Dr Sinéad Drea

Associate Professor

School/Department: Biological Sciences, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 3468



Dr Sinéad Drea joined the University in 2007 and is an associate professor in the Department of Genetics and Genome Biology and School of Biological Sciences.

Sinéad completed an undergraduate degree in genetics and a PhD in plant molecular genetics at Trinity College in Dublin. This was followed by postdoctoral research at Yale University, USA, on flower evolution and development, and at the John Innes Centre, Norwich, on wheat grain development.

Dr Drea teaches extensively on the biological sciences and natural sciences programmes and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).


Dr Drea’s research involves comparative and evolutionary developmental analyses in plants with a focus on fruit and seed evolution and development, particularly in cereal grains.

This research has been funded by The Leverhulme Trust, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and the Royal Society.


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, Doležel 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.


Dr Drea teaches extensively on the biological sciences and natural sciences programmes, with current focus on foundation year and first year teaching.

Press and media

Higher Education teaching of Biological Sciences
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