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Funded Postdoctoral Position in Agrobacterium-Plant Interactomics

Closing date
1 Mar 2024

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Life Science
Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Professional certification

Job Details

Description The VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology (PSB) is a world-leading plant science institute located at the heart of a renowned plant biotechnology campus in Ghent, Belgium. Its mission is to unravel plant biological processes and translate this knowledge into value for society. The ERC-funded lab of Prof. Inge De Clercq aims to understand how plant cells perceive environmental signals (e.g. from attack by pathogens) and translate this into appropriate defence responses. The lab of Dr. Laurens Pauwels focuses on improving genetic engineering of crops such as maize by studying plant regeneration and the interaction of plants with nature’s engineer, Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Please visit us at for more information.

We have secured FWO funding for a postdoctoral researcher as part of a larger collaborative project with the group of Prof. Barbara De Coninck at KU Leuven, who will host a PhD student. Together, you will study novel interactions between Agrobacterium effectors and plant proteins, utilizing the newest techniques in proteomics, such as proximity-dependent labeling. You will also functionally characterize novel plant host proteins in both Zea mays and Arabidopsis thaliana and study the importance of both effectors and host proteins in infection. The project aims at providing a deeper understanding of this intriguing natural interkingdom interaction and may lead to improvements in biotechnological applications.



  • You have a PhD in (plant) molecular biology with max. 2 years of postdoc experience
  • You are an expert in molecular biology and/or plant biotechnology
  • You have guided (master) students and/or technicians
  • You have excellent English communication skills

Desirable but not required 

  • Experience with proteomics, interactomics and/or confocal microscopy 
  • One or more first-author publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Key personal characteristics 

  • You are proactive in establishing contacts with experts to solve problems and to communicate with other members of the different team(s).
  • Strong sense of responsibility, maintaining   a clean working environment
  • Able to accurately compile and document experiments (using an ELN)
  • You have an affinity for molecular biology and protein-protein interactions.
  • You have a no-nonsense can-do attitude.
  • You build team interactions quickly. You feel great in a fun team and add to that spirit.
  • You communicate clearly, candidly, and respectfully.
  • You have an interest in sustainable food and agricultural systems.
We offer
  • A 2+2-year postdoc position
  • A multidisciplinary, highly stimulating and supporting international research environment at VIB and Ghent University   (UGent)
  • Access to state-of-the-art tools and infrastructure, including core facilities for proteomics
  • A collaborative project between two VIB-UGent groups and a group at KU Leuven
  • Various training opportunities are organized at VIB to broaden your expertise and skills (
  • Tentative start date: 1 April 2024
How to apply? 

Submit before 1 March 2024 your application through the VIB application tool. Be sure it includes:

  • A detailed CV
  • A 1-page letter of intent describing your motivation for this position, your research experiences and future goals.
  • The names and contact details of two references


VIB’s core mission is to generate disruptive insights in the molecular underpinning of life and to translate these actively into impactful innovations for patients and society. VIB is an independent research institute where some 1,800 top scientists from Belgium and abroad conduct pioneering basic research. As such, they are pushing the boundaries of what we know about molecular mechanisms and how they rule living organisms such as human beings, animals, plants, and microorganisms. Based on a close partnership with five Flemish universities – Ghent University, KU Leuven, University of Antwerp, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and Hasselt University – and supported by a solid funding program, VIB unites the expertise of all its collaborators and research groups in a single institute. VIB’s technology transfer activities translate research results into concrete benefits for society such as new diagnostics and therapies and agricultural innovations. These applications are often developed by young start-ups from VIB or through collaborations with other companies. This also leads to additional employment and bridges the gap between scientific research and entrepreneurship. VIB also engages actively in the public debate on biotechnology by developing and disseminating a wide range of science-based information. 

More info can be found on

Company info
Rijvisschestraat 120

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