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Post-Doctoral Fellow – Seed Protein Modification

The Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) is a rapidly expanding Institute based at the University of Saskatchewan. Our Vision is a world where everyone has access to safe and nutritious food. This is a bold vision, one that we will strive to achieve through investing in out talent. In line with our Mission, we will work with our employees, partners and stakeholders to discover, develop and deliver innovative solutions for the production of globally sustainable food.

We are guided by our Values of: Innovation. Excellence. Collaboration. Integrity. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.


The post-doctoral fellow will conduct research in support of a project jointly funded by SaskCanola (Canola Agronomic Research Program), the Western Grains Research Foundation and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The project, entitled “Enabling Canola Protein Optimization (ECPO)”, main objectives are:

1. to create a Brassica napus databank of seed protein composition and nucleotide variation with markers and genotyping platforms for accelerated selection in canola breeding programs and

2. to generate B. napus germplasm with seed protein compositions and functionalities tailored to specific applications.


Reporting to Dr. Andrew Sharpe, you will use bioinformatics tools to catalogue genes encoding major seed proteins in Brassica napus and capture genetic variation for such in a B. napus diversity collection based on seed protein profiles and genome sequences. This information will be used to generate B. napus lines with unique seed protein profiles or alleles encoding seed proteins with specific functional properties using gene editing. The genetic information, markers, alleles of seed protein genes, and the tools used to generate them will be made available to breeders.

You will be required to obtain visiting scientist status with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to access their facilities. This will require a criminal record check.

The work is complex and requires a firm understanding of software for comparative genetic analysis, gene editing construct development, protein structural modeling and protein biochemistry as it pertains to modifying protein functionality. The volume of work is high and may require off-hours efforts. You will be expected to work effectively, both independently and as a team member, and to exercise discretionary day to day decision making, while strategy decisions are made with direction from senior researchers and sanctioned by the supervisor. Work occurs in an environment which requires a high level of accuracy and significant judgement is required with errors resulting in a moderate to a high level of impact resulting in lost time, resources or impacts to external clients. You will be part of a team that fosters a work atmosphere that is collaborative, open, positive, supportive, responsive, and transparent. You will demonstrate a strong safety acumen.

  • Create a Brassica napus databank of seed protein composition and nucleotide variation.
  • Generate B. napus lines with unique seed protein profiles or alleles encoding seed proteins with specific functional properties using gene editing.
  • Adhere to good equipment use practices, including proper operation, cleaning, and maintenance.
  • Adhere to all applicable SOP’s, including R&D and production.
  • Adhere to all safety and good laboratory practices as per WHMIS and Lab Safety Training guidelines.
  • PhD degree in Computational Biology, Plant Genetics/Genomics, Plant Molecular Biology or a related discipline pertinent to the needs of the project from a recognized university.
  • Graduate level or post-doctoral experience in plant genetics, bioinformatics and/or gene editing.
  • Bioinformatics
  • Techniques for gene editing and selection of edited alleles.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to establish and maintain effective, respectful relationships to ensure a culture of collaboration.
  • Ability to gather, analyze, and present information with fastidious attention to detail.
  • Ability to work effectively in a team-oriented and diverse atmosphere.
  • Highly motivated with a willingness to learn and the proven ability to be self-directed and highly organized, thriving in a dynamic environment.
  • Demonstrated analytic and problem-solving skills.
  • A track record of delivering superior results and developing respect in previous organizations via collaborative and team based working styles and a demonstrated ability to deliver quality results while meeting demanding timelines.
  • A deep commitment to enacting equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Sound judgment, discretion, diplomacy, and professional integrity.
  • Ability to identify issues and then develop and implement creative and outcomes-oriented solutions.
  • Completion of a satisfactory criminal record check.

Department: Global Inst for Food Security
Status: Term
Employment Group: Post-Doctoral Fellows – PSAC
Full Time Equivalent (FTE): 1.0
Salary Information: The starting salary will be commensurate with education and experience.
Posted Date: 10/20/2021
Closing Date: Until Filled
Number of Openings: 1
Remote Status: No – Position is required to work on-site