The maternal-to-zygotic transition is conserved among metazoans.

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 two essential transcriptional regulators: Zelda and Grainyhead.

  • News

    • Congrats to undergraduate researcher Jack Schnell who will be starting his graduate studies at USC in the fall!

    • Excited that our paper detailing optogenetic inactivation of the pioneer factor Zelda is online at Molecular Cell.

  • Recent Publications
    • McDaniel, S.L., Gibson, T.J., Schulz, K.N., Fernandez Garcia, M., Nevil, M., Jain, S.U., Lewis, P.W., Zaret, K.S.and Harrison, M.M. (2019). Continued activity of the pioneer factor Zelda is required to drive zygotic genome activation. Mol Cell. 

    • Schulz, K.N. and Harrison, M.M. (2018). Mechanisms regulating zygotic genome activation. Nat Rev Genet. 
    more publications…