Postdoc and PhD positions in cereal disease resistance

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

Saudi Arabia

December 20, 2023


King Abdullah University of Science and Technology: Postdoc Positions:

Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division (postdoc)


Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

Open Date

Nov 25, 2021


Five positions at PhD or Postdoc level have become available in the group of Prof. Brande Wulff in the Center for Desert Agriculture at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia. The Wulff group studies the structure, function, evolution, and mechanism of disease resistance in wild relatives of wheat, with the aim of engineering this resistance into bread wheat.

Theme 1: Population genetics of resistance genes in wild wheat relatives. We deploy state-of-the-art genetics and bioinformatics to study the composition and evolution of resistance gene architectures in wild wheat relatives. Candidates would be advantaged by an understanding of population genetics, high-throughput genomic analysis, familiarity with widely used genomic databases and methods, experience with bioinformatic scripting languages, and handling of data from high-throughput DNA sequence acquisition systems.

Theme 2: Mechanism of non-NLR type disease resistance. We have cloned non- canonical disease resistance genes and identified genetic interactors providing an exciting opportunity to study the mechanism of these atypical resistance genes. You will use molecular biology, cell biology, protein biochemistry and structural biology, working in close collaboration with members of our team and other experts on site.

Theme 3: Engineering resistance into wheat. You will use synthetic biology and rational design to optimize and engineer resistance from wild wheats into bread wheat. We seek individuals with experience in molecular biology, genetic engineering, and plant transformation.

Theme 4: Functional genomics of the wheat stem rust pathogen. We seek an individual with a strong interest in phytopathology and fungal genomics to lead our studies on the wheat stem rust fugus. This work will closely complement the ongoing studies in themes 1-3 described above.

The Wullf Lab benefits from generous funding and dedicated research support staff. We are embedded in the Center for Desert Agriculture within the multidisciplinary Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division. State-of-the-art infrastructure, provided through Core Labs, includes controlled environment rooms, glasshouse facilities, high-performance computing, DNA sequencing, protein biochemistry and structural biology.

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia, on the Red Sea coastal area of Thuwal, is an international graduate-level research university dedicated to inspiring a new age of scientific achievement that will benefit the region and the world. As an independent and merit-based institution and one of the best-endowed universities in the world, KAUST is becoming a major new contributor to the global network of collaborative research. It will enable researchers from around the globe to work together to solve challenging scientific and technological problems. The admission of students, the appointment, promotion and retention of faculty and staff and all the educational, administrative and other activities of the University shall be conducted on the basis of equality, without regard to race, color, religion or gender. Further information can be found at www. .


Successful candidates will have a demonstrated record of achievement in academia or industry, and an eagerness to work as part of a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, international team in collaboration with industry. A degree (BSc, MSc or PhD) in biology, bioinformatics, computer sciences or mathematics or related discipline is required. Successful candidates will have excellent writing skills, a talent for communication, a collaborative spirit, and an interest to see research outcomes reach practical application. Informal enquires can be addressed to Brande Wulff (

Application Instructions

PhD applicants for starting in the fall of 2022 should formally apply through (https: // by 16 December 2023. Postdoc applications, including a cover letter (max one page) and a CV (max 2 pages). For full consideration, please submit your application before 20 December 2023. Positions will remain open until filled.