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Fellows Directory

Gerald Rubin

Professor Gerald Rubin ForMemRS

Foreign Member

Elected: 2007




Gerald Rubin is a geneticist distinguished for his contributions to the study of fruit fly genetics. Through developing technology to create genetic modifications in the fruit fly, and in sequencing its genome, he has built the platform on which decades of progress in this model organism have been built.

Studying fruit fly DNA since the 1970s, he has been at the forefront of modern genetic discovery in this model organism. With Allan Spradling, he exploited the natural phenomenon of ‘movable’ sections of DNA to genetically engineer flies for the first time. This enabled vital analysis of gene function in the living insect.

Using molecular genetic approaches, Gerald’s laboratory discovered several evolutionarily conserved components of signal transduction pathways. He led the publicly funded effort to detail the DNA code of the fruit fly genome, which was completed in 2000. He now serves as a Vice President of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and as the Executive Director of its Janelia Research Campus. His laboratory currently studies information processing in the fruit fly brain.

Professional positions

Vice President and Executive Director, Janelia Farm Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Emeritus Professor of Genetics, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Genetics, Neural pathways, Neuroanatomy