Charles Melnyk

PhD position in parasitic plant infections

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

A PhD position is available in the Melnyk Group at the department of Plant Biology, SLU, to investigate the mechanisms behind parasitic plant infection. Despite their global prevalence and agricultural importance, we have little understanding of how parasitic plants modify host development to successfully invade and infect.

The aim of this PhD position is to build upon recent discoveries made in parasitic plant infection (Kokla et al. 2022 Nature Communications 13 (1) 2976, Leso et al 2023 BioRxiv) and use these findings to understand how parasitic plants change host development to allow infection. The project will use transcriptomics and reverse genetic approaches to identify genes that can be modified in the host to affect infection. The project will include several international collaborators and will focus on understanding the role of cell wall modifications, cell division and vascular biology to ultimately better understand how parasitic plants infect.

The PhD position is funded by a project grant from the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), and the successful applicant will work in the group of Charles Melnyk ( for four years. The department is located in Uppsala BioCenter at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). Uppsala is a lively university city, conveniently located close to Stockholm (40 minutes by train) and Stockholm’s main international airport (20 minutes by train).

Qualifications: Candidates should have an MSc degree or have completed four years of university-level education including one year at MSc level. The degree and courses should be related to plant biology, molecular biology, cell biology or related knowledge that the employer considers equivalent. Prior experience with genetics, plants, transcriptomics, microscopy and molecular biology are assets. Creativity, motivation and drive are important personal characteristics as is excellent proficiency in English since English is the working language in the research group. Candidates should also have an ability to conduct independent research, take initiative, ask pertinent scientific questions, and interact well with other scientists and students.

Place of work: Uppsala.

Forms for funding or employment: Employment (4 years).

Starting date: summer/fall 2023 or according to agreement.

Applications must include (1) CV, (2) a letter of motivation, (3) contact information of two references, (4) previous degree copies and transcripts records. Application deadline is 2023-03-24. Apply via:

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