Leslie B. Vosshall

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Leslie B. Vosshall
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Leslie Vosshall in 2010
Born (1965-07-05) July 5, 1965 (age 53)
ResidenceNew York, New York
Alma materColumbia College of Columbia University
Known forinsect olfaction
AwardsVilcek Prize 2015, Gill Young Investigator Award, DART/NYU Achievement Award in Basic Biotechnology, Lawrence C. Katz Prize for Innovative Research in Neuroscience
Scientific career
InstitutionsThe Rockefeller University
Doctoral advisorMichael W. Young
Other academic advisorsRichard Axel

Leslie Birgit Vosshall, Ph.D., (born July 5, 1965) is an American neurobiologist and currently an HHMI Investigator and the Robin Chemers Neustein Professor of Neurogenetics and Behavior at The Rockefeller University. She is also the director of the Kavli Neural Systems Institute at The Rockefeller University.[1] She is well known for her contributions in the field of olfaction, particularly for the discovery and subsequent characterization of the insect olfactory receptor family.

Early life[edit]

Leslie Vosshall was born in Lausanne, Switzerland where she spent most of her early childhood. Vosshall moved to New Jersey when she was 8 years old. She spent summers from age 17 to 19 in her uncle, Philip Dunham's, summer laboratory with Gerald Weissmann at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole. Vosshall said this experience was "an incredible introduction to the practice of science." [2]


Vosshall received her B.A. from Columbia University in 1987 and her Ph.D. from Rockefeller University in 1993. She then returned to Columbia for a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of future Nobel laureate Richard Axel from 1993-1997. She then worked in the position of Associate Research Scientist in Dr. Axel's laboratory from 1997-2000. Vosshall was offered the position of Assistant Professor at The Rockefeller University in 2000, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2006.[1] In April 2010, she was granted tenure and is currently the Robin Chemers Neustein Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior.[3] She served as Associate Director of the Kavli Neural Systems Institute from 2015-2016 and was promoted to Director in 2016.[1]


Vosshall studies fruit flies and mosquitoes to understand how the nervous system processes and perceives odors.[4] Research from her lab demonstrated that a chemical transferred from the male of the species during sex plays a key role in shaping the female’s sexual proclivities.[5]

Awards and honors[edit]

Key Papers[edit]

  • Vosshall LB, Amrein H, Morozov PS, Rzhetsky A, Axel R (March 1999). "A spatial map of olfactory receptor expression in the Drosophila antenna". Cell. 96 (5): 725–36. doi:10.1016/S0092-8674(00)80582-6. PMID 10089887.
  • Vosshall LB, Wong AM, Axel R (July 2000). "An olfactory sensory map in the fly brain". Cell. 102 (2): 147–59. doi:10.1016/S0092-8674(00)00021-0. PMID 10943836.
  • DeGennaro M, McBride CS, Seeholzer L, Nakagawa T, Dennis EJ, Goldman C, Jasinskiene N, James AA, Vosshall LB (29 May 2013). "orco mutant mosquitoes lose strong preference for humans and are not repelled by volatile DEET". Nature. 498 (7455): 487–491. doi:10.1038/nature12206. PMC 3696029. PMID 23719379.

Selected other publications[edit]

  • McBride, C.S. et al. Evolution of mosquito preference for humans linked to an odorant receptor. Nature 515, 222–227 (2014).[12]
  • Bushdid, C. et al. Humans can discriminate more than 1 trillion olfactory stimuli. Science 343, 1370–1372 (2014).[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Rockefeller University » Scientists & Research". www.rockefeller.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  2. ^ Vosshall, Leslie B. (2012). "Leslie B. Vosshall". Current Biology. 22 (18): R782–R783. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2012.07.016.
  3. ^ Bonner, Joseph (2010-05-17). "The Rockefeller University: Leslie Vosshall promoted to professor". Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  4. ^ "Kavli Foundation, University Partners Commit $100 Million to Brain Research". Scientific Computing. 2015-10-01. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  5. ^ "Mosquito sex protein could provide key to controlling disease - News". News. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  6. ^ "Leslie B. Vosshall". Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  7. ^ Burke, Adrienne (November 2007). "The New York Academy of Sciences - Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists". Retrieved 2010-06-04.
  8. ^ Bonner, Joseph (2008-06-02). "The Rockefeller University: Two Rockefeller faculty become new HHMI investigators". Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  9. ^ "Howard Hughes Medical Institute - HHMI News: HHMI Selects 56 of the Nation's Top Scientists". 2008-05-27. Retrieved 2010-06-04.
  10. ^ "New York University - NYU School of Medicine Presents Three Biomedical Researchers 2010 Dart/NYU Biotechnology Awards for Role of Pure Science". 2010-03-22. Retrieved 2010-06-04.
  11. ^ "Leslie Vosshall and Jean-Laurent Casanova elected to the National Academy of Sciences". Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  12. ^ McBride, Carolyn S.; Baier, Felix; Omondi, Aman B.; Spitzer, Sarabeth A.; Lutomiah, Joel; Sang, Rosemary; Ignell, Rickard; Vosshall, Leslie B. (2014-11-13). "Evolution of mosquito preference for humans linked to an odorant receptor". Nature. 515 (7526): 222–227. doi:10.1038/nature13964. ISSN 1476-4687. PMC 4286346. PMID 25391959.
  13. ^ Bushdid, C.; Magnasco, M. O.; Vosshall, L. B.; Keller, A. (2014-03-21). "Humans Can Discriminate More than 1 Trillion Olfactory Stimuli". Science. 343 (6177): 1370–1372. doi:10.1126/science.1249168. ISSN 0036-8075. PMC 4483192. PMID 24653035.

External links[edit]