The Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS)

9 Postdoctoral positions and 3 PhD studentships (m,f,d), SYMPORE, Germany

“SYMPORE: Plasmodesmata, Symplasmic Pores for Plant Cell-to-Cell Communication” is a joint program

of 4 research teams in Germany, funded for 6 years through a European Research Council Synergy Grant.

SYMPORE offers  9 Postdoctoral positions and 3 PhD studentships (m,f,d)

to study the composition, structure, dynamics, function and regulation of the enigmatic plant cell-cell connections, the plasmodesmata.

The evolution of multicellularity in plants encompassed the development of cell-cell bridges, the plasmodesmata (PD), that mediate transport of ions, small molecules, RNAs and proteins. PDs are highly regulated multimembrane multiprotein pores whose precise composition, structure and function is not understood. The SYMPORE teams will closely collaborate to develop and employ new technologies to unravel the complexities of plasmodesmata, through:

1. Systematic identification of PD components (Prof. Waltraud Schulze, Uni Hohenheim). 

The Schulze team is specialized in proteomics and will identify PD components, identify complexes and determine membrane composition to build a PD blueprint.

2. Localization and dynamics of PD components (Prof. Rüdiger Simon, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf). 

The Simon team uses advanced imaging to characterize the dynamics of PD proteins, their delivery, turnover and their interactions, and the role of receptor kinases in cell-cell signaling.

3. Determining structures of PD and their molecular building blocks (Prof. Wolfgang Baumeister, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried). 

The Baumeister team is a world leader in structural biology and will determine the structures of PD proteins and of PD in situ by cryoET.

4. Unraveling PD activities in signaling and transport (Prof. Wolf Frommer, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf). 

The Frommer team will employ new assay systems to characterise trafficking of substrates through PD and the role of PD components for transport.

Qualification profile:

•           PhD degree (postdocs), master or bachelor (PhD students) in Biology or a related field

•           High level of motivation, accuracy and reliability, team spirit and hands-on mentality

•           Excellent communication skills in English

•           Good knowledge of MS Office applications and data analysis software

•           Advanced experience with statistics

We offer: The candidate will work in a highly motivated, international environment, embedded in an experienced team of four research groups from three different institutions. Start date is as soon as possible. The positions are full-time with salary and benefits commensurate with public service position in the states North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden Württemberg and Bavaria, Germany (TV-L E13, postdocs: 100%, PhD students: 65%). The positions will be filled by a temporary contract that is limited to the period which is necessary to gain further scientific expertise (such as the preparation for a subsequent qualification period). The limitation of the contract complies to § 2 Abs. 1 WissZeitVG. In areas where women are underrepresented, female applicants will be preferred in case of equal qualification. Applicants with a disability as described in SGB IX (§ 2 Abs. 2, 3) will be preferred in case of equal qualification.

Please send your application including CV, names and email addresses of three references, and a one-page motivation letter as a single pdf document to .

Indicate your preference for the respective research group and topic.