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Robb Krumlauf

B.E., Chemical Engineering, Vanderbilt University
Ph.D., Developmental Biology, Ohio State University

Portrait of Robb Krumlauf

I realized that there were tools that could help us understand the complexity of how single cells become a multicellular organism, how molecular and cellular processes work, and how shape, form, and function were regulated.

Research Areas

Development and Regeneration, Genetics and Genomics, Evolutionary Biology, Molecular and Cell Biology, Neuroscience

Courses Taught

Gene Expression: Transcription to Translation; Laboratory Rotation; Thesis Laboratory



Edwin G. Conklin Medal, Society for Developmental Biology


Member, National Academy of Sciences


President, Society for Developmental Biology


Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science


Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences


Fellow, Academy of Medical Sciences, United Kingdom


Secretary, European Developmental Biology Organisation


Editor & Editor-in-Chief, Developmental Biology


Member, European Molecular Biology Organisation

Robb Krumlauf, Ph.D., joined the Stowers Institute in 2000, and is an Investigator for the Institute and Scientific Director Emeritus. Krumlauf is a world-renowned developmental biologist known for his seminal work on Hox genes, those responsible for development of the animal body plan.

Growing up during the space race of the 1950s, Krumlauf was encouraged to take course loads heavy in math and physical science. His first job as a chemical engineer required him to learn biology to create a drug delivery system.

Krumlauf earned a Ph.D. in developmental biology at Ohio State University and completed his postdoctoral training in Glasgow and Philadelphia. In 2000, Krumlauf joined the Stowers Institute as its founding Scientific Director and was the first faculty member to establish a lab. Throughout his career he has provided mentorship to countless students and postdocs and helped build the Stowers Institute into a world-class medical research program by recruiting the best minds in science and giving them the support and freedom to pursue creative research.

In 2019, Krumlauf stepped down from his role as Scientific Director to devote his time to research. Among his many honors and awards, Krumlauf is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Featured Publications

Segmentation and patterning of the vertebrate hindbrain

Krumlauf R, Wilkinson DG. Development. 2021;148,dev186460. doi:10.1242/dev.186460.

A six-amino-acid motif is a major determinant in functional evolution of HOX1 proteins

Singh NP, De Kumar B, Paulson A, Parrish ME, Zhang Y, Florens L, Conaway JW, Si K, Krumlauf R. Genes Dev. 2020;34:1680-1696.

A Hox-TALE regulatory circuit for neural crest patterning is conserved across vertebrates

Parker HJ, De Kumar B, Green SA, Prummel KD, Hess C, Kaufman CK, Mosimann C, Wiedemann LM, Bronner ME, Krumlauf R. Nat Commun. 2019;10:1189. doi: 1110.1038/s41467-41019-09197-41468.

Retinoid-Sensitive Epigenetic Regulation of the Hoxb Cluster Maintains Normal Hematopoiesis and Inhibits Leukemogenesis

Qian P, De Kumar B, He XC, Nolte C, Gogol M, Ahn Y, Chen S, Li Z, Xu H, Perry JM, Hu D, Tao F, Zhao M, Han Y, Hall K, Peak A, Paulson A, Zhao C, Venkatraman A, Box A, Perera A, Haug JS, Parmely T, Li H, Krumlauf R, Li L. Cell Stem Cell. 2018;22:740-754 e747.

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