Dr Sinead Drea

Associate Professor

School/Department: Biological Sciences, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 3468



I am an Associate Professor in the Genetics and Genome Department and School of Biological Sciences joining the University in September 2007. This followed postdoctoral research in Yale University USA on flower evolution and development and in the John Innes Centre Norwich on wheat grain development. I completed my undergraduate degree in Genetics and my PhD in Plant Molecular Genetics at Trinity College in Dublin.

I teach extensively on the Biological Sciences Programs and also Natural Sciences. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).


My research involves comparative and evo-devo analyses in plants with a focus on fruit and seed evolution and development particularly cereal grains.

Research has been funded by The Leverhulme Trust, BBSRC and Royal Society.


(0) Saada S, Solomon CU, Drea S. Programmed Cell Death in Developing
Brachypodium distachyon Grain. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 23;22(16):9086.
doi: 10.3390/ijms22169086. PMID: 34445790; PMCID: PMC8396479.

Shoesmith JR, Solomon CU, Yang X, Wilkinson LG, Sheldrick S, van Eijden E,
Couwenberg S, Pugh LM, Eskan M, Stephens J, Barakate A, Drea S, Houston K,
Tucker MR, McKim SM. APETALA2 functions as a temporal factor together with
BLADE-ON-PETIOLE2 and MADS29 to control flower and grain development in barley.
Development. 2021 Mar 9;148(5):dev194894. doi: 10.1242/dev.194894. PMID:

Orman-Ligeza B, Borrill P, Chia T, Chirico M, Dole┼żel J, Drea S, Karafiátová
M, Schatlowski N, Solomon CU, Steuernagel B, Wulff BBH, Uauy C, Trafford K.
LYS3 encodes a prolamin-box-binding transcription factor that controls
embryo growth in barley and wheat. J Cereal Sci. 2020 May;93:102965. doi:
10.1016/j.jcs.2020.102965. PMID: 32508376; PMCID: PMC7263734.

Solomon CU, Drea S. Besides and Beyond Flowering: Other roles of EuAP2
Genes in Plant Development. Genes (Basel). 2019 Dec 1;10(12):994. doi:
10.3390/genes10120994. PMID: 31805740; PMCID: PMC6947164.

Kourmpetli S, Drea S. The fruit, the whole fruit, and everything about the
fruit. J Exp Bot. 2014 Aug;65(16):4491-503. doi: 10.1093/jxb/eru144. Epub 2014
Apr 10. PMID: 24723396.

Hands P, Kourmpetli S, Sharples D, Harris RG, Drea S. Analysis of grain
characters in temperate grasses reveals distinctive patterns of endosperm
organization associated with grain shape. J Exp Bot. 2012 Oct;63(17):6253-66.
doi: 10.1093/jxb/ers281. Epub 2012 Oct 17. PMID: 23081982; PMCID: PMC3481217.

Drea S, Hileman LC, de Martino G, Irish VF. Functional analyses of genetic
pathways controlling petal specification in poppy. Development. 2007
Dec;134(23):4157-66. doi: 10.1242/dev.013136. Epub 2007 Oct 24. PMID: 17959716.

Drea SC, Lao NT, Wolfe KH, Kavanagh TA. Gene duplication, exon gain and
neofunctionalization of OEP16-related genes in land plants. Plant J. 2006
Jun;46(5):723-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2006.02741.x. PMID: 16709189.

Carol RJ, Takeda S, Linstead P, Durrant MC, Kakesova H, Derbyshire P, Drea S,
Zarsky V, Dolan L. A RhoGDP dissociation inhibitor spatially regulates growth in
root hair cells. Nature. 2005 Dec 15;438(7070):1013-6. doi: 10.1038/nature04198.
PMID: 16355224.

Drea S, Leader DJ, Arnold BC, Shaw P, Dolan L, Doonan JH. Systematic spatial
analysis of gene expression during wheat caryopsis development. Plant Cell. 2005
Aug;17(8):2172-85. doi: 10.1105/tpc.105.034058. Epub 2005 Jul 8. PMID: 16006577;
PMCID: PMC1182481.


Supervision in the area of comparative cereal grain development.

Undergraduate projects in the general area of Food Security.


I teach extensively on the Biological Sciences Programs and also Natural Sciences.

My current focus is on Foundation Year and First Year teaching.

Press and media

Higher Education teaching of Biological Sciences
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