HomeOur ScientistsGerald M. Rubin

Our Scientists

Gerald M. Rubin, PhD
Janelia, Executive Director, Janelia Group Leader / 2003–Present

Scientific Discipline

Genetics, Neuroscience

Host Institution

Janelia Research Campus

Current Position

Dr. Rubin is HHMI Vice President and Executive Director of the Janelia Research Campus. Prior to that, he was HHMI Vice President for Biomedical Research (2000–2002) and an HHMI investigator at the University of California, Berkeley (1987–2000).

Current Research

Building Tools for Studying Brain Structure and Function in Drosophila

The overall goal of Gerald Rubin's laboratory is to generate, and eventually apply, new tools to study the structure and function of the Drosophila melanogaster nervous system.

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Biography

Gerald Rubin received his BS degree in biology from MIT in 1971; as an undergraduate, he spent two summers working at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1974 for work done at the Medical…

Gerald Rubin received his BS degree in biology from MIT in 1971; as an undergraduate, he spent two summers working at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1974 for work done at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology. He began working on the fruit fly, Drosophila, as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of David S. Hogness at Stanford University, where he participated in some of the earliest studies of gene organization using the newly developed recombinant DNA methods.

His research has included studies of the structure and biology of transposable elements and molecular mechanisms of cell fate determination during development of the Drosophila retina. In 1982, he and Allan Spradling developed methods for making transgenic Drosophila, the first successful germ-line genetic engineering of a multicellular animal. Rubin served as the leader of the publicly funded effort to sequence the Drosophila melanogaster genome, which included collaborating with Celera Genomics Inc. to demonstrate that the whole genome shotgun method could successfully sequence an animal genome.

Rubin held faculty positions at Harvard Medical School and the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Department of Embryology before moving to the University of California, Berkeley, in 1983 to assume the John D. MacArthur Professorship (held until 1999). He became a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator in 1987. Rubin served as HHMI's vice president for biomedical research (2000––2002) and vice president and director of planning for Janelia Research Campus (2002), and he became vice president and executive director, Janelia Research Campus in 2003.

Rubin has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1987. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a foreign member of the Royal Society (U.K.). He has received numerous awards, including the American Chemical Society Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, the National Academy of Sciences U.S. Steel Foundation Award in Molecular Biology, and the Genetics Society of America Medal.

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Education

  • BS, biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • PhD, molecular biology, University of Cambridge, England

Awards

  • Eli Lilly Award, American Chemical Society
  • U.S. Steel Foundation Award in Molecular Biology, National Academy of Sciences
  • Genetics Society of America Medal

Memberships

  • National Academy of Sciences
  • Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • The Royal Society
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