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Applications are invited for a Research Assistant position in the group of Dr Alexander Jones at the Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University.

The cellular dynamics of the plant hormones underpin plant development and environmental responses. The Jones group at SLCU have extensive experience in probing the functional relationships between hormones and plant developmental plasticity by engineering and deploying high-resolution biosensors in living plants. The next step is to perturb cellular hormone dynamics in living plants. We have made progress towards this goal by engineering Highlighter, an optogenetic gene expression switch for plants, and now we aim to use Highlighter and other switches to alter hormone enzyme and transporter expression dynamics with exquisite precision. This post will involve supporting the molecular cloning for a portfolio of cutting-edge transcriptional engineering and optimisation projects. The advanced gene expression switches that will be the output of this role will illuminate the functions of cellular and subcellular metabolite patterns in vivo.

What we're looking for

Applicants must have or be close to obtaining a degree in Plant Biology, Biochemistry, Systems Biology, Genetics, or related field. A solid foundation in molecular biology and in particular gene cloning is strictly required, alongside a willingness and ability to learn and work with new methodologies. We particularly welcome candidates with advanced knowledge of, and a proven track record in, any of the following cloning techniques and concepts: Golden-gate, MoClo, Golden-braid, Mobius, Phytobricks, Gateway, Multi-site Gateway, Error-prone PCR. Additional techniques that would be of added value are FACS, Sort-seq, plant protoplast transfection, Agrobacterium-mediated transient expression, and Arabidopsis thaliana transformation and husbandry. Proficiency in structural biology, plant developmental biology, synthetic biology, protein bioengineering, computational modelling, and confocal imaging and image analysis would also be valuable to the role, but are not essential.

The successful applicant will be an excellent team player, highly solution orientated and self-motivated. Excellent interpersonal skills are essential, alongside the ability to work independently and with others, with a high degree of accuracy including outstanding record keeping. The Jones group is looking for a person keen to work in a highly collaborative set-up and enthusiastic to join our diverse and interdisciplinary team. Solid communication skills are required to interact with group members and other researchers at SLCU with different scientific backgrounds. Candidates should also demonstrate a history of science communication (e.g. presentations, outreach activities, teaching).

The Laboratory provides a welcoming and collaborative environment with a wide-range of family-friendly benefits and development opportunities. More about the Sainsbury Laboratory and details of what the University offers to employees, can be found at: http://www.slcu.cam.ac.uk/.

The post is available from September 2024.