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Dr Coleen Drapek is interested in understanding how plant cells and organs acquire identity and how plants adapt their development in response to other organisms. During her PhD, she studied cell differentiation and cell fate stabilization of the root ground tissue layers under the supervision of Dr. Philip Benfey at Duke University, USA (Drapek et al. 2018, Chen, Drapek et al. 2019).

In her current work, she is studying how legumes develop a specialised root-borne structure termed nodules. Nodules are formed to accommodate soil bacteria called rhizobia that can assimilate atmospheric nitrogen into a form readily accessible to the host plant (a process termed rhizobia-legume symbiosis).She is studying the role phytohormones play in the organogenesis and differentiation of nodules under the supervision of Drs. Giles Oldroyd and Alexander Jones.

She is also a Research Fellow at Lucy Cavendish College, an MBO Long-Term Fellow and recipient of the Marie Sklodowska Curie individual fellowship.

Coleen is at the Sainsbury Laboratory.