Gene E. Robinson is director of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology and director of the Bee Research Facility at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He obtained his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1986 and joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1989. He holds a University Swanlund Chair and a Center for Advanced Study Professorship. Former appointments include director of the campus Neuroscience Program and interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Robinson pioneered the application of genomics to the study of social behavior, led the effort to sequence the honey bee genome, authored or co-authored 350 publications, obtained over $70 million in extramural research funding, and has trained over 35 postdoctoral associates and 25 doctoral students, about half with faculty/independent scientist positions in academia, government, and industry.
He serves or served on the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Council Executive Committee, National Research Council Governing Board and Executive Committee, NIH National Institute of Mental Health Advisory Council, provided Congressional testimony, and has past and current appointments on scientific advisory boards for companies and foundations with significant interests in genomics. Robinson’s honors include: Fellow and Founders Memorial Award (Entomological Society of America), Fellow and Distinguished Behaviorist (Animal Behavior Society), Distinguished Scientist Award (International Behavioral Genetics Society), Guggenheim Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowship, NIH Pioneer Award, Honorary Doctorate (Hebrew University), and the Wolf Prize in Agriculture. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, NAS, National Academy of Medicine, and American Philosophical Society.