UNSW - Science

About The Dean Professor Merlin Crossley

Merlin Crossley

About the Dean

Professor Merlin Crossley completed his BSc degree at the University of Melbourne, majoring in genetics and microbiology. He moved to Oxford University supported by a Rhodes Scholarship to pursue his doctorate, and then did post-doctoral research at Oxford and at Harvard Medical School.
He returned to Australia in 1995 and held various positions at the University of Sydney, including Professor of Molecular Genetics 2005-9, Acting Dean of Science  2004, Director of Research for the College of Sciences and Technology 2005, and was Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research 2006-8.
At the end of 2009 he moved to UNSW to take up the position of Dean of Science.  He has received several awards for his work on gene control including the Australian Academy of Science's Gottschalk Medal, the Royal Society of NSW's Edgeworth David Medal, the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's Roche Medal, and the Julian Well's Medal from the Lorne Genome Conference.


Crossley Lab Research

The Role of Transcription Factors in Development and Disease

Read more about the Crossley Lab

Merlin’s laboratory studies how human genes can be turned on and off by DNA-binding regulatory proteins, termed transcription factors. He investigates the fundamental mechanisms underlying specific gene control, in the context of diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and sickle cell anemia.

Active Research Projects



Funnell APW; Crossley M, 2014, 'Hemophilia B Leyden and once mysterious cis-regulatory mutations', Trends in Genetics, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 18 - 23
Burdach J; Funnell AP; Mak KS; Artuz CM; Wienert B; Lim WF; Tan LY; Pearson RC; Crossley M, 2014, 'Regions outside the DNA-binding domain are critical for proper in vivo specificity of an archetypal zinc finger transcription factor.', Nucleic Acids Research, vol. 42, no. 1, pp. 276 - 289
Funnell AP; Wilson M; Ballester B; Mak KS; Burdach J; Magan N; Pearson RC; Lemaigre F; Stowell K; Odom D; Flicek P; Crossley M, 2013, 'A CpG Mutational Hotspot in a ONECUT Binding Site Accounts for the Prevalent Variant of Hemophilia B Leyden', American Journal of Human Genetics, vol. 92, no. 3, pp. 460 - 467
Kelsey L; Flenniken AM; Qu D; Voronina I; Berberovic Z; Quach I; Yeh SYS; Adamson SL; Wood G; Newbigging S; Weiss ES; McKerlie C; Osborne L; Rossant J; Funnell APW; Pearson R; Crossley M; Zhou Y-Q; Wong M; Henkelman M; Deshwar AR; Scott IC; Backx P; Simpson J; Bruneau B, 2013, 'ENU-induced Mutation in the DNA-binding Domain of KLF3 Reveals Important Roles for KLF3 in Cardiovascular Development and Function in Mice', PLoS Genetics, vol. 9, no. 7
Berber S; Llamosas E; Thaivalappil P; Nicholas HR; Boag PR; Crossley M, 2013, 'Homeodomain interacting protein kinase (HPK-1) is required in the soma for robust germline proliferation in C. elegans', Developmental Dynamics, vol. 242, no. 11, pp. 1250 - 1261
Bell-Anderson KS; Williams H; Jusoh HM; Scully T; Nicholas HR; Hoy AJ; Sainsbury A; Funnell AP; Lim WF; Burdach JG; Mak KS; Knights AJ; Pearson RC; Crossley M; Turner N, 2013, 'Loss of Krüppel-Like Factor 3 (KLF3/BKLF) Leads to Upregulation of the Insulin-Sensitizing Factor Adipolin (FAM132A/CTRP12/C1qdc2)', Diabetes, vol. 62, no. 8, pp. 2728 - 2737
Vandevenne M; Jacques DA; Artuz C; Nguyen CD; Kwan AH; Segal DJ; Matthews JM; Crossley M; Guss JM; Mackay JP, 2013, 'New insights into DNA recognition by zinc fingers revealed by structural analysis of the oncoprotein ZNF217', Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 288, pp. 10616 - 10627
Mackay JP; Segal DJ; Crossley M, 2013, 'Is there a telltale RH fingerprint in zinc fingers that recognizes methylated CpG dinucleotides?', Trends in Biochemical Sciences, vol. 38, no. 9, pp. 421 - 422
Funnell APW; Mak KS; Twine NA; Norton LJ; Wilkins MR; Pearson RCM; Crossley M; Pelka GJ; Radziewic T; Power M; Tam PP; Bell-Anderson KS; Fraser ST; Perkins AC, 2013, 'Generation of Mice Deficient in both KLF3/BKLF and KLF8 Reveals a Genetic Interaction and a Role for These Factors in Embryonic Globin Gene Silencing', Molecular and Cellular Biology, vol. 33, no. 15, pp. 2976 - 2987