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

  • Kinsey, S.D., Vinluan, J., Shipman, G.A. and E.M. Verheyen (2021) Expression of human HIPKs in Drosophila demonstrates their shared and unique functions in a developmental model. Posted on bioRxiv. G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics, in press
  • Ganguly*, P. Madonsela*, L., Chao, J.T., Loewen, C.J., O'Connor, T., Verheyen#, E.M. and D.W. Allan# (2021) A scalable Drosophila assay for clinical interpretation of human PTEN variants in suppression of PI3K/AKT induced cellular proliferation. * joint first authors, # joint corresponding authors. PLoS Genetics 17(9): e1009774
  • Wong, K.K-L. and E.M. Verheyen (2021) Metabolic reprogramming in cancer: mechanistic insights from Drosophila. Disease Models and Mechanisms 14, dmm048934. doi:10.1242/dmm.048934.
  • Wong, K.K-L., Liao, J.Z., Shih, C.R.Y., Harden, N. and E.M. Verheyen (2020) Hyperpolarized mitochondria accumulate in Drosophila Hipk-overexpressing cells to drive tumor-like growth. Journal of Cell Science jcs250944. doi:10.1242/jcs.250944. *Dr. Wong was selected to be interviewed for the ‘First Person’ feature of the issue. **Selected for cover image. 

>> View more publications