Phytoform Labs – UKRI-DCDF program placement – Improving & automating plant single cell transfection – Deadline: 31/12/2021, but can be flexible

Name Phytoform Labs
Placement base location Office and laboratory based at Rothamsted Research
Contact for enquiries Nicolas Kral, Co-founder & CTO
Contact details Email:
Placement job title UKRI-DCDF program placement – Improving & automating plant single cell transfection
Potential start date Flexible
Potential working pattern

Daily work pattern: 9am to 5pm

Total hours per week: 35

FT/PT: Full time, up to 6 months

Details of application method Please send your CV to
Application closing date 31/12/2021, but can be flexible
Overview of host organisation
Phytoform Labs is an award-winning, venture capital backed start-up focused on making agriculture more sustainable. The company has developed a technology platform for speeding up the process of creating more diverse and future-proofed crops. The team brings together genome engineers, data scientists and agricultural specialists who are committed to minimising the damaging impact of agriculture on the environment.
Placement offered

Improving & automating plant single cell transfection

The Problem
Transient transfection of single plant cells (protoplasts) with plasmids or ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) is rapidly becoming a state-of-the-art method for applying novel breeding technologies like CRISPR for R&D of new crop varieties. It is advantageous over stable transformation methods, because it allows for non-transgenic product development and bleeding-edge techniques like CRISPR-homology directed repair. However, currently protoplast transfection is a manual and error prone process that doesn’t scale. In order to fully unlock CRISPR capabilities in plants, the transfection efficiencies need to improve and the process needs to become standardised – automated.

The Opportunity
Phytoform Labs is looking for a motivated Doctoral Student for a laboratory placement of up to 6 months to work on the development of transient plant transfection. Techniques will include conventional molecular biology as well as automation, robotics & building standardised transfection protocols. The student will work alongside company’s Plant Genome Engineers and will experience first-hand fast paced R&D at a growing Biotechnology company.