Harden Lab

We are interested in organismal development, in particular epithelial and synaptic development, and use the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model system.

The development of a multicellular organism is an incredibly complex process, and we focus on two aspects: tissue morphogenesis and formation of the nervous system. The morphogenesis of epithelial tissues sculpts an organism into its final form, and we study epithelial morphogenesis in the ovary and the embryo. This work may aid in understanding common birth defects, as well as provide clues as to why so many cancers are derived from epithelial cells. We are also interested in the formation and regulation of synapses at the neuromuscular junction, work that may provide insights into the causes of neurodegenerative diseases.

For more information, visit our research lab website.



Lab Room:

SSB 7128

Lab Phone: 

(778) 782-5642

Selected Publications

  • Yoo B, Kim HY, Chen X, Shen W, Jang JS, Stein SN, Cormier O, Pereira L, Shih CRY, Krieger C, Reed B, Harden N and Wang SJH. (2021). 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) signaling regulates amnioserosa morphogenesis during Drosophila dorsal closure: EcR modulates gene expression in a complex with the AP-1 subunit, Jun. Biol Open.
  • Wong KKL, Liao JZ, Shih CRY, Harden N and Verheyen EM. (2020). Hyperpolarized mitochondria accumulate in Drosophila Hipk-overexpressing cells to drive tumor-like growth. J Cell Sci.
  • Wang SJH, Sinclair DAR, Kim HY, Kinsey SD, Yoo B, Shih CRY, Wong KKL, Krieger C, Harden N and Verheyen EM. (2020). Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase (Hipk) plays roles in nervous system and muscle structure and function. PLoS One.
  • Reed B and Harden N. (2017). Studying Nonproliferative Roles for Egfr Signaling in Tissue Morphogenesis Using Dorsal Closure of the Drosophila Embryo. Methods Mol Biol.
  • Harden N. (2017). New Insights from Drosophila into the Regulation of EGFR Signaling. Methods Mol Biol.
  • Harden N, Wang SJ and Krieger C. (2016). Making the connection - shared molecular machinery and evolutionary links underlie the formation and plasticity of occluding junctions and synapses. J Cell Sci.
  • Krieger C, Wang SJ, Yