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Structural Biology Brussels | VIB | Metabolic research |

Copyright 2007| Modified on 18-01-2014 by Joris Messens

Postdoctoral fellowship in structure-function studies of redox stress signaling proteins


Position: A postdoctoral Research position is immediately available for structure-function studies of plant proteins that control signaling during oxidative stress. Fellows will join an exciting research environment of the Messens VIB-laboratory in the Structural Biology Research Center in Brussels. The Messens laboratory is recognized as a world leader in the redox field, and the lab provides an outstanding position in protein biochemistry and structure, in a highly dynamic and team-oriented research group. Successful candidates will work on the FWO-project ‘The ROS-wave in plants: signaling along the sulfenome’ in collaboration with the Van Breusegem VIB-lab at Ugent, specialized in redox stress in plants. In this cutting-edge research environment of both labs, you will tackle essential biological problems in plant redox signaling.


Project: In plants, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are accumulated during abiotic and biotic stress (drought, extreme temperatures and various pathogen attacks), leading to severe crop yield losses worldwide due to their adverse effect on plant growth and development. However, tightly regulated, ROS act as signal transducers orchestrating plant development and metabolic adaptation to stress conditions. To get insights into these processes, we recently identified the sulfenome of plant cells under oxidative (H2O2) stress. The sulfenome is the set of proteins in which a cysteine thiol (-SH) is oxidized to a sulfenic acid (-SOH). These reversible post-transcriptional modifications function as “thiol-switches” which alter the biochemical properties of redox sensing proteins. Together with the Van Breusegem lab, we identified redox active proteins involved in signal transduction, redox homeostasis and a plethora of other metabolic pathways in plants.

In this project, we aim to establish a detailed structural and functional view of the mode of action of these redox proteins, in order to scrutinize their role in signaling during oxidative stress survival in plants.


Requirements: Applicants should have obtained a PhD in the last 5 years. Expertise with protein biochemistry and a keen interest in plant stress is essential. Knowledge of biophysical techniques and enzymology is an asset. We will consider your eligibility for a postdoctoral fellowship based on your application.

Please send a cover letter discussing your interests in the laboratory and the project as well as your CV and list of 3 individuals as references to joris.messens@vib-vub.be.