Alexander F. Schier

University of Basel


Primary Section: 22, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Secondary Section: 26, Genetics
Membership Type: Member (elected 2020)

Biosketch

Alex Schier obtained his PhD from the Biozentrum in Basel, Switzerland, where he studied the transcriptional regulation of homeobox genes. During his postdoc he screened for and characterized mutants affecting zebrafish development. He started his lab in 1996 at the Skirball Institute of the New York University School of Medicine, joined Harvard University in 2005 and moved back to the Biozentrum in 2019. Schier is a pioneer in developmental biology. He defined the first morphogen-inhibitor pair for Turing-like pattern formation and discovered the microRNA-induced degradation of maternal mRNAs. He and his collaborators developed creative technologies to establish zebrafish as a model system and for the global reconstruction of differentiation and lineage trajectories. His research was featured as Science Breakthrough of the Year 2018. Dr. Schier received a NIH MERIT award in 2016, a NIH Pioneer Award in 2017, an ERC Advanced Grant in 2020 and the George Streisinger Award of the International Zebrafish Society in 2020. Dr. Schier was elected to EMBO in 2018 and to the National Academy of Sciences and Academia Europaea in 2020. He chaired the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University from 2014-2017, and serves as Director of the Biozentrum Basel.

Research Interests

We wish to reveal the mechanisms underlying vertebrate development and behavior, with focus on embryogenesis and sleep.

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