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Matt Gibson

B.S., Biology, Yale University
Ph.D., Zoology, University of Washington

Portrait of Matt Gibson

Our research provides the potential to make discoveries with profound implications for understanding evolution. It’s like taking a time machine back 600 million years and being able to ascertain how ancient biology worked.

Research Areas

Development and Regeneration, Genetics and Genomics, Evolutionary Biology, Systems Biology

Courses Taught

Evolution and Model Systems; Laboratory Rotation; Thesis laboratory



Hudson Prize


Burroughs Wellcome Career Award


Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellowship


Larry Sandler Award


Harold M. Weintrab Award for Innovative Graduate Research

Matt Gibson, Ph.D., is a developmental biologist and an Investigator at the Stowers Institute. Gibson joined Stowers in 2006 and was named Dean of the Graduate School in 2019.

Gibson’s lab works with sea anemones, corals and fruit flies to understand evolutionarily ancient mechanisms of development and tissue regeneration in animals. Building from a foundation in the genetic analysis of the fruit fly Drosophila, Gibson’s lab has pioneered new experimental paradigms for the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, providing major new insights in evolutionary and developmental biology. Gibson and his team are in the beginning stages of working with coral, a close relative of Nematostella.

Growing up in rural Vermont, Gibson graduated from Yale University in 1994 with a B.S. in biology in 1994. Following short stints working on a fishing boat in Alaska, driving a delivery truck in Vermont, and using his biology background at a patent law firm in New York City, Gibson moved to Seattle for graduate studies at the University of Washington where he studied development and regeneration in the fruit fly Drosophila. Upon completing his Ph.D. in 2001, Gibson was awarded a Jane Coffin Childs postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School in the lab of the renowned geneticist Norbert Perrimon, Ph.D.

Gibson has received several awards, including the Harold M. Weintraub Award for Innovative Graduate Research, the Larry Sandler Award for the most outstanding thesis on Drosophila biology, and a Burroughs Wellcome Fund career award. In his role as Dean of the Graduate School he provides oversight for the faculty and course work for the predoctoral students at the school.

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