Gerald M. Rubin is a vice president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and executive director of its Janelia Research Campus. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then worked at MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, earning his Ph.D. in 1974 from the University of Cambridge. He did postdoctoral work with David S. Hogness at the Stanford University School of Medicine and held faculty positions at Harvard Medical School and the Carnegie Institution of Washington before moving to the University of California, Berkeley, in 1983 to assume the John D. MacArthur Professorship. He was appointed an HHMI investigator in 1987. He moved to HHMI headquarters in 2000 and assumed overall planning responsibility for Janelia in 2002 and was appointed its first director in 2003.
Rubin is known for his studies of genetics, genomics and developmental biology in the fruit fly Drosophila. In 1982, he and Allan Spradling developed methods for making transgenic Drosophila, an advance that had a profound effect on research using the fruit fly. His laboratory at Berkeley did pioneering studies using genetic approaches to discover components of signaling pathways acting downstream of tyrosine kinases. He later led the publicly funded effort to sequence the Drosophila genome, collaborating with Celera Genomics to achieve this goal in 2000. His current scientific work involves studies of the anatomy and function of the Drosophila nervous system.
Rubin is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (London). 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.