Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Carlson, John
Location Yale University
Primary Field Genetics
 Election Citation
Carlson's contributions to understanding genetic and molecular mechanisms of insect olfaction are groundbreaking. He discovered genes encoding olfactory receptors in Drosophila, characterized their expression, and systematically defined their odorant specificities. Having unraveled the principles by which insects detect and identify odors, he is now trying to control the malaria mosquito.
 Research Interests
My laboratory studies the receptors, neurons, and circuits that underlie olfaction, taste, and pheromone recognition. We study the genetic model organism Drosophila, which allows convenient molecular, electrophysiological, and behavioral analysis. We apply what we learn from Drosophila to insects such as mosquitoes and tsetse flies, which collectively spread disease to hundreds of millions of people each year, and to agricultural pests that damage the world's food supply. Currently we are examining the mechanisms by which an individual recognizes a suitable mating partner of the same species, how mosquitoes recognize the humans they bite, and how olfactory and taste systems adapt over short and long time scales to different conditions or new niches.

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