Eric F. Wieschaus Biography
Birthday: June 8, 1947 (Gemini)
Born In: South Bend, Indiana
Eric Francis Wieschaus is an American development biologist who was one of the joint winners of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Today, he is best known for his work on embryogenesis in the Drosophila, commonly known as fruit fly. Although he earned his doctoral degree from the University of Yale the later part of the work was done at the University of Basel, Switzerland. It was here in Basel that he first met Christiane (Janni) Nüsslein-Volhard and the two scientists quickly struck up a close friendship. Later both of them got employment at European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg, Germany. It was at EMBL that they set out on an ambitious project and finally identified 139 genes, which were essential for transforming a newly fertilized Drosophila egg into an embryo. The work earned them the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine almost one and half decades later. By that time, Wieschaus had returned to the U.S.A. and joined the University of Princeton as Assistant Professor. He climbed the ladder quickly to become a full professor within six years. Professor Wieschaus is very active still now and spends a lot of time at his laboratory working with his student on embryogenesis.