Student and Postdoctoral Positions to Join the Designer Glycans Lab in Florida

Although carbohydrate polymers are essential for our health, energy and materials needs, the metabolic pathways related to these complex molecules have been challenging to study in plants (Voiniciuc, 2022; https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.18091). The Designer Glycans group uses synthetic biology in yeast and plant model systems to discover how cell wall glycans are made and how their structure/function can be fine-tuned with precision. The lab also collaborates with leading scientists from other countries (e.g. Zhang et al., 2022; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2022.02.069).

We are looking for an inquisitive PhD student, two motivated postdoctoral scientists as well as undergraduate students to join our international team of scientists in the Sunshine State. The Designer Glycans lab is committed to increasing diversity in science and encourages all qualified applicants from a wide range of backgrounds to apply for these positions. Experience with molecular biology, biochemistry or plant genetics would be an asset but is not strictly required. The start dates are flexible, with August/September 2022 as a desired point for several new members.

How to apply: For full consideration, email Cătălin Voiniciuc (cvoiniciuc@ufl.edu) with a single PDF file detailing your motivation, CV (or resume for undergraduate students) and contact details of references. Applications will be reviewed on a weekly basis and continue to be accepted until all the positions are filled.

Location: The University of Florida (www.ufl.edu) is a Land-Grant, Sea-Grant, and Space-Grant institution, encompassing virtually all academic and professional disciplines, with an enrollment of more than 56,000 students. UF is a Top 5 Public University and has the most powerful supercomputer in U.S. higher education and is building an ambitious Artificial Intelligence (AI) program with far reaching impacts. The Horticultural Sciences department, currently ranked #1 in its national peer group by Academics Analytics, participates in interdisciplinary training programs such as Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology and is leading a collaborative initiative to establish a campus biofoundry. The UF campus also offers world-class facilities for cytometry, microscopy and mass spectrometry in the Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research (biotech.ufl.edu).

Most Recent Publications (see Google Scholar for full details):

Zhang A, Matsuoka K, Kareem A, Robert M, Roszak P, Blob B, Bisht A, De Veylder L, Voiniciuc C, Asahina M, Melnyk CW* (2022) Cell wall damage activates DOF transcription
factors to promote wound healing and tissue regeneration in Arabidopsis thaliana. Curr Biol https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2022.02.069
Voiniciuc C* (2022) Modern Mannan: A Hemicellulose’s Journey. New Phytol https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.18091
 Robert M, Waldhauer J, Stritt F, Yang B, Pauly M, Voiniciuc C* (2021) Modular biosynthesis of plant hemicellulose and its impact on yeast cells Biotechnol Biofuels 14: 140
Mielke S, Zimmer M, Meena MK, Dreos R, Stellmach H, Hause B, Voiniciuc C, Gasperini D* (2021) Jasmonate biosynthesis arising from altered cell walls is prompted by turgor-driven mechanical compression. Sci Adv 7eabf0356
Yang B, Hofmann F, Usadel B, Voiniciuc C* (2020) Seed hemicelluloses tailor mucilage properties and salt tolerance. New Phytol: 10.1111/nph.17056

Designer Glycans students shine as summer ends

We are proud to highlight some of the some of our students’ accomplishments this summer.

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels.com

Our glycan designers win two student prizes!

• At the start of July, Annika Grieß-Osowski and Madalen Robert received awards for their presentations (poster and talk, respectively) at the 7th International Conference on Plant Cell Wall Biology (PCWB2021) organized remotely from Japan. Congratulations to both PhD students for winning these highly competitive prizes! See IPB Halle press release for details.

• Madalen also presented her latest findings in the Voiniciuc lab at the 2021 German Conference on Synthetic Biology (GCSB). Many thanks to Madalen for stepping in to deliver this selected talk at relatively short notice.

• Stefanie Clauss wrote a very good MSc thesis and successfully defended it on September 20th. Her research was on the “Modulation of Hemicellulose Synthesis by Arabidopsis GT106 Proteins”. We are grateful to Prof. Dr. Steffen Abel for co-reviewing the thesis and Prof. Dr. Milton T. Stubbs for chairing the final examination.

• This week, Madalen was elected to serve as a PhD student representative. Madalen joins Annika (vice-chair of the Staff Council) in providing service to IPB Halle. Well done and we wish you a successful year!