Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Oliver Hobert is a Professor in the Columbia University Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and holds an Interdisciplinary Faculty position in the Department of Systems Biology. His laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms responsible for generating the remarkable diversity of cell types found in the nervous system. Using C. elegans as a model system, they have revealed the regulatory mechanisms that control terminal neuronal identity and demonstrated that these mechanisms are conserved in chordates. They also used this knowledge to reprogram the identity of heterologous cell types to become specific neuron types. The lab’s other interests include the origins of asymmetrical neuronal differentiation along the left/right axis, the molecular mechanisms of neural system plasticity, and the conservation and evolution of neuronal gene expression programs. His lab has also developed a number of tools to analyze whole genome sequence data.