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Open Rank T/TT Faculty-Emerging Plant Disease Phytophthora/Fungal Population Genomicist

North Carolina State University
Raleigh, North Carolina, US
Closing date
Dec 2, 2022

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Academic / Research
Informatics / GIS
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Cluster Hire in Population Genomics of Emerging Oomycete and Fungal Pathogens

NC State University

About the Cluster, University and Triangle

The NC State University Chancellor's Faculty Excellence Program seeks an outstanding candidate for an open rank tenure track faculty position to expand the interdisciplinary faculty cluster on "Emerging Plant Disease and Global Food Security(EPDGFS)" Recruiting for the cluster was initiated in 2015 and has resulted in four hires. The cluster faculty develop new knowledge to better understand the fundamental basis of emerging infectious diseases caused by pathogens of plants including the development of tools - enabling a more rapid response to contain and limit potential damage by emerging threats. The cluster faculty research has a focus on emerging plant disease biology using an array of new technologies to gather, analyze, synthesize, and share knowledge about emerging infectious diseases of plants caused by agricultural crop pathogens and associated arthropod vectors using novel biosurveillance methods, host parasite biology, bioinformatics and innovative detection technologies. The EPDGFS team has secured grants from major funding organizations including NSF, USDA, DOE and several large agrochemical companies.

NC State University and the "Emerging Plant Disease and Global Food Security" cluster provide a dynamic environment for teaching and research collaborations across disciplines. The Chancellor's Faculty Excellence Program has brought some of the best and brightest minds to NC State University's inter- and multidisciplinary efforts to solve some of the globe's most significant problems. Guided by a strong strategic plan and an aggressive vision, the cluster-hiring program is adding new faculty members in select fields to increase the breadth and depth of NC State's already-strong efforts. The Chancellor's Faculty Excellence Program has recently released a major initiative of the university's strategic plan, called "The Pathway to the Future."

Many opportunities will be available for collaborations with existing faculty and other newly hired colleagues across multiple clusters. NC State's location in the Research Triangle also provides rich opportunities for interactions with industry; other universities, including Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and a number of government agencies. Opportunities for synergistic linkages with The NC Plant Sciences Initiative, The Global One Health Academy, The Data Science Academy, The Bioinformatics Research Center, The Center for Integrated Fungal Research and The Center for Geospatial Analytics are also highly anticipated.

Essential Job Responsibilities

In this position, we seek a solution-driven research scholar with expertise on plant pathogenic oomycetes including Phytophthora species and fungi. They will conduct cutting-edge science to track emerging plant pathogenic Phytophthora and fungi that can be used by decision-makers to improve local and global efforts to manage emerging pathogens that threaten crop production and food security. Examples of research include population genomics using modern high-throughput sequencing methods (e.g., long-read, rad-seq, pen-seq, single cell, etc.) sequencing to track outbreak strains, understand centers of origins, migrations, and sources of plant diseases, analytics of spatially explicit population genomics datasets to predict transmission pathways, and deployment of rapid response strategies to detect and limit potential damage by emerging threats. Applicants with a history of working across boundaries using population genomics datasets with plant disease epidemiologists and spatial modelers is important. Approaches that leverage translation to stakeholders at the local, national and international levels are especially important.

The successful candidate should have a demonstrated record of scholarship and clear potential to develop a high quality, extramurally funded research program. Priority will be given to candidates that have demonstrated interdisciplinary collaborations, with publications and expertise in convergence science across fields. The candidates should also be able to teach at the graduate levels and mentor graduate students and postdocs. Participation in teams that help develop proposals to advance interdisciplinary research in emerging plant diseases is expected (i.e. NSF Predictive Intelligence for Pandemic Preparedness Phase 2 grant anticipated submission fall 2023). The successful candidate will also become part of the integrated core team of the cluster that is part of the Plant Science Initiative at NC State.

Applicants must have a Ph.D. in plant pathology, plant biology, plant pathogen genomics, ecology and or evolutionary biology, or a relevant field and demonstrated expertise in use of population genomics to track emerging Phytophthora species or fungal pathogens by the time of employment.

"Other Responsibilities" section"

Hires will be expected to provide key leadership in the Emerging Plant Disease Cluster at the university level, teach in existing courses, and develop a specialized course that includes their area of expertise including co leading an "Emerging Pathogen Threats" colloquium.

"Other required qualifications" section:

Candidates must possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills and demonstrated ability to work with others. Inclusiveness and diversity are critical to success at NC State and in engagement outside the university, and the selected candidate will be expected to foster an environment that is welcoming of all groups.

"Preferred qualifications" section:

Priority will be given to individuals with demonstrated successful research programs and collaboration as a member of an interdisciplinary and/or multidisciplinary team.

"Special Instructions to Applicants" section: (Please also replace this information in the box at the top of the job posting, if it is not automatically updated.)

Interested candidates should submit:

● a cover letter describing their (1) prior interdisciplinary and/or multidisciplinary research efforts and (2) how their research, teaching, mentoring, diversity, equity, and inclusion philosophy address the goals of the Emerging Plant Disease cluster

● CV

● 2-3 page research plan

● Contact information for 3 references

The application materials should be directly submitted to

Review of applications will begin immediately (January 1) and will continue until the position is filled. The target start date is August 2023; however, a mutually beneficial time may be negotiated.

Questions about the position may be directed to Dr. Jean Ristaino (

Hiring may occur at the level of Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor ranks.

The home department is anticipated to be in one of the three participating colleges (College of Sciences, College of Forestry and Natural Resources and or The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences) and will be determined based on candidates credentials, interest, and research expertise.

NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations in the application process please call (919) 515-3148.
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