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Michael R. Stark

Professor, Cell Biology & Physiology

Dr. Stark’s research focuses on early nervous system development in vertebrates. He has been primarily interested in how cells make fate decisions to become a certain cell type in the nervous system. Some of his research has addressed questions related to patterning of the nervous system, neuronal cell determination, and the molecular steps leading to cellular differentiation. More recent projects in the lab have focused on CNS development and neural tube defects in the early embryo that lead to anencephaly and spina bifida.

Research Interests

Developmental biology; Neural Tube Defects; Cell fate determination; Nervous system develop; Birth Defects; See lab webpage for additional information (

Honors and Awards

  • Outstanding College Research Award, College of Life Sciences, BYU (2010 - 2011)

Administrative Assignments

  • Physiology & Developmental Biology: Department Chair (2018 - 2023)


  • The Brain Institute (2007 - Present)
  • Society for Developmental Biology (1998 - Present)
  • Society for Neuroscience (2009 - 2011)

Professional Citizenship

  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, BBSRC (2014 - 2014)
  • Other, University of Arkansas, Fort Smith (2014 - 2014)
  • Conference-Related Role, LDS Life Science Research Symposium (2010 - 2013)