John G. Hildebrand

University of Arizona

Primary Section: 61, Animal, Nutritional, and Applied Microbial Sciences
Secondary Section: 28, Systems Neuroscience
Membership Type:
Member (elected 2007)


John G. Hildebrand is International Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences and Regents Professor Emeritus of Neuroscience at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He earned his B.A. (biology) at Harvard University and Ph.D. (biochemistry) at the Rockefeller University and after 16 years of faculty service at Harvard and Columbia Universities, moved to Arizona in 1985 as founding head of the Division of Neurobiology (1985-2009; later the Department of Neuroscience 2009-2013). His research fields are insect neurobiology and behavior, olfaction, chemical ecology, and the biology of arthropod vectors of pathogens. A past president of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences, International Society of Chemical Ecology, and International Society for Neuroethology, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society, German National Academy of Sciences 'Leopoldina’, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters, Brazilian Academy of Sciences, and The World Academy of Sciences; an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society (UK); and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Entomological Society of America, and the International Society for Neuroethology.

Research Interests

The research in my laboratory combines anatomical, behavioral, chemical-ecological, developmental, molecular, and neurophysiological approaches in a multidisciplinary approach to problems of the behavioral roles, functional organization, information-processing mechanisms, and postembryonic development of the olfactory system in insects. The main goal of this work is to discover fundamental principles and mechanisms common to many or all nervous systems through studies of the experimentally favorable nervous systems of insects. At the same time, we seek to understand olfactory mechanisms that underlie beneficial and harmful behaviors of insects that impact human health and welfare. Areas of principal interest currently include processing of olfactory information in intra- and interglomerular neural circuits in the primary olfactory center in the brain; sensory control of insect-host interactions, including feeding, mating, and oviposition behaviors; chemical ecology and behavioral aspects of insect-hostplant interactions; chemosensory influences on host-oriented behavior of disease-vector insects; functional organization of neurosecretory systems; and hybrid insect-MEMS systems.

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