I have been a group leader at the John Innes Centre, Norwich UK since 1983 and I am Professor at the University of East Anglia. My research has focused on cellular specialisation in plants and I was the first to identify genes regulating cell shaping in plants. More recently I have focussed on metabolic engineering of plant secondary metabolism, with emphasis on enhancing the levels of health-promoting phytonutrients in crops. I have been a plenary speaker and session organiser at several international biotechnology meetings, and I have been asked to present the work I co-ordinate on the European Union - sponsored FLORA and ATHENA projects that investigate the role of dietary phytonutrients in promoting health at many international biotechnology meetings.
I am inventor on seven patents and I recently co-founded a spin-out company (Norfolk Plant Sciences) with Professor Jonathan Jones FRS, to bring the benefits of plant biotechnology to Europe and North Americathe US.
My interests span the entire spectrum of plant biology, and in biological questions from the fundamental right to the applied ends of plant science. I am Editor-in-Chief of Plant Cell, the highest ranking international journal for research on plants sponsored by the American Society of Plant Biologists. I am the first woman and the first non-American to hold this post.