Welcome to the Harrison lab!

Research in the Harrison lab focuses on how information encoded in the genome is differentially interpreted during organismal development. Specifically, we study the molecular mechanisms regulating gene expression and how changes in gene expression can drive cell identity. Because these processes are highly conserved amongst metazoans, we leverage the wide number of tools available to study this regulation in the Drosophila embryo. Current research in the laboratory is primarily directed at understanding the function of proteins that act at the top of gene regulatory networks to elicit dramatic changes in cell fate.

In our lab, we are committed to making science more equitable. We believe that the most innovative science happens within a diverse team and a supportive environment. To this end, we strive to eliminate systemic barriers to the recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups in science.

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.


• Congrats Meghan on passing your prelim! Can’t wait to see what exciting research comes next.

• We are excited to welcome Hope Hawthorne to the lab for the summer. She is visiting us from the University of Pennsylvania as part of the Biological Interactions Summer Research Program.

Recent Publications

•Larson, E.D., Komori, H., Gibson, T.J., Ostgaard, C.M., Hamm, D.C., Schnell, J.M., Lee, C-Y, and Harrison, M. M. (2021) Cell-type-specific chromatin occupancy by the pioneer factor Zelda drives key developmental transitions in Drosophila. Nat Comm. doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-27506-y

•  Gaskill, M.M., Gibson, T.J., Larson, E.D. and Harrison, M.M. (2021) GAF is essential for zygotic genome activation and chromatin accessibility in the early Drosophila embryo. eLife doi.org/10.7554/eLife.66668

 more publications…