Brian Oliver, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Developmental Genomics Section, Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology


Building 50, Room 3339
50 South Drive
Bethesda, MD 20814


Research Topics

Research Goal

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


  • Section Chief, Developmental Genomics Section, Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology, NIDDK, NIH, 2005–Present
  • Senior Investigator, Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology, NIDDK, NIH, 2002–Present
  • Investigator, Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology, NIDDK, NIH, 1995–2002
  • Group Leader, Aix-Marseille Université, 1992–1995
  • Postdoctoral, Stanford Univeristy, 1988–1991
  • Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 1988
  • M.S., Iowa State University of Science and Technology, 1985
  • B.A., Gustavus Adolphus College, 1981

Selected Publications

  1. Lee H, Cho DY, Whitworth C, Eisman R, Phelps M, Roote J, Kaufman T, Cook K, Russell S, Przytycka T, Oliver B. Effects of Gene Dose, Chromatin, and Network Topology on Expression in Drosophila melanogaster. PLoS Genet. 2016;12(9):e1006295.

  2. Clough E, Jimenez E, Kim YA, Whitworth C, Neville MC, Hempel LU, Pavlou HJ, Chen ZX, Sturgill D, Dale RK, Smith HE, Przytycka TM, Goodwin SF, Van Doren M, Oliver B. Sex- and tissue-specific functions of Drosophila doublesex transcription factor target genes. Dev Cell. 2014;31(6):761-73.

  3. Lin Y, Golovnina K, Chen ZX, Lee HN, Negron YL, Sultana H, Oliver B, Harbison ST. Comparison of normalization and differential expression analyses using RNA-Seq data from 726 individual Drosophila melanogaster. BMC Genomics. 2016;17:28.

  4. Chen ZX, Sturgill D, Qu J, Jiang H, Park S, Boley N, Suzuki AM, Fletcher AR, Plachetzki DC, FitzGerald PC, Artieri CG, Atallah J, Barmina O, Brown JB, Blankenburg KP, Clough E, Dasgupta A, Gubbala S, Han Y, Jayaseelan JC, Kalra D, Kim YA, Kovar CL, Lee SL, Li M, Malley JD, Malone JH, Mathew T, Mattiuzzo NR, Munidasa M, Muzny DM, Ongeri F, Perales L, Przytycka TM, Pu LL, Robinson G, Thornton RL, Saada N, Scherer SE, Smith HE, Vinson C, Warner CB, Worley KC, Wu YQ, Zou X, Cherbas P, Kellis M, Eisen MB, Piano F, Kionte K, Fitch DH, Sternberg PW, Cutter AD, Duff MO, Hoskins RA, Graveley BR, Gibbs RA, Bickel PJ, Kopp A, Carninci P, Celniker SE, Oliver B, Richards S. Comparative validation of the D. melanogaster modENCODE transcriptome annotation. Genome Res. 2014;24(7):1209-23.

  5. Yang H, Basquin D, Pauli D, Oliver B. Drosophila melanogaster positive transcriptional elongation factors regulate metabolic and sex-biased expression in adults. BMC Genomics. 2017;18(1):384.

This page was last updated on December 12th, 2018