HomeAbout UsLeadershipSenior Executive TeamSean B. Carroll


Sean B. Carroll, PhD
Vice President for Science Education

HHMI's Trustees named Sean Carroll, PhD, as vice president for science education in 2010. Carroll directs the Institute's programs to inspire and educate a new generation of students and scientists and to advance the public understanding of science.

Carroll, an HHMI investigator since 1990 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is an internationally recognized evolutionary biologist. His research focuses on the way new animal forms have evolved. His studies of a wide variety of animal species are revealing how changes in the genes that control animal development shape the evolution of body parts and body patterns. Carroll is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Carroll is also recognized as an exemplary educator. In 2009 received the Viktor Hamburger Outstanding Educator Prize from the Society for Developmental Biology. He is also a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Biology Teachers. Along with David Kingsley, a fellow HHMI investigator, Carroll delivered the Institute's 2005 Holiday Lectures on Science, “Evolution: Constant Change and Common Threads.”

In addition, Carroll is the author of several books, including Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species, a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award in nonfiction. He writes a monthly column (also called “Remarkable Creatures”) for the science section of The New York Times and has served as a consulting producer for the public television program NOVA. In March, Carroll received the 2010 Stephen Jay Gould Prize, in recognition of his efforts to advance public understanding of evolutionary science.

Carroll graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis and earned a PhD in immunology from Tufts University. After postdoctoral study at the University of Colorado at Boulder, he joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1987. In 2009 he was named the Allan Wilson Professor of Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Medical Genetics. 

Current Research

Sean Carroll is interested in understanding how animals develop and evolve.