Website MitoRem University of Stavanger

Postdoctoral fellow within Mitochondrial Biochemistry and Parasitology

The world population is expected to grow to 10 billion people in the next 30 years. This expansion means feeding 3 billion more people than we are doing now. This will put an enormous strain on our food production systems. Although food production from agriculture and fisheries has grown enormously over the last 50 years or so, it will not be enough to support our growing world population. A big problem facing agriculture and fisheries is the losses caused by infectious diseases. Although variable year-to-year, these lost harvests could have fed between 0.5-4 billion people each year. For example, the biggest disease for the potato industry, late blight disease, causes several hundred million tonnes of lost crops each year, which could have fed up to one billion people. It is therefore extremely important to control or to eradicate these diseases. Not only to keep feeding the growing world population, but also to produce the food we eat more effectively and sustainably.

We have found a biochemical peculiarity in a group of animal and plant pathogens that we hope to exploit so we can ultimately prevent these diseases from destroying our crops and animals (see Río Bártulos et al 2018). Most organisms on the planet convert the food they eat into useable energy. The food we eat is converted via several biochemical steps into smaller building blocks of life. These conversions are neatly organised in different compartments of the cells in our bodies. We discovered that the pathogens that cause potato disease, but also diseases in salmon and even humans, have rearranged these conversion pathways in a peculiar manner. We want to better understand these peculiar rearrangements, as we believe it is a drug target to control, or possibly eradicate, these diseases. We have teamed up with experts in Norway and abroad, including industry, to help in the fight against diseases that prevent us from feeding the world. Collaborators are Professor Edmund Kunji at the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit of the University of Cambridge (UK), Dr. Anastasios Tsaousis at the University of Kent (UK) and Professor Siver Moestue at NTNU, Trondheim.

See: C. Río Bártulos, M.B. Rogers, T.A. Williams, E. Gentekaki, H. Brinkmann, R. Cerff, M.-F. Liaud, A.B. Hehl, N.R. Yarlett, A. Gruber, P.G. Kroth and M. van der Giezen (2018) Mitochondrial targeting of glycolysis in a major lineage of eukaryotes. Genome Biol. Evol. 10, 2310-2325.

 

Qualification requirements
We are looking for strong applicants with a PhD in a relevant discipline and recent experience in molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry and molecular parasitology. The PhD must be completed no later than at the date of employment.

Requirements:

Proven skills in molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry and molecular parasitology.
Experience working with anaerobic (intestinal) microbial eukaryotes.
Experience working with transport proteins.
Publications evidencing the above mentioned skills in internationally recognized peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Willingness to work abroad for extended periods of time (up to one year) in the laboratory of Professor Edmund Kunji, University of Cambridge.

To apply for this job please visit www.nature.com.

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