Plant defense is not a static biological process – it is influenced by dynamic factors such as ontogeny, morphogenesis, tissue type, and the circadian clock. Our research program uses various non‑model species and a hypothesis driven, systems approach to examine how these factors impact plant defense. We explore how plants have navigated the fine line between growth and defense by evolving different strategies to optimize interactions with their microbial environments to maximize fitness.

Our long-term goal is to investigate fundamental mechanisms of defense optimization, deepening our understanding of plant‑biotic interactions and providing direct, translatable implications for agricultural sustainability in a changing climate.We are seeking a highly motivated and skilled postdoctoral researcher to join our team and continue research on our ongoing project, which focuses on the impact of domestication‑derived changes to the circadian clock on innate plant defenses, using tomato as a model species.

The successful candidate will work in a dynamic and interdisciplinary research environment, and will be responsible for conducting experiments to characterize the misregulation of circadian processes in domesticated tomato, and to identify the genes responsible for these changes.The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work in a dynamic and collaborative research environment, with access to state‑of‑the‑art facilities and resources.

Our lab is committed to fostering an inclusive culture, where individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives are valued and supported. We believe that diversity and inclusivity are critical to driving innovation and advancing scientific discovery, and we actively work to promote a welcoming and respectful environment for all lab members.

In addition to the research opportunities, the postdoc will have access to a wide range of networking connections within the plant biotech industry and start‑up ecosystem in the St. Louis area. Our lab has an established network with local companies and organizations, providing opportunities for collaboration and potential career opportunities for our team members.

The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to mentor undergraduate and graduate students, and to participate in the teaching and training of new researchers. Finally, the successful candidate will be supported to present their research findings at national and international conferences, and to publish articles in high‑impact peer‑reviewed journals.Information on being a postdoc at Washington University in St. Louis .

Primary Duties & Responsibilities

  • Conduct research to collect and analyze data on biological rhythms and molecular profiles in Solanum species.
  • Utilize bioinformatics tools and available data to study gene expression patterns and regulatory networks related to the circadian clock in tomato species.
  • Perform experimental investigations to understand the relationship between defense responses, disease resistance, and circadian control in different populations.
  • Explore the transcriptomic responses to infections in various Solanum species.
  • Investigate the potential impact of genes influenced by domestication selection on the regulation of circadian-controlled defense mechanisms and other biological processes.
  • Collaborate with team members to develop and optimize new assays and techniques to study plant circadian rhythms and innate defenses.
  • Present research findings at scientific meetings and publish results in peer‑reviewed journals.
  • Mentor and train graduate students and research assistants as needed.

Required Qualifications

  • PhD in Plant Biology, Genetics, Genomics, or related fields.
  • Strong background in transcriptomics, genetics, and molecular biology.
  • Strong background and interest in plant‑microbe interactions and/or microbiology.
  • Proficiency in programming languages such as R and Python.
  • Strong record of publications in peer‑reviewed journals.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with high‑throughput sequencing data analysis and transcriptomics.
  • Knowledge of circadian biology and plant domestication.
  • Experience with phytohormone extraction and disease assays.
  • Familiarity in building interactive web‑based tools.
  • Some experience in developing transgenic plants.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills.

Salary RangeBase pay is commensurate with experience.


If you are unable to use our online application system and would like an accommodation, please email or call the dedicated accommodation inquiry number at 314-935-1149 and leave a voicemail with the nature of your request.

Pre-Employment Screening: All external candidates receiving an offer for employment will be required to submit to pre-employment screening for this position. The screenings will include criminal background check and, as applicable for the position, other background checks, drug screen, an employment and education or licensure/certification verification, physical examination, certain vaccinations and/or governmental registry checks. All offers are contingent upon successful completion of required screening.

Benefits Statement: Washington University in St. Louis is committed to providing a comprehensive and competitive benefits package to our employees. Benefits eligibility is subject to employment status, full-time equivalent (FTE) workload, and weekly standard hours.

EEO/AA Statement

Washington University in St. Louis is committed to the principles and practices of equal employment opportunity and especially encourages applications by those from underrepresented groups. It is the University’s policy to provide equal opportunity and access to persons in all job titles without regard to race, ethnicity, color, national origin, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, protected veteran status, or genetic information.

Diversity Statement: Washington University is dedicated to building a diverse community of individuals who are committed to contributing to an inclusive environment – fostering respect for all and welcoming individuals from diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Individuals with a commitment to these values are encouraged to apply.


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