Metacaspases in Arabidopsis and poplar

This fellowship is a part of a 5-year project, supported by Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation, aiming to advance our mechanistic understanding of metacaspase family proteases. The project will develop through a close cooperation between five research groups located in Uppsala BioCenter at SLU and Umeå University, possessing complementary expertise in biochemistry, structural biology, drug design and plant cell and developmental biology. The successful candidate for this fellowship will join the group of Hannele Tuominen at Umeå Plant Science Centre in Umeå, Sweden and will be placed at Department of Plant Physiology, Umeå University.

Application deadline is the 15th of June, 2019.

Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC) is a research centre in Umeå (Sweden) where research of both basic and strategic importance is conducted. The research at UPSC is carried out on all organization levels of the plant with a common goal to understand the plant as a complex organism in dynamic interaction with its environment. UPSC hosts close to 200 employees and 35 principal investigators. The main affiliations of the research groups are the Department of Plant Physiology at Umeå University and the Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). For more information please visit

Project description

Previous studies carried out by the host and other laboratories have linked metacaspases to regulation of aging and cell fate in diverse organisms, but the underlying mechanisms including proteolytic substrates of metacaspases remain poorly understood. The main purpose of this project is to establish the function of metacaspases in plant development and especially in xylem differentiation. Gene deletions models will be utilized in Arabidopsis and Populus for functional studies and identification of metacaspase targets specifically in xylem elements. An important part of the project is also in planta validation of activators, inhibitors and substrates that are identified in collaboration with the structural biology and drug design partners of the consortium.

The stipend is granted for 2 years and will be financed by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation (KAW). The tax-free stipend amounts to 282 000 SEK per year. Starting date September 1, 2019 or by agreement.


We are looking for a highly motivated plant biologist with keen interest in understanding mechanisms and role of proteolysis. Successful candidates will have a PhD degree, or equivalent, in cell and molecular biology, genetics or biochemistry. Preference is given to applicants who received their degree no more than three years ago. Documented experience in plant developmental biology and proficiency using the R statistical programming language is an advantage. The ability to be independent as well as cooperate in a team, and good skills in the English language, are required. We value your creativity, ability to communicate and take initiative.


The application should contain:

  1. A personal letter that describes your qualifications, research interests, and motivation for application(maximum 1 page)
  2. CV with full publication list,
  3. Copies of doctoral degree certificate and other relevant degree certificates and grades,
  4. Contact information of two referees,
  5. Other documents wished to be claimed.

Your complete application, written in English or Swedish and marked with reference number FS 2.1.6-655-19, must be submitted as a pdf-document to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.(state the reference number as subject) before 15 June, 2019.

Further information can be obtained from Dr. Hannele Tuominen, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We look forward to receiving your application!