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Michelle Arbeitman Ph.D.

Michelle Arbeitman Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Main Campus


Ph.D., Stanford University, Developmental Biology, Supervisor: Dr. David Hogness.
B.A., University of California at Berkeley, Molecular and Cell Biology, Summa Cum Laude.


Department Service
Member, FSU Biomedical Sciences Graduate program (2011–present).
Member, FSU Neuroscience Graduate Student Research (2011–present).
Committee chair, Illumina Sequencing Core (2012–present).
Member, Equipment and Core Facility Committee (2011–present).
The Profession
Service to Professional Associations
Conference and Course Organization
2005 Session Chair, “Neurophysiology and Behavior, International Drosophila Research Conference, San Diego, CA
2009-2012 Workshop Organizer “Everything you wanted to know about sex”, International Drosophila Research Conference, Chicago, Il
2007-2012 International Drosophila Research Conference Image Award Committee member
2009 International Drosophila Research Conference Poster Judge “Neurophysiology and Behavior”
2013-2014 Woods Hole Neurobiology Course
2012 International Drosophila Research Conference Session Chair “Techniques and Functional Genomics”
Ad hoc Reviewer: Journals, Plos Biology, Plos Genetics, Current Biology, Genome Biology, PNAS, Genome Research, Hormones and Behavior, BMC Genomics, Plos one, Development, and Genetics Journals (2003–present).
Ad Hoc Reviewer: Funding Agencies, National Science Foundation, Israel Science Foundation.


National Research Service Award post-doctoral fellowship
National Science Foundation pre-doctoral fellowship
I.L. Chaikoff Award, University of California (1990)
University of California Regents Merit Scholarship Award, University of California (1986)


Genetics Society of America (1991-present)

Research Focus

My lab has been studying the genetic basis of courtship and reproductive behaviors of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Fruit flies exhibit a characteristic, programmed behavior that is under the control of the sex hierarchy, a genetic regulatory network that controls all aspects of somatic sexual dimorphism seen in flies. My work focuses on two genes, called fruitless and doublesex (at the bottom of the hierarchy) that encode transcription factors, which are produced in a sex-specific manner. An important question that my lab has addressed is, “which genes are controlled by these transcription factors to specify behavior and sex-specific traits?” My lab will continue to functionally characterize how this regulatory network specifies behaviors, by studying how these transcription factors direct the development of neural circuits using state-of-the-art genomics, molecular-genetic and behavioral approaches.


A Versatile Method for Cell-Specific Profiling of Translated mRNAs in Drosophila. Thomas A, Lee PJ, Dalton JE, Nomie KJ, Stoica L, Costa-Mattioli M, Chang P, Nuzhdin S, Arbeitman MN, Dierick HA. PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e40276. Epub 2012 Jul 6.

Evolution of sex-specific traits through changes in HOX-dependent doublesex expression. Tanaka K, Barmina O, Sanders LE, Arbeitman MN, Kopp A. PLoS Biol. 2011 Aug;9(8):e1001131. Epub 2011 Aug 23.

Somatic sex-specific transcriptome differences in Drosophila revealed by whole transcriptome sequencing. Chang PL, Dunham JP, Nuzhdin SV, Arbeitman MN. BMC Genomics. 2011 Jul 14;12:364.

The genetic basis of rapidly evolving male genital morphology in Drosophila. Masly JP, Dalton JE, Srivastava S, Chen L, Arbeitman MN. Genetics. 2011 Sep;189(1):357-74. Epub 2011 Jul 12.

Everything you always wanted to know about sex ... in flies. Arbeitman MN, Kopp A, Siegal ML, Van Doren M. Sex Dev. 2010;4(6):315-20. Epub 2010 Oct 8.

Dynamic, mating-induced gene expression changes in female head and brain tissues of Drosophilamelanogaster. Dalton JE, Kacheria TS, Knott SR, Lebo MS, Nishitani A, Sanders LE, Stirling EJ, Winbush A, Arbeitman MN.

Neurogenetics: short-circuiting sexually dimorphic behaviors. Arbeitman M, Winbush A. Curr Biol. 2010 Sep 28;20(18):R804-6.

Ecdysone receptor acts in fruitless- expressing neurons to mediate drosophila courtship behaviors. Dalton JE, Lebo MS, Sanders LE, Sun F, Arbeitman MN.

Somatic, germline and sex hierarchy regulated gene expression during Drosophila metamorphosis. Lebo MS, Sanders LE, Sun F, Arbeitman MN. BMC Genomics. 2009 Feb 13;10:80.

Doublesex establishes sexual dimorphism in the Drosophila central nervous system in an isoform-dependent manner by directing cell number. Sanders LE, Arbeitman MN. Dev Biol. 2008 Aug 15;320(2):378-90. Epub 2008 May 29.

Genomic and functional studies of Drosophila sex hierarchy regulated gene expression in adult head and nervous system tissues. Goldman TD, Arbeitman MN. PLoS Genet. 2007 Nov;3(11):e216.