Time to flower
Caroline Dean, John Innes Centre
Caroline Dean has been at the John Innes Centre for 25 years. During this time she has made a huge contribution to our understanding of how cold influences flowering and thus, the regulation of plant reproduction and adaptation. Prolonged cold triggers flowering through an epigenetic process called vernalization, which involves highly conserved chromatin silencing mechanisms.
Caroline is among the top 1% of highly cited scientists across the world, which reflects the importance of her findings to plant biology and their implications for epigenetic mechanisms generally.
Her work has been recognised by election to EMBO, the Royal Society, US National Academy at the Leopoldina Academy. She has been awarded an OBE for services to plant science, the Genetics Society Medal, the BBSRC 20th Anniversary Award for Excellence in Bioscience and, most recently, the prestigious FEBS/EMBO Women in Science Award.
The Dean lab is currently home to 8 postdocs, 2 research assistants and 3 students. They interact extensively with others, particularly Prof. Martin Howard and his group in Dept of Computational and Systems Biology, and Judith Irwin in Dept. Crop Genetics as well as with other researchers in the UK and abroad: Svante Holm at Mid-University Sweden, Torbjorn Sall University of Lund and Karissa Sanbonmatsu at Los Alamos Laboratories, USA.
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