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Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 12:20pm
Enrico Coen is a Professor and Plant Biologist at the John Innes Center. He earned his PhD from King's College, Cambridge in 1982. He won the Darwin Medal in 2004 and is currently a member of Faculty of 1000. Coen was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1998 and was appointed a CBE in 2003 for services to plant genetics.
Enrico’s research investigates how complex shapes and patterns are produced in plants through genetic and developmental control.
Enrico uses the model plants Antirrhinum, Utricularia and Arabidopsis to investigate flower and leaf growth.
Enrico is interested in shape and pattern, from the cellular to evolutionary level, and uses microscopy, genomics and mathematical modelling techniques to generate broadly applicable mechanisms of development, adaptation and speciation in Antirrhinum.
How do small groups of cells in microscopic buds turn themselves into the diverse flower and leaf shapes we see around us?
To answer this question we need to know how genes and growth interact to create tissue shapes during development, and how this process varies to produce such a remarkable range of forms.
Enrico's group use a highly integrative approach that combines molecular, genetic, imaging, population, ecological and computational approaches to address this problem, applying them to model systems such as Arabidopsis and Antirrhinum.
Through collaborations with Andrew Bangham, Veronica Grieneisen and Stan Marée, they have been able to arrive at mechanistic models for how complex tissue shapes may be generated through combinatorial interactions between genes, polarity and local growth properties.
The group also collaborate with population geneticist Nick Barton to understand the evolution of complex traits in natural populations and species of Antirrhinum.