Gerald M. Rubin

Gerald Mayer Rubin (born 1950) is an American biologist, notable for pioneering the use of transposable P elements in genetics, and for leading the public project to sequence the Drosophila melanogaster genome. Related to his genomics work, Rubin's lab is notable for development of genetic and genomics tools and studies of signal transduction and gene regulation. Rubin also serves as a Vice President of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Executive Director of the Janelia Research Campus.[2][3][4][5]

Gerald Rubin
Gerald Mayer Rubin

1950 (age 6869)
Alma mater
Scientific career
ThesisStudies on 5.8S ribosomal RNA (1974)
Doctoral advisorSydney Brenner

Education and early life

Rubin was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1950, attending the Boston Latin School. Rubin completed his undergraduate degree in biology at MIT, working at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory during the summer.[6][7] He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge,[8] working at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in 1974,[9] for studies on 5.8S ribosomal RNA supervised by Sydney Brenner.[8]

Career and research

Following his PhD, Rubin did postdoctoral research at Stanford University with David Hogness.[10]

Rubin's first faculty position was at Harvard Medical School, followed by the Carnegie Institution of Washington; in 1983 he accepted an appointment as the John D. MacArthur Professor of Genetics at the University of California, Berkeley. He was appointed a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator in 1987. He is currently the MacArthur Professor of Genetics emeritus, Genomics and Development, in Berkeley's Department of Molecular and Cell Biology.

Rubin has taken a leading role in a number of high-profile scientific research projects.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21] As the director of the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project, he led the public effort to sequence Drosophila melanogaster.[17] As Vice President of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Rubin led the development of HHMI's Janelia Research Campus, an independent biomedical research institute in Virginia.[6][7]

His lab is particularly known for its development of genomics tools, studies of gene regulation, and other genome-wide research.

He was one of the three scientific founders of Exelixis in 1994; the company's original business plan was to exploit genomic research in Drosophila and other model organism to discover biological targets that could be used in drug discovery.[22]

Awards and honours

Rubin has won numerous awards including:


