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Sainsbury Laboratory


Dr Colleen Drapek

I am interested in understanding how plant cells and organs acquire identity and how plants adapt their development in response to other organisms. During my PhD, I studied cell differentiation and cell fate stabilization of the root ground tissue layers under the supervision of Dr. Philip Benfey at Duke University, USA (Drapek et al. 2018, Chen, Drapek et al. 2019).

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Dr Jim Rowe

Research Interests

My research interests lie in environmental regulation of plant development. I am fascinated by the diverse range morphological decisions that plants can make and the profound effects on survivability and yields that developmental plasticity brings. As phytohormones integrate environmental signals with development, in a cell and tissue specific manner, to coordinate these decisions, understanding their localisation and dynamics is essential to understanding development.

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Dr Kartika Shetty

I have a background in the study of protein sequence-structure-function relationships, for example in the analysis of carbohydrate binding proteins. I will be using my skills in structural biology for the engineering and development of phytohormone biosensors. I also aim to apply such biosensors to measure and interrogate hormone dynamics in vivo.

Key Publications

2013 Shetty KN, Lavanyalatha V, Rao RN, SivaKumar N & Suguna K. IUBMB Life 2013 65(7): 633-644

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Dr Ankit Walia

Research Interests

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Latest news

Professor Giles Oldroyd elected to National Academy of Sciences

6 May 2021

Professor Giles Oldroyd has been elected as an international member of the National Academy of Sciences in the USA.

Peas n Chips: Creating food security with African Yam Bean

8 April 2021

Can one plant produce both tasty and nutritious beans and tubers? Yes, the African yam bean can. Not only does it grow high-protein edible grains and tubers, this drought-resilient crop also replenishes the soil and is highly adaptable to varying-climates.

How plant stem cells renew themselves – a cytokinin story

8 April 2021

The mechanism by which the plant hormone cytokinin controls cell division has been discovered – a breakthrough that significantly improves our understanding of how plants grow.