Caroline Dean

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Dame Caroline Dean
Caroline Dean journal pgen 1003593 g001.png
Born (1957-04-02) 2 April 1957 (age 60)[1]
Alma mater University of York (BSc, DPhil)[2]
Thesis Investigations of genome expression in young wheat leaves (1983)
Doctoral students
  • Susan Duncan
  • Robert Ietswaart
Known for
Notable awards
Spouse Jonathan D. G. Jones (m. 1991)[1]
Children one son, one daughter[1][8]

Dame Caroline Dean, DBE, FRS[5] (born 2 April 1957) is a British plant scientist working at the John Innes Centre on the molecular control of timing of flowering in plants.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]


Dean was educated at the University of York, where she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology in 1978 and a DPhil[2] in 1982.[4][17]


Dean's research has been funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council[18] and focuses on:

"the timing of the transition to reproductive development in plants. The acceleration of flowering by prolonged cold is a classic epigenetic process called vernalization. The study of this and parallel genetic pathways has led us into the dissection of conserved chromatin silencing mechanisms involving non-coding RNAs.

Our recent work has focused on a mechanistic understanding of vernalization and on the pathways that determine a requirement for vernalization. These pathways converge on a gene that encodes a floral repressor called FLC. We analyse how these pathways intersect during development, in different environmental conditions, and through evolution. This takes us into the analysis of what regulates reproductive strategy in plants. We use Arabidopsis as a reference to establish the regulatory hierarchy and then translate our findings into other species."[17]


In 2004 Dean was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 2008 the United States National Academy of Sciences elected her a foreign fellow. Her nomination for the Royal Society reads:

She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to plant science research and women in science.[19]

Dean was awarded with the Darwin Medal 2016 by the Royal Society, citing:

Personal life[edit]

Dean is married to Jonathan D. G. Jones and has one son and one daughter.[1][8]


  1. ^ a b c d DEAN, Caroline. Who's Who. 2015 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Dean, Caroline (1983). Investigations of genome expression in young wheat leaves (PhD thesis). University of York. 
  3. ^ Meinke, D. W.; Cherry, J. M.; Dean, C.; Rounsley, S. D.; Koornneef, M. (1998). "Arabidopsis thaliana: A Model Plant for Genome Analysis". Science. 282 (5389): 662, 679–82. Bibcode:1998Sci...282..662M. PMID 9784120. doi:10.1126/science.282.5389.662. 
  4. ^ a b Bastow, R.; Mylne, J. S.; Lister, C.; Lippman, Z.; Martienssen, R. A.; Dean, C. (2004). "Vernalization requires epigenetic silencing of FLC by histone methylation". Nature. 427 (6970): 164–167. Bibcode:2004Natur.427..164B. PMID 14712277. doi:10.1038/nature02269. 
  5. ^ a b c "EC/2004/15: Dean, Caroline". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-02-02. 
  6. ^ "John Innes Centre scientist receives top international honour". John Innes Centre. 2008. Archived from the original on 2011-08-15. 
  7. ^ a b "Award winners : Darwin Medal". The Royal Society. Retrieved 2016-07-21. 
  8. ^ a b Dean, Caroline; Osborn, Mary; Oshlack, Alicia; Thornton, Janet (2012). "Women in science". Genome Biology. 13 (3): 148. PMC 3439960Freely accessible. PMID 22405408. doi:10.1186/gb4005. 
  9. ^ Gitschier, J. (2013). "How Cool is That: An Interview with Caroline Dean". PLoS Genetics. 9 (6): e1003593. PMC 3694836Freely accessible. PMID 23825965. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003593. 
  10. ^ Vaeck, M.; Reynaerts, A.; Höfte, H.; Jansens, S.; De Beuckeleer, M.; Dean, C.; Zabeau, M.; Montagu, M. V.; Leemans, J. (1987). "Transgenic plants protected from insect attack". Nature. 328 (6125): 33–37. Bibcode:1987Natur.328...33V. doi:10.1038/328033a0. 
  11. ^ Simpson, G. G.; Dean, C. (2002). "Arabidopsis, the Rosetta Stone of Flowering Time?". Science. 296 (5566): 285–289. Bibcode:2002Sci...296..285S. PMID 11951029. doi:10.1126/science.296.5566.285. 
  12. ^ Caroline Dean's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier. (subscription required)
  13. ^ Sundaresan, V.; Springer, P.; Volpe, T.; Haward, S.; Jones, J. D.; Dean, C.; Ma, H.; Martienssen, R. (1995). "Patterns of gene action in plant development revealed by enhancer trap and gene trap transposable elements". Genes & Development. 9 (14): 1797–1810. PMID 7622040. doi:10.1101/gad.9.14.1797. 
  14. ^ Johanson, U.; West, J.; Lister, C.; Michaels, S.; Amasino, R.; Dean, C. (2000). "Molecular Analysis of FRIGIDA, a Major Determinant of Natural Variation in Arabidopsis Flowering Time". Science. 290 (5490): 344–347. Bibcode:2000Sci...290..344J. PMID 11030654. doi:10.1126/science.290.5490.344. 
  15. ^ Lister, C.; Dean, C. (1993). "Recombinant inbred lines for mapping RFLP and phenotypic markers in Arabidopsis thaliana". The Plant Journal. 4 (4): 745–750. doi:10.1046/j.1365-313X.1993.04040745.x. 
  16. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  17. ^ a b "Caroline Dean, Cell & Developmental Biology". Archived from the original on 2013-07-14. 
  18. ^ "UK Government Grants awarded to Caroline Dean". , via Research Councils UK
  19. ^ "No. 61608". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2016. p. B8.