Walter Gilbert

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Harvard University
Biological Laboratories
16 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
tel: (617) 495-0761 fax: (617) 496-4313

Gilbert Lab Home Page

The topics of major interest in my laboratory are:

1. We are interested in the evolution of the intron/exon structure of genes. Are the introns ancient structures, used to assemble the first genes from a billion years ago? or are they more recent acquisitions, used for exon shuffling in recently evolved proteins? Our work ranges from theoretical estimates for the size of the universe of exons and theoretical arguments that the introns are very old, to cloning and sequencing experiments studying the exon distribution in ancient genes and to population biology experiments, studying the variation of DNA sequences in the population. We are also interested in the development of molecular biological techniques, such as novel sequencing approaches involving PCR amplification.

2. We are developing a two-dimensional DNA blotting method to survey genetic polymorphisms in higher eukaryotes and to identify polymorphic markers linked to human disease genes.

Selected Publications:

Gilbert, W. and Glynias, M. (1993). On the ancient nature of introns. Gene 135:137-144.

Dorit, R.L., Akashi, H., and Gilbert, W. (1995). Absence of polymorphism at the ZFY locus on the human Y chromosome. Science 268:1183-1185.

Long, M., Rosenberg, C., and Gilbert, W. (1995). Intron phase correlations and the evolution of the intron/exon structure of genes, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 92:12495-12499.