John received an A.B. from Harvard and a Ph.D. from Stanford, both in biochemistry. As a postdoc at Stanford he explored “Antigenetics”. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received the Genetics Society of America Medal and the Yale College Dylan Hixon Prize for Teaching Excellence. Twelve of his PhD students have won awards for their dissertations.
Upon arrival at Yale as an Assistant Professor, John began working on chemoreception in Drosophila. At the time virtually nothing was known about the molecular or cellular basis of olfaction or taste in this organism. Since then his laboratory has made a number of advances in the field, including the discovery of the first insect odor receptors, the discovery of the first insect taste receptors, and the elucidation of basic principles of the logic of odor and taste coding.
John’s lab currently studies receptors, neurons, and circuits that underlie olfaction, taste, and pheromone recognition in Drosophila and in insects that transmit global disease.