Ali  Brivanlou,

advisor, biologist
Ali Brivanlou, a developmental biologist, heads the  Laboratory of Molecular Embryology at Rockefeller University in New York. Much of his research focuses on the molecular events and cellular interactions that  regulate the emergence of key structures in the early  embryo. In the course of this research, he has made several influential discoveries, including the  unanticipated finding that all embryonic cells will  develop into nerve cells unless they receive signals  directing them toward another fate.

Dr. Brivanlou earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1990. The following year, he moved to Harvard University as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Douglas Melton. He joined the Rockefeller faculty as an assistant professor and head of laboratory in 1994 and was promoted to professor in 2000. In 1996, Dr. Brivanlou received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists, the U.S. government’s most prestigious honor for young investigators. His other honors include an Irma T. Hirschl Trust Career Scientist Award, a Searle Scholar Award, a Klingenstein Fellowship, a McKnight Scholar Award, a Wilson S. Stone Memorial Award, and a John Merck Scholar Award.