Dr Sophie Harrington

Postdoctoral Scientist Designing Future Wheat

Sophie is currently studying mechanisms of iron uptake and nutrient remobilisation in wheat in the Balk lab.

Through a collaborative grant with CEPAMS, she is using RNA-Seq to study what genes are important in regulating the response to iron starvation in wheat. Sophie is also characterising transgenic wheat lines which have higher iron content in the grain.

In the longer term, Sophie is interested in understanding how the processes of nutrient remobilisation and senesence in annual plants such as wheat combine to determine final grain nutrient content.

After studying for her BA at the University of Cambridge, focusing on Plant and Microbial Sciences, Sophie started a PhD at the John Innes Centre. As part of the Rotation PhD programme, she also spent 10 weeks in the labs of Christine Faulkner, studying calcium responses at plasmodesmata, and Diane Saunders, studying the population structures of wheat stem rust, before joining the Uauy lab.

During her PhD, Sophie studied the regulation of wheat senescence, focussing on the role of NAC transcription factors. She also developed a new heat-shock driven system for inducible constitutive gene expression in cereals.

Sophie continues to maintain the Wheat-Training website, alongside other members of the Uauy lab.