Drosophilist is a term used to refer to both the specific group of scientists trained in the laboratory of Thomas Hunt Morgan, and more generally any scientist who uses the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to study genetics, development, neurogenetics, behavior and a host of other subjects in animal biology.
The core members of the original drosophilists at Columbia university included Morgan, Alfred Sturtevant, Calvin Bridges and Hermann Joseph Muller. Drosophilists directly connected with Morgan at Caltech included Theodosius Dobzhansky and George Beadle.
Drosophilists who have won Nobel Prizes
Six drosophilists have won Nobel Prizes for their work in Drosophila:
- Thomas Hunt Morgan – for his discovery that chromosomes contain linear arrangements of genes
- Hermann Joseph Muller – for his discovery that X-rays can produce mutations
- Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard – Shared with Wieschaus and Lewis "for their discoveries concerning the genetic control of early embryonic development"
- Eric Wieschaus
- Edward B. Lewis
- Jules A. Hoffmann – "for discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity"
A few other drosophilists won Nobel Prizes for work done in other systems:
- George Wells Beadle – for work done with Neurospora crassa
- Edward Lawrie Tatum – for work done with N. crassa
- Richard Axel – for work on the mouse olfactory system
Other notable drosophilists
- Walter Jakob Gehring
- Michael Levine
- William McGinnis
- Michael Rosbash
- Michael W. Young
- Seymour Benzer
- Gero Miesenböck
- Gerald M. Rubin
- Allan C. Spradling
- Andrea Brand
- Norbert Perrimon
- Huda Zoghbi
- John Carlson
- Leslie B. Vosshall
- David Suzuki – a former drosophilist who became a notable science communicator
- Lily Jan and Yuh Nung Jan