Exciting post-doc opportunity in our lab in Fargo, ND working on effector biology of the barley net form net blotch pathogen Pyrenophora teres f. teres:

Position Summary: The NDSU Department of Plant Pathology is seeking a postdoctoral research fellow to work with a team of scientists at NDSU (Zhaohui Liu) and the USDA-ARS Cereal Crops Research Unit (Tim Friesen) to gain knowledge on necrotrophic pathogens of barley. The post-doctoral researcher will be responsible for conducting research to understand molecular aspects of the plant-pathogen interaction occurring between barley (Hordeum vulgare) and Pyrenophora teres f. teres, the fungal pathogen causing net form net blotch of barley.

Our lab focuses on the cloning and functional characterization of genes and the corresponding proteins involved in pathogen virulence. Two P. teres effector genes (VR1 and VR2), both of which target the same genetic locus located on barley chromosome 6H, have been cloned and validated using CRISPR-Cas9 based gene disruption and gene editing.

VR1 is a secreted protease and VR2 is a small secreted hypothetical protein without a predicted function. The post-doctoral scientist will work to understand the mode of action of these proteins by functionally evaluating virulent and avirulent alleles, using mutagenesis, localizing the protein in planta using fusion proteins and confocal laser microscopy, and identifying protein-protein interactions using yeast two-hybrid as well as other approaches.

The post-doctoral scientist will also clone and functionally characterize additional effector genes from P. teres loci identified from both bi-parental mapping populations and genome wide association studies (GWAS).  These additional effector genes/proteins include but are not limited to VK1 and VK2, two effectors that confer virulence on Kombar barley.

The successful candidate must be trained in one or more of the following areas including molecular plant pathology, molecular genetics, fungal genetics, host-pathogen interactions, protein chemistry and/or effector biology. 

Responsibilities include design and critical analysis of experiments and regular written and oral communication about the project including oral presentations at meetings and writing of manuscripts for peer reviewed journal submissions. The appointment is for 12 months with additional time dependent on satisfactory performance.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • PhD in plant pathology, genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, or a related discipline
  • Demonstrated experience with fungal plant pathogens
  • Experience with host-pathogen interactions
  • Experience in molecular biology, genetics, and genomics
  • Sound verbal and written communication skills

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in pathogen gene cloning
  • Experience with data analysis using bioinformatics tools
  • Knowledge of molecular tools and classical genetics
  • Experience in protein-protein interactions
  • Experience in heterologous protein production and purification
  • Demonstrated experience in publishing research results

Advertised salary: Depending on experience

Application Materials Needed:

Applicants must submit: 1) a cover letter discussing how the stated qualifications are met; 2) a detailed curriculum vitae; 3) unofficial academic transcripts from all institutions attended; 4) contact information (including phone numbers, institutional addresses, and email addresses) of three references who worked closely with the candidate.

Screening will begin 6/23/23


NDSU offers a comprehensive benefits package which includes single or family health insurance coverage with premiums paid for by the university – with an effective date for new employees the first of the month following date of hire.

Other benefits include: wellness benefits, basic life insurance, retirement plan, tuition waiver, annual leave, EAP, sick leave and holiday pay. Optional benefits include: supplemental life, dental, vision, long-term care insurance, flexible spending account, and supplemental retirement plans.

About Us:

North Dakota State University is distinctive as a student focused, land-grant, research university. We educate leaders who solve national and global challenges by providing affordable access to an excellent education that combines teaching and research in a rich learning environment.

NDSU is in the highest Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, R1, granted to the top research institutions in the country.

NDSU has offices across the state of North Dakota, and the main campus is in Fargo, on the Minnesota border. Along with Moorhead, Minnesota, Fargo forms one of the largest metropolitan centers between Minneapolis and Seattle. The community is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live.

No Smoking Notice:

As an employer, the State of North Dakota prohibits smoking in all places of state employment in accordance with N.D.C.C. § 23-12-10.

EO/AA Statement:

North Dakota State University is an Equal Opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, gender expression/identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, participation in lawful off-campus activity, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, public assistance status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, spousal relationship to current employee, or veteran status, as applicable.

Diversity Statement:

NDSU strives to be a community of belonging, recognizing unique differences as strengths of our university. We seek to recruit and retain a diverse workforce that supports a community in which diverse populations and perspectives will know and learn from one another.

 NDSU values candidates who are committed to our core values of respect, inclusivity, community, creativity, excellence, impact, innovation, integrity, resilience, responsiveness, and transformation. Successful candidates will be committed to and help advance our strategic goal to create and maintain an open and respectful environment to promote inclusivity and diversity as a cornerstone of education, research, and outreach.

Reasonable Accommodation Information: North Dakota State University is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education, and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, please contact Human Resources at 701-231-8961 or ndsu.hr@ndsu.edu.

Land Acknowledgement

We collectively acknowledge that NDSU, a land grant institution, on the traditional lands of the Oceti Sakowin (Dakota, Lakota, Nakoda) and Anishinaabe Peoples in addition to many diverse Indigenous Peoples still connected to these lands.

We honor with gratitude Mother Earth and the Indigenous Peoples who have walked with her throughout generations. We will continue to learn how to live in unity with Mother Earth and build strong, mutually beneficial, trusting relationships with Indigenous Peoples of our region.


Screening will begin 6/23/23

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