University of Geneva
Plant Biochemistry and Physiology group
Teresa Fitzpatrick

Plant growth and development

Post-doctoral position

The Plant Biochemistry and Physiology group at the University of Geneva is inviting applications for a post-doctoral position. The research aims to unravel the molecular mechanisms underlying the contribution of vitamin compounds to growth and survival in plants. Key skills that are currently in use in the lab include a combination of molecular and cell biology, biochemical and physiological techniques as well as protein biochemistry.

Plants use B vitamin compounds as cofactors for metabolism. Biosynthesis de novo of these metabolites in plants is almost fully elucidated. However, salvaging of precursors as well as cofactor derivatives is only being unraveled. Furthermore, processing of these compounds when damaged by cellular activities to prevent deleterious effects on metabolism is emerging. Recent investigations indicate that the role of B vitamins, while being important for metabolism, are also linked with developmental cues, the circadian clock, as well as abiotic and biotic stress responses. Moreover in recent years, possible roles for vitamin compounds beyond that of cofactor are starting to emerge but the molecular mechanisms remain largely unexplored.

The objectives of this research are to determine the importance of selected non-cofactor forms of vitamin B1 (thiamin) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) to plant growth and development. An extension of this will be to determine if these forms are important for selected environmental stress responses in plants. Characterize the molecular mechanisms underlying these phenomena. The model plant Arabidopsis thaliana will be predominantly used for this research.

  • We seek highly motivated individuals interested in the contribution of vitamin compounds to growth, development and stress responses in plants.
  • The successful candidate should have experience in metabolite analysis by chromatography techniques (HPLC in house), as well as the characterization of plant proteins and/or signaling pathways at genetic as well as biochemical and physiological levels.
  • Applicants should have recently received (less than 1 year) or expect to soon receive a PhD in plant biochemistry with extensive knowledge of current methods associated with these disciplines.
  • The successful candidate should be able to work independently and show initiative within a multidisciplinary project area and collaborate with other members of the group. Proven ability of competence in the form of high impact publications is required.
  • Fluency in English is essential with both excellent oral and written communication skills expected.



  • Candidates should send a motivation letter, a detailed CV including publication record, a description of research interests and skills, together with the names and addresses of three referees to the above e-mail address.
  • Applications can be submitted before December 15th 2017.
  • The position is available from 1st February 2018 and can last up to 3 years.

The application should be submitted as a single pdf-file to Teresa Fitzpatrick (