Brian Lazzaro

Population genetics; molecular evolution; insect immunity

Brian Lazzaro


Fax: 607-255-0939


Department of Entomology
3125 Comstock Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-2703


Web Sites

Lab Web Site
Department Profile


Brian began his faculty position at Cornell in 2003. Before that, he was a Ph.D. student at Penn State with Andy Clark, who is also now at Cornell. Brian obtained his B.S. in Genetics from the University of California, Davis, where was first introduced to Drosophila population genetics through undergraduate research and a subsequent technician appointment with Chuck Langley.

Brian Lazzaro's CV [pdf]

Research Description

Research interests include population and quantitative genetics, with an emphasis on insect immunity and host-pathogen interactions. Work in his lab is focused on three primary systems: anti-malaria defense in Anopheles mosquitoes, antibacterial immunity in the fruit fly Drosophila, and virulence mechanisms and epidemiology of bacteria that naturally infect Drosophila. Brian tries to keep his lab at the interface between evolutionary and functional genetics.

Selected Publications


Juneja, P. and B.P. Lazzaro. “Population genetics of insect immune responses.” In Insect Infection and Immunity, J. Rolff and S. Reynolds eds., submitted. [invited book chapter]

Lazzaro, B.P. and T.J. Little. Immunity in a variable world. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, series B - Biology, in press. [Invited Review]

Schlenke, T.A. and B.P. Lazzaro Fruit flies like a (rotten) banana. Fly, in press. [Invited Conference Proceedings]

Juneja, P. and B.P. Lazzaro. Providencia sneebia sp. nov. and P. burhodogranaria sp. nov., novel species isolated from wild Drosophila melanogaster. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, submitted.

Lazzaro, B.P. Natural Selection on the Drosophila innate immune system. Current Opinion in Microbiology, 11:284-289. [Invited Review] [pdf]

Lazzaro, B.P., H.A. Flores, J.G. Lorigan and C.P. Yourth. (2008) Genotype by environment interactions and adaptation to local temperature affect immunity and fecundity in Drosophila melanogaster . PLoS Pathogens 4:e1000025. [pdf]

McKean, K.A., C.P. Yourth, B.P. Lazzaro and A.G. Clark. (2008) The evolutionary costs of immunological maintenance and deployment. BMC Evolutionary Biology 8:76. [pdf]


Sackton, T.B., B.P. Lazzaro, T.A. Schlenke, J.D. Evans, D. Hultmark and A.G. Clark. (2007) Dynamic evolution of the innate immune system in Drosophila. Nature Genetics 39:1461-1468. [pdf] [Supplemental Info (.zip archive)]

Drosophila Comparative Genome Sequencing and Analysis Consortium. (2007) Genomics on a phylogeny: evolution of genes and genomes in the genus Drosophila. Nature 450:203-18. [pdf] [Supplemental Info (.zip archive)]


Lazzaro, B.P., T.B. Sackton and A.G. Clark. (2006) Genetic variation in Drosophila melanogaster resistance to infection: a comparison across bacteria. Genetics 174:1539-1554. [pdf] Fig S1 (MS Excel) Fig S2 (Ms Excel)

The Honey Bee Genome Sequencing Consortium. (2006) Insights into social insects from the geonome of the honey bee Apis mellifera Nature 443:931-949. [pdf] [Supplemental Info]

Lazzaro, B.P. and M.R. Galac. (2006) Dispatch. Disease Pathology: Wasting energy fighting infection. Curr. Biol. 16:R964-R965. [Invited Review] [pdf]

Rinkevich, F.D., L. Zhang, R.L. Hamm, S.G. Brady, B.P. Lazzaro and J.G. Scott. (2006) Allele frequencies of Vssc1 and CYP6D1 in house flies from the eastern United States. Insect Mol. Biol. 15:157-167. [pdf]


Braverman, J.M., B.P. Lazzaro, M. Aguadé, and C.H. Langley. (2005) DNA sequence polymorphism and divergence at the erect wing and suppressor of sable loci of Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans . Genetics 170:1153-65. [pdf]

Lazzaro, B.P. (2005) Elevated polymorphism and divergence in the class C scavenger receptors of Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans . Genetics 169:2023-2034. [pdf]

Vernick, K., F. Oduol, B.P. Lazzaro, J. Glazebrook, J. Xu, M. Riehle and J. Li. (2005) Molecular Genetics of Mosquito Resistance to Malaria Parasites. Curr. Topics. Microbiol. Immunol. 295:383-415. [Review] [pdf]


Lazzaro, B.P., B.K. Sceurman and A.G. Clark. (2004) The genetic basis of natural variation in D. melanogaster antibacterial immunity. Science 303:1873-1876. [pdf] Fig S1 (MS Excel) Fig S2 (Ms Excel)


Lazzaro, B.P. and A.G. Clark. (2003) Molecular population genetics of inducible antibacterial peptide genes in Drosophila melanogaster . Mol. Biol. Evol. 20:914-923. [pdf]


Lazzaro, B.P., B.K. Sceurman, S.L. Carney and A.G. Clark. (2002) fRFLP and fAFLP: Medium throughput genotyping by post-labeling restriction digestions. BioTechniques 33:539-543. [pdf]


Lazzaro, B. P. and A.G. Clark. (2001) Evidence for recurrent paralogous gene conversion and exceptional allelic divergence in the Attacin genes of Drosophila melanogaster . Genetics 159:659-671. [pdf] Supplemental Table S1 Supplemental Table S2


Langley, C.H., B.P. Lazzaro, W. Phillips, E. Heikkinen, and J. Braverman. (2000) Linkage disequilibria and the site frequency spectra in the su(s) and su(wa) regions of the Drosophila melanogaster X chromosome. Genetics 156:1837-1852 [pdf]

Carvalho, A.B, B.P. Lazzaro, and A.G. Clark. (2000) Y-chromosomal fertility factors kl-2 and kl-3 of D. melanogaster encode dynein heavy chain polypeptides. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 97:13239-13244 [pdf]

Savolainen, O., C.H. Langley, B.P. Lazzaro, and H. Frèville. (2000) Contrasting patterns of nucleotide polymorphism at the Alcohol Dehydrogenase locus in the outcrossing Arabidopsis lyrata and the selfing Arabidopsis thaliana . Mol. Biol. Evol. 17:645-2000 [pdf]