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Fellows Directory

Antonio Garcia-Bellido

Professor Antonio Garcia-Bellido ForMemRS

Foreign Member

Elected: 1986


Antonio Garcia-Bellido is a developmental biologist who specialises in researching the genetics of animal development. He is specifically interested in how genes control growth, or morphogenesis, in insects. Antonio discovered that groups of genes can act together to define a developmental operation, in a similar way to a computer chip.

Working in the fruit fly, Antonio was the first to map the progression of embryonic tissues to adult tissues, a process known as fate mapping. He discovered that cell populations in the developing tissues of insects are restricted to specific compartments of their cell type. This led him to develop the theory that as development is modular, the genes behind it must be working together.

Antonio’s main research interest now concerns the control of the final size, shape and growth of organisms. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and received a lifetime achievement award from the Society for Developmental Biology in 2012.