Professor Dame Caroline Dean

Group Leader Royal Society Professor Genes in the Environment

The Dean lab research is focused on gene regulation and the intersection of chromatin, transcription and non-coding RNAs.

The goal is to understand the chromatin dynamics that enable switching between epigenetic states and quantitative regulation of gene expression. This mechanistic analysis is focused on one gene encoding the floral repressor FLC. Epigenetic switching and quantitative regulation of FLC play a central role in seasonal timing in plants.

FLC regulation involves an antisense-mediated chromatin mechanism that coordinately influences transcription initiation and elongation. As plants overwinter FLC expression is then epigenetically silenced through a cold-induced, cis-based, Polycomb switching mechanism. The group are mechanistically dissecting these conserved chromatin mechanisms and investigating how they have been modulated during adaptation.

The Dean lab interact very closely with the Professor Martin Howard lab in Computational and Systems Biology and combine mathematical modelling and experimentation to fully dissect complex mechanisms with many feedback controls.

They also work with colleagues at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge to achieve a structural understanding of epigenetic switching mechanisms.

Research areas of the Dean lab

Selected Publications

See all of Professor Dame Caroline Dean's publications


Postdoctoral Scientists interested in joining the lab are encouraged to send their CV to the Dean lab.