Verheyen Lab

The Verheyen lab uses developmental genetics, cell biology and biochemistry to understand how organs and tissues form and grow properly to shed light on normal development and human disease.

In the Verheyen lab we have three main overlapping areas of interest. We use molecular, genetic, and biochemical approaches to understand organismal development. We characterize signal transduction pathways that drive proper differentiation and are disrupted in diseases such as cancer. We have also generated models of human developmental disorders to gain insight into mechanisms of disease. For these studies, we use Drosophila melanogaster, the fruit fly, as a genetic model organism. Most genes implicated in human disease have counterparts in the fly, enabling us to take advantage of the exquisite genetic tractability to understand protein function in numerous developmental contexts.

For more details on current research projects, visit our research lab website.



Lab Room:

SSB 7152

Lab Phone: 

(778) 782-4239

Selected Publications

  • Liao, J.Z.*, Chung, H.*, Shih, C., Wong, K.K-L., Dutta, D., Nil, Z., Burns, C-G., Kanca, O., Park, Y-J., Zuo, Z., Marcogliese, P.C., Sew, K., Bellen, H.J.# and E.M. Verheyen#. (2024) Cdk8/CDK19 promotes mitochondrial fission through Drp1 phosphorylation and can phenotypically suppress pink1 deficiency in Drosophila. * joint first authors, # joint corresponding authors. In press, Nature Communications,15, 3326.
  • Yu, K., Ramkumar, N., Wong, K.K.L., Tettweiler, G. and E.M. Verheyen (2023) The AMPK-like protein kinases Sik2 and Sik3 interact with Hipk and induce synergistic tumorigenesis in a Drosophila cancer model. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology,
  • Gignac, S. J.*, MacCharles, K.R.*, Fu, K., Bonaparte, K., Akarsu, G., Barrett, T.W., Verheyen, E.M.# and J.M. Richman#. (2023) Mechanistic studies in Drosophila and chicken give new insights into functions of DVL1 in dominant Robinow Syndrome. * joint first authors, # joint corresponding authors. Disease Models and Mechanisms, 16, doi:10.1242/dmm.049844.
  • E.M. Verheyen (2022) The power of Drosophila in modeling human disease mechanisms. Invited editorial, Disease Models and Mechanisms, 15 (3): dmm049549.
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