Lila Solnica-Krezel’s lab studies early zebrafish development, focusing on the roles of signal transduction pathways and epigenetic factors that regulate cell polarity and gastrulation. She also develops new methods for zebrafish genome engineering, and uses zebrafish as a model for human development and to study genetically inherited disease.
As one of the pioneers in the zebrafish model, Solnica-Krezel has made major contributions, having established methods of efficient germline mutagenesis and coordinating a genome-wide screen for embryonic lethal mutations.
She is the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor and Head of the Department of Developmental Biology at Washington University. She earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees at Warsaw University in Poland, studying molecular biology with a focus on developmental genetics and chromatin structure during gene expression. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, still pursuing genetics but changing her focus to the composition and organization of microtubular structures. She did her postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School with Wolfgang Driever.
Her honors include the Edwin G. Conklin Medal in Developmental Biology, the Carl and Gerty Cori Faculty Achievement Award, and the Christiane Nusslein-Volhard Award from the European Society for Fish Models in Biology and Medicine. She was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has served as President of both the Society for Developmental Biology and the International Zebrafish Society.