John Innes Centre
Cellular and Developmental Biology
International Honorary Member
Dean has made major contributions in the fields of epigenetics, co-transcriptional regulation and molecular evolution with her long-term studies of how organisms align their development with the environment. Studying how plants use seasonal cues to time their transition to reproductive development, she learned how cells perceive temperature and how that is epigenetically remembered. She uncovered the importance of antisense transcription and chromatin regulation in vernalization, which is central to regulation of processes as distinct as specification of body form, mammalian X-chromosome inactivation, and genome programming. She also played a major in developing Arabidopsis as the reference plant for biologists.