Sean Carroll

Position title: Emeritus Professor


Genetics, Molecular Biology
Genetic control of animal development and the evolution of morphological diversity

201A Bock Lab
Ph.D., Tufts University School of Medicine (1983), Postdoctoral Research: University of Colorado, Boulder
Molecular Biology, Genetics and Medical Genetics
Research Interests
Genetic control of animal development and the evolution of morphological diversity.
Research Fields
Development, Evolutionary & Population Genetics, Genomics & Proteomics, Drosophila

Research Description:
During animal development, cells of the growing embryo become organized into structures of greatly different sizes, shapes, and functions. Genetic and embryological studies of a model animal, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, have shown that the specification of the overall body plan, the formation of complex arrays of tissues and organs, and the assignment of individual cell types occurs in a highly ordered temporal sequence and spatial pattern. The search for genes that are necessary for the proper organization of the Drosophila embryo and the formation of adult structures has identified a modest number of loci which affect specific aspects of development. Research in the Carroll laboratory is currently focused on the developmental regulatory mechanisms that control the formation and patterning of complex structures. This body of work provides the conceptual and material foundation for studying long-standing problems in evolutionary biology such as the evolution of novelty and the genetic basis of body plan diversification.

Representative Publications:
Search PubMed for more publications by Sean Carroll

Gompel, N., Prud’homme, B., Wittkopp, P.J., Kassner, V.A., and Carroll. S.B. 2005. Chance caught on the wing: cis-regulatory evolution and the origin of pigment patterns in Drosophila. Nature. 433:481-487.

Carroll, S.B. 2005. Evolution at two levels: on genes and form, PLoS Biology. 3:1159. Nature, 433:481-487.

Carroll, S.B., Grenier, J.K. and Weatherbee, S.D. 2005. From DNA to Diversity: Molecular Genetics and the Evolution of Animal Design, Blackwell Scientific, Malden, MA. Second Edition.

Hittinger, C.T., Rokas, A., Carroll, S.B. 2004. Parallel inactivation of multiple GAL pathway genes and ecological diversification in yeasts. PNAS. 101:14144-14149.

Gompel, N. and Carroll, S.B. 2003. Genetic mechanisms and constraints governing the evolution of correlated traits in drosophilid flies. Nature. 424:931-935.