American Philosophical Society
Member History

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Resident (1)
202. Cellular and Developmental Biology[X]
1Name:  Dr. Allan Spradling
 Institution:  Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Carnegie Institution for Science
 Year Elected:  2016
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  202. Cellular and Developmental Biology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1949
Born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan Allan Spradling studied mathematics and physics as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago. Switching to biology at MIT, where he earned his PhD. in 1975, Spradling used Drosophila polytene chromosomes as genome arrays to study transcription, and found that heat shock causes a universal genetic response. Spradling began a long fascination with the ovary during a postdoctoral stint at Indiana University, where he discovered that Drosophila eggshell genes undergo amplification during follicle development. In 1980 he joined the faculty at the Carnegie Institution in Baltimore, and two years later he and colleague Gerry Rubin showed how transposable elements can be used to introduce DNA into the . Unlike contemporary transformation methods in other animals, Drosophila genes introduced in transposons functioned normally, allowing cognate genetic defects to be cured and developmental gene regulation to be studied. Remaining at Carnegie, Spradling was appointed an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1988, and Director in 1994. Spradling’s group developed methods for using single transposon insertions to isolate and manipulate Drosophila genes. These efforts initiated the Drosophila Gene Disruption Project, whose freely distributed strains have facilitated Drosophila research worldwide. The basic biological and genetic mechanisms that make multicellular animals possible are turning out to be largely the same in all species. Studying model organisms lays the groundwork for deciphering how mammalian cells and tissues develop and operate. For example, Spradling’s group analyzed the basic biology of tissue stem cells, and in 2000 characterized the first stem cell niche. Recently, his lab showed that mammalian oocytes are constructed like Drosophila oocytes, using materials transported from sister germ cells, which thereby act as "nurse cells." Indeed, egg production from beginning to end is turning out to be much more highly conserved than originally anticipated. A member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) since 1989, and the American Academy for Arts and Sciences since 1991, Spradling has been awarded many prizes for his work. These include the NAS Molecular Biology Award (jointly with Gerry Rubin). He also received the E.J. Conklin Award of the Society for Developmental Biology and the G.W. Beadle Award of the Genetics Society of America. Spradling also received an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and was the 2008 winner of the Gruber Prize in Genetics.
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