Biomolecular Chemistry Department
Zygotic genome transcriptional activation
6204b Biochemistry Building
420 Henry Mall
Madison, WI 53706
Transcriptional Mechanisms; Developmental Biology & Regenerative Medicine
Research in the Harrison lab is focused on understanding how the genomic code is interpreted over the course of development and how mutations in this code can lead to disease. Because all cells of an organism contain essentially the same DNA genome, it is how this genome is read out over development that can give rise to the diversity of cell types found in the adult. Using the many tools available for studies in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, we are working to understand how cell fate is regulated by gene expression and how specific proteins can control what regions of the genome are being actively transcribed. Work in the lab currently focuses on a number of conserved developmental transitions including (1) how the embryonic genome is initially activated after fertilization, (2) how neural stem cell number is precisely controlled to inhibit tumor formation, and (3) how epithelial cell fate is regulated.