Accessibility statement

Professor Katherine Denby 

Academic Director of the N8 Agrifood Resilience Programme


PURE Staff link York Research Database

I am interested in plant disease resistance and plant-pathogen interaction, and in novel approaches for enabling and enhancing breeding of improved crop varieties tolerant to environmental stress and disease. We use experimental and computational/mathematical tools to elucidate the gene regulatory networks underlying plant defence, and highlight key genes for conferring disease resistance. We also take a synthetic biology approach, using modelling to predict how to re-engineer plant defence networks to enhance disease resistance. A complementary project is investigating how pathogen effectors are targeting the host defence response to facilitate infection and ways to manipulate these pathogen-host interactions.

You can read more about our work and the Denbylab at

As part of CNAP I work with industry collaborators to drive economic impact from our work. I am also interested in research with development impact, leading a project on improving leafy amaranth in SubSaharan Africa, and developing sustainable food systems, for example in the Greater Mekong Subregion.



Contact details

Professor Katherine Denby
Professor and Academic Director of the N8 AgriFood Resilience Programme
Department of Biology
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 328751

Centre for Novel Agricultural Products