Brian Clay Oliver, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Developmental Genomics Section​, Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology


Building NIHBC 50, Room 3339
50 South Dr
Bethesda, MD 20892

+1 000 000 0000

Research Topics

Our ultimate goal is to determine how the collective action of genes results in an individual with specific characteristics, development, and disease susceptibilities.

Current Research

Drosophila melanogaster is an important functional model system, boasting facile genetics, complex organ systems, complex behaviors, and a sequenced genome. Our long-term goal is to develop predictive models of gene function with a specific focus on sex differentiation in the germline. Our approach relies on high-throughput techniques used to profile biological processes such as expression, promoter occupancy, and chromatin status, in conjunction with computational analysis and genetics.

Applying our Research

Subtle perturbations in gene networks are likely to cause much of inherited disease susceptibility, but understanding how complex genotypes and environmental interactions result in disease will require experimental systems biology using model organisms. Predictive models for gene and pathway function will be important for diagnosis and ultimately intervention, fulfilling the promise of the human genome project.

Need for Further Study

We have a reasonable understanding of the functions of some individual genes, but we know very little about how they work together.


  • Postdoctoral, Stanford University
  • Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • M.S., Iowa State University of Science and Technology
  • B.A., Gustavus Adolphus College

Selected Publications

  1. Mahadevaraju S, Fear JM, Akeju M, Galletta BJ, Pinheiro MMLS, Avelino CC, Cabral-de-Mello DC, Conlon K, Dell'Orso S, Demere Z, Mansuria K, Mendonça CA, Palacios-Gimenez OM, Ross E, Savery M, Yu K, Smith HE, Sartorelli V, Yang H, Rusan NM, Vibranovski MD, Matunis E, Oliver B. Dynamic sex chromosome expression in Drosophila male germ cells. Nat Commun. 2021;12(1):892.

  2. Galletta BJ, Ortega JM, Smith SL, Fagerstrom CJ, Fear JM, Mahadevaraju S, Oliver B, Rusan NM. Sperm Head-Tail Linkage Requires Restriction of Pericentriolar Material to the Proximal Centriole End. Dev Cell. 2020;53(1):86-101.e7.

  3. Benner L, Castro EA, Whitworth C, Venken KJT, Yang H, Fang J, Oliver B, Cook KR, Lerit DA. Drosophila Heterochromatin Stabilization Requires the Zinc-Finger Protein Small Ovary. Genetics. 2019;213(3):877-895.

  4. Yang H, Jaime M, Polihronakis M, Kanegawa K, Markow T, Kaneshiro K, Oliver B. Re-annotation of eight Drosophila genomes. Life Sci Alliance. 2018;1(6):e201800156.

  5. Wang Y, Cho DY, Lee H, Fear J, Oliver B, Przytycka TM. Reprogramming of regulatory network using expression uncovers sex-specific gene regulation in Drosophila. Nat Commun. 2018;9(1):4061.

This page was last updated on October 14th, 2021