Bill Cresko, Department of Biology

Bill Cresko

Bill Cresko

Practice Areas: Genetics, Ecology and Evolution, Cell and Developmental Biology, Molecular Biology

Geneticist Bill Cresko studies the genomic basis of evolutionary change using comparative studies of natural populations in the wild and experimental approaches in the laboratory. He uses the threespine stickleback fish as his primary model to understand how molecular genetic variation can modify networks of genes and proteins to produce variation in evolutionarily important traits. Most recently his lab has developed stickleback as a model for studies of how host genetic variation can influence their associated microbial communities. His lab is also well known for developing genomic tools (e.g. RAD-seq) and super-computing software (e.g. Stacks), both of which are now used by thousands of scientists around the world. Cresko’s group has published nearly 100 papers that have been cited thousands of times. In addition to several prestigious fellowships throughout his education from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), Cresko received the Fund for Faculty Excellence Award from the University in 2013 and was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2016. 

Cresko holds numerous leadership roles on campus. He is associate vice president of research and leader of the Presidential Initiative in Data Science and a member of the Internal Advisory Board at the University for the Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact (KCASI). 

Work in his laboratory has been supported by grants from the NIH, NSF, the Murdock Charitable Trust and the W. M. Keck Foundation. Cresko co-founded the Applied Graduate Internship Program in Genomics and Bioinformatics, an interdisciplinary training program at UO, which is now part of KCASI. He has also provided key faculty leadership for over $600 million dollars in philanthropic donations to the University of Oregon over the last decade, primarily in support of research, including the largest single gift to a comprehensive public university from Phil and Penny Knight. 

Contact: | 541-346-4779 | @wcresko


Recent Media:
‘Evolution Gone Crazy’: What Makes Sea Dragons So Strange (The New York Times, July 7, 2022)
Genome Spotlight: Mandarinfish (Synchiropus splendidus) (The Scientist, Oct. 28, 2021)
Research project examines male pregnancy and microbes in fish (Around the O, April 29, 2021)
Data science to debut as the UO’s newest major this fall (Around the O, April 7, 2020)
Evolution can happen quicker than previously thought (Oregon Public Broadcasting, Dec. 21, 2015)
Stickleback fish evolved rapidly to living in freshwater ponds following major earthquake (Nature World News, Dec. 15, 2015)
La rápida adaptación al agua dulce de un pez en Alaska (El Mundo, Dec. 14, 2015)
Genetics journal names paper led by UO's Cresko as among its Top 10 (Around the O, Oct. 22, 2015)