  1. Orr-Weaver, T. (2003). "The 2003 George W. Beadle Medal; Gerald M. Rubin and Allan C. Spradling". Genetics. 164 (4): 1248–1249. PMC 1462668. PMID 15106662.
  2. Gerald M. Rubin's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  3. Rubin, G. M. (2006). "Janelia Farm: An Experiment in Scientific Culture". Cell. 125 (2): 209–212. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2006.04.005. PMID 16630805.
  4. "Faculty Research Page". Department of Molecular & Cell Biology.
  5. HMI's Gerald M. Rubin: The Benefits of Genomics, ScienceWatch, v.10, n.5 (Sept./Oct. 1999)
  6. UPI, "Gerald Rubin: Science Far Too Conservative", April 20, 2006 (discussing Janelia Farm).
  7. Tim Studt, "Architect of the Future: Refocusing on Basic Research", R&D Magazine.
  8. Rubin, Gerald Mayer (1974). Studies on 5.8 S Ribosomal RNA (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 500553465. EThOS
  9. Rubin, G. (1974). "Three forms of the 5.8-S ribosomal RNA species in Saccharomyces cerevisiae". European Journal of Biochemistry / FEBS. 41 (1): 197–202. doi:10.1111/j.1432-1033.1974.tb03260.x. PMID 4593336.
  10. Rubin, G.; Hogness, D. (1975). "Effect of heat shock on the synthesis of low molecular weight RNAs in drosophilia: Accumulation of a novel form of 5S RNA". Cell. 6 (2): 207–213. doi:10.1016/0092-8674(75)90011-2. PMID 810246.
  11. Mammalian Gene Collection Program Team; Strausberg, R. L.; Feingold, E. A.; Grouse, L. H.; et al. (2002). "Generation and initial analysis of more than 15,000 full-length human and mouse cDNA sequences". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 99 (26): 16899–16903. Bibcode:2002PNAS...9916899M. doi:10.1073/pnas.242603899. PMC 139241. PMID 12477932.
  12. Xu, T; Rubin, G. M. (1993). "Analysis of genetic mosaics in developing and adult Drosophila tissues". Development. 117 (4): 1223–37. PMID 8404527.
  13. Harris, M. A.; Clark, J; Ireland, A; Lomax, J; Ashburner, M; Foulger, R; Eilbeck, K; Lewis, S; Marshall, B; Mungall, C; Richter, J; Rubin, G. M.; Blake, J. A.; Bult, C; Dolan, M; Drabkin, H; Eppig, J. T.; Hill, D. P.; Ni, L; Ringwald, M; Balakrishnan, R; Cherry, J. M.; Christie, K. R.; Costanzo, M. C.; Dwight, S. S.; Engel, S; Fisk, D. G.; Hirschman, J. E.; Hong, E. L.; et al. (2004). "The Gene Ontology (GO) database and informatics resource". Nucleic Acids Research. 32 (Database issue): D258–61. doi:10.1093/nar/gkh036. PMC 308770. PMID 14681407.
  14. Spradling, A.; Rubin, G. (1982). "Transposition of cloned P elements into Drosophila germ line chromosomes". Science. 218 (4570): 341–347. Bibcode:1982Sci...218..341S. doi:10.1126/science.6289435. PMID 6289435.
  15. Rubin, G.; Spradling, A. (1982). "Genetic transformation of Drosophila with transposable element vectors". Science. 218 (4570): 348–353. Bibcode:1982Sci...218..348R. doi:10.1126/science.6289436. PMID 6289436.
  16. Miklos, G.; Rubin, G. (1996). "The role of the genome project in determining gene function: Insights from model organisms". Cell. 86 (4): 521–529. doi:10.1016/S0092-8674(00)80126-9. PMID 8752207.
  17. Adams, M.; Celniker, S.; Holt, R.; Evans, C.; Gocayne, J.; Amanatides, P.; Scherer, S.; Li, P.; Hoskins, R.; Galle, R. F.; George, R. A.; Lewis, S. E.; Richards, S.; Ashburner, M.; Henderson, S. N.; Sutton, G. G.; Wortman, J. R.; Yandell, M. D.; Zhang, Q.; Chen, L. X.; Brandon, R. C.; Rogers, Y. H.; Blazej, R. G.; Champe, M.; Pfeiffer, B. D.; Wan, K. H.; Doyle, C.; Baxter, E. G.; Helt, G.; et al. (2000). "The genome sequence of Drosophila melanogaster". Science. 287 (5461): 2185–2195. Bibcode:2000Sci...287.2185.. CiteSeerX doi:10.1126/science.287.5461.2185. PMID 10731132.
  18. Rubin, G.; Yandell, M.; Wortman, J.; Gabor Miklos, G.; Nelson, C.; Hariharan, I.; Fortini, M.; Li, P.; Apweiler, R.; Fleischmann, W.; Cherry, J. M.; Henikoff, S.; Skupski, M. P.; Misra, S.; Ashburner, M.; Birney, E.; Boguski, M. S.; Brody, T.; Brokstein, P.; Celniker, S. E.; Chervitz, S. A.; Coates, D.; Cravchik, A.; Gabrielian, A.; Galle, R. F.; Gelbart, W. M.; George, R. A.; Goldstein, L. S.; Gong, F.; Guan, P. (2000). "Comparative genomics of the eukaryotes". Science. 287 (5461): 2204–2215. Bibcode:2000Sci...287.2204.. doi:10.1126/science.287.5461.2204. PMC 2754258. PMID 10731134.
  19. Botstein, D.; Cherry, J. M.; Ashburner, M.; Ball, C. A.; Blake, J. A.; Butler, H.; Davis, A. P.; Dolinski, K.; Dwight, S. S.; Eppig, J. T.; Harris, M. A.; Hill, D. P.; Issel-Tarver, L.; Kasarskis, A.; Lewis, S.; Matese, J. C.; Richardson, J. E.; Ringwald, M.; Rubin, G. M.; Sherlock, G. (2000). "Gene ontology: Tool for the unification of biology. The Gene Ontology Consortium". Nature Genetics. 25 (1): 25–29. doi:10.1038/75556. PMC 3037419. PMID 10802651.
  20. Rubin, G. M. (2001). "The draft sequences: Comparing species". Nature. 409 (6822): 820–821. doi:10.1038/35057277. PMID 11236995.
  21. Spellman, P. T.; Rubin, G. M. (2002). "Evidence for large domains of similarly expressed genes in the Drosophila genome". Journal of Biology. 1 (1): 5. doi:10.1186/1475-4924-1-5. PMC 117248. PMID 12144710.
  22. McCarthy, Alice A. (April 2005). "Exelixis: Integrated Drug-Discovery and Development Platform for Human Therapeutics" (PDF). Chemistry & Biology. 12 (4): 407–408. doi:10.1016/j.chembiol.2005.04.004. PMID 15850973.
  23. "1983 AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize".
  24. Nair, Prashant (2016). "QnAs with Gerald M. Rubin". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 113 (48): 13543–13545. doi:10.1073/pnas.1617474113. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 5137761. PMID 27856746.
  25. "Gerald Rubin".
  26. Robert Sanders, "UC Berkeley's Gerald Rubin shares AAAS prize with Celera's Craig Venter for sequencing genome of the fruit fly", UC Berkeley Campus News, Feb. 20, 2001.
  27. "Architect of the future: refocusing on basic research: R&D Magazine's 41st Scientist of the Year balances genomic research while spearheading one of the newest centers of basic research in the life sciences.(Cover story) - R & D - HighBeam Research". 20 February 2016.
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