Sean Crosson

Sean  Crosson
  • Professor Rudolph Hugh Endowed Chair
  • Established through a gift from the estate of Professor Rudolph Hugh
  • Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics


Sean Crosson, is the Professor Rudolph Hugh Endowed Chair in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and has significant appointments in both the College of Natural Science and the College of Veterinary Medicine. He has long been interested in how living things adapt their physiology to survive in different environmental conditions. Crosson specializes in investigating the molecular basis of environmental adaptation in bacteria that inhabit niches ranging from freshwater to soil to the interior of mammalian cells. Using a cross-disciplinary set of experimental and computational tools, he seeks to develop a fundamental understanding of how these cells adapt to and survive in a range of environments with the aim of developing new approaches to promote the growth of beneficial microbes and curb the growth of microbes that inflict harm.
Crosson received his B.A. from Earlham College in Richmond, IN, and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Following his graduate studies, he served as an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine, then joined the University of Chicago as an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2006. During his 14-year tenure there, he studied mechanisms of sensory transduction and gene regulation in the freshwater bacterium Caulobacterand the animal pathogen Brucella. From 2013 to 2018, Crosson directed the Chicago Center for Functional Annotation, one of four NIH-funded national functional genomics centers. Crosson was promoted to associate professor in 2012 and became a full professor of both biochemistry and molecular biology and microbiology in 2015. He remained at University of Chicago until joining MSU in 2019.