Sophie is a fourth year PhD student in the Uauy lab funded by the Norwich Research Park Doctoral Training Programme.
She is working on the development of the wheat spike by looking at the complex interactions between transcription factors and microRNAs at key points during growth. Sophie is fascinated by microRNAs in particular as these tiny RNA molecules can have an outsized impact on the shape and fertility of the wheat spike. She hopes that a better understanding of wheat spike development will provide wheat breeders with more ways in which they can improve elite varieties.
Sophie studied for a BSc in Biological Sciences followed by an MSc by Research at the University of Bristol, where she also conducted research on wheat. She worked as a Research Technician at the University of Bristol prior to starting her PhD focusing on the CLAVATA-WUSCHEL signalling pathway – another key interaction during wheat spike development. Earlier this year, as part of the Norwich Research Park Doctoral Training Programme, Sophie did a 3-month internship at Defra in the Systems Research Team.
Sophie has been a member of the JIC Student Voice for the past 3 years in various roles. She currently represents the JIC student body on the Inclusivity and Diversity Executive committee.