Welcome to the Denby Lab. We are interested in plant disease resistance and using systems and synthetic biology approaches to unravel how plants respond to pathogen infection, and the regulatory networks underlying the defence response. We also use systems biology and genomic/transcriptomics to enhance breeding of disease resistance in crops.

IMG_0577Lab members have biological, computational and/or mathematical backgrounds and work together to solve key questions on how plants respond to changing environmental conditions, and how we can breed or engineer plants with enhanced tolerance to environmental stress and disease resistance.

We are located at the University of York in the Department of Biology within the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP). Katherine is also Academic Director of the N8 AgriFood programme. This exciting multidisciplinary research programme across the N8 universities is working to transform food security research in the UK and deliver sustainable, healthy food supply nationally and internationally.


  •  “People, Health and Food Systems” N8 AgriFood conference, June 13th-14th 2018. What does a sustainable food system look like, and how do we get there? An exciting interdisciplinary conference combining academic researchers with a breadth of agri-food stakeholders. Early bird deadline April 30th – see more information and register here.


  • The first ever international Plant Systems Biology meeting, France, Sept 10-14th 2018. Come and join a great line up of speakers in a meeting with plenty of opportunities for discussion and building the plant systems biology community. Applications by May 4th.


  • We are always interested in hearing from graduates who are self-funded and wish to pursue a PhD.  Please also see Join Us for details of projects in my lab and funding opportunities.

Contact details

Prof. Katherine Denby, Department of Biology, University of York, Wentworth Way, York YO10 5DD, UK.

email: katherine.denby (at) york.ac.uk

+44 (0)1904 328760