PhD student position in brassinosteroid hormone transport: A major group of steroidal phytohormones, called brassinosteroids (BRs), is indispensable for plant growth and development. BRs are synthesized in the cell interior, but, unlike mammalian steroids, are perceived in the apoplast through binding to the extracellular part of a cell surface-localized receptor kinase and BR signalling pathway has become a paradigm for understanding receptor kinase function in plants.

Despite this progress, knowledge of BR distribution in plants is lacking because these hormones are present in extremely low concentrations and their intracellular transport and cell exit routes are unknown. We recently discovered that BRs can travel over short distances (DOI: 10.1038/s41477-021-00917-x).

The selected candidate will address the outstanding questions of how BR precursors move between neighbouring cells. A combination of multidisciplinary approaches that integrate cutting-edge microscopy, cell biology, proteomics, and chemistry will be employed to assess BR transport. Such information is vital for understanding cell-type-specific BR signalling and how BRs induce distinct responses in different cell types.



Master’s degree in Plant Biotechnology, Plant Physiology, Biology, Molecular Biology, Physiology, or a related discipline.

You are fluent in English (spoken and written).

Desirable but not required

Experience in work with Arabidopsis, plant development, and plant hormone biology

Key personal characteristics 

  • Highly motivated and passionate about driving and performing research and associated laboratory tasks
  • You have excellent interpersonal communication skills and strong time-management skills.
  • You must be very meticulous, proactive, independent, and self-motivated.
  • You are a team player and can take responsibility.
  • You are enthusiastic to be part of a dynamic research lab.

We offer

  • A 4-year Ph.D. position through Ghent University
  • A working climate, in which trust, international collaboration, and commitment are essential.
  • Access to state-of-the-art tools and infrastructure within an excellence-based research institute.
  • A stimulating and supportive international research environment.
  • Various training opportunities to broaden your expertise and skills

How to apply?

If you are interested in performing high-quality science related to plant hormones, please use the online VIB application tool.

Make sure your application includes:

  • A detailed CV
  • A one-page summary of past research activities
  • A one-page motivation letter, describing how your expertise and ambitions match the research theme
  • The names and contact details of two to three referees.
  • Applications by email will not be considered.

The first review of applications will start immediately. A short list of applicants will be selected based on the CV and motivation letter. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interviews.

Applications are welcome until the position is filled.


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