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Eric F. Wieschaus

Eric F. Wieschaus
Born June 8, 1947 (1947-06-08) (age 62)
South Bend, Indiana
Nationality American
Fields developmental biologist
Alma mater Yale University
Known for embryogenesis
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1995

Eric F. Wieschaus (born June 8, 1947) is an American developmental biologist and Nobel Prize-winner.

Born in South Bend, Indiana, he attended John Carroll Catholic High School in Birmingham, AL before attending the University of Notre Dame for his undergraduate studies (B.S., biology), and Yale University (Ph.D., biology) for his graduate work. In 1978, he moved to his first independent job, at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany and moved from Heidelberg to Princeton University in the United States in 1981.

Much of his research has focused on embryogenesis in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, specifically in the patterning that occurs in the early Drosophila embryo. Most of the gene products used by the embryo at these stages are already present in the unfertilized egg and were produced by maternal transcription during oogenesis. A small number of gene products, however, are supplied by transcription in the embryo itself. He has focused on these "zygotically" active genes because he believes the temporal and spatial pattern of their transcription may provide the triggers controlling the normal sequence of embryonic development.

In 1995, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Edward B. Lewis and Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard as co-recipients, for their work revealing the genetic control of embryonic development.

Wieschaus taught for Duke University's Program in Genetics and Genomics. [1]

As of 2005, Wieschaus is the Squibb Professor in Molecular Biology at Princeton, and Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New JerseyRobert Wood Johnson Medical School.

He has three daughters and is married to molecular biologist Gertrud Schüpbach, who is also a professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University, working on Drosophila oogenesis.


  • Gruenbaum, J (1996), "[Nobel prize winners in medicine--1995]", Harefuah 130 (11): 746–8, 1996 Jun 2, PMID 8794677  
  • Blum, H E (1995), "[The 1995 Nobel Prize for medicine]", Dtsch. Med. Wochenschr. 120 (51-52): 1797–800, 1995 Dec 22, PMID 8549267  
  • Molven, A (1995), "[1995 Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine. The mystery of fetal development]", Tidsskr. Nor. Laegeforen. 115 (30): 3712–3, 1995 Dec 10, PMID 8539733  
  • Connor, S (1995), "Nobel prize given for work on fruit flies.", BMJ 311 (7012): 1044, 1995 Oct 21, PMID 7580653  
  • Cohen, B (1995), "Nobel committee rewards pioneers of development studies in fruitflies.", Nature 377 (6549): 465, 1995 Oct 12, doi:10.1038/377465a0, PMID 7566128  

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Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Eric F. Wieschaus (born 8 June 1947) is an American developmental biologist, 1995 Nobel Laureate for Medicine.


  • I don't know exactly what you guys want to do, but let me tell you why you should do it with fruit flies. Together to Fly


  • Nothing you do in the lab absolutely matters. All you are doing is desperately trying to fight against ignorance.
  • Theory without practice — that's ignorance!


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