Paul W. Sternberg is Bren Professor of Biology at the California Institute of Technology. He joined the Caltech faculty in 1987 after training at UCSF and receiving his PhD from MIT and his BA from Hampshire College. He is Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Member of the National Academy of Sciences. He founded several major genetics and genomics knowledgebases including WormBase and the Alliance of Genome Resources, and served on the U.S. National Advisory Council for Genome Research, and as President of the Genetics Society of America. His research focuses on the systems biology, genetics and genomics of Caenorhabditis elegans and other nematodes. He is a founder and Editor in Chief of microPublication Biology, which seeks to transform scholarly communication.

Research Interests

I seek to understand how the properties of an organism are encoded in its genome. I use genetic analysis in roundworms to elucidate molecular pathways by which information is passed among cells during the development of an adult organism. I have also used a similar approach to identify genes and neurons that control stereotyped behaviors such as copulation and sleep. The worm genes often have human equivalents and the conclusions from the roundworm have proven to have strong predictive power for their human equivalents. Most recently, building on my longstanding interest in comparative developmental and behavior, I have begun establish experimental systems to study the behaviors of nematode parasites at the cellular and genetic levels. This effort involves analysis of the genomes of diverse nematodes to provide not only experimental reagents but also a sense of the protein sets present in each species. I also help develop WormBase, the major public database of genetic, genomic and biological information about intensively studied nematodes.

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Primary Section

Section 22: Cellular and Developmental Biology

Secondary Section

Section 26: Genetics