, the technology will be implemented in a start up company.

Job profile

Profile:

  • You are dedicated to obtaining a PhD degree
  • You can work accurately and like to work in a lab environment with cells, microscopes, and molecular equipment
  • You are keen to learn, open to share results and experience and work with team members to the benefit of all
  • You can work independently with a great sense of responsibility
  • You report on regular meetings for the team and for other stakeholders

We offer:

  • An open ended contract with a biding of 4 years (time for completing a PhD program)
  • Opportunity to follow trainings and workshops
  • Training in advanced cell techniques
  • A stimulating and supportive environment
  • A flat management organization
  • An open minded environment receptive to human diversity

How to apply

Please submit your application by email to horticell@ugent.be before 1 August 2022.
The reviewing starts immediately, applications are welcome until filled.
Applications must be submitted in Englishand should include:

  • A detailed CV
  • A one page motivation letter
  • Your diploma scores and ranking in your cohort
  • If you have working experience, provide 2 references

Incomplete applications will not be considered.


For more information about this vacancy, please contact Danny Geelen (Danny.Geelen@UGent.be, +32 479940252) or Steffen Vanneste (Steffen.Vanneste@UGent.be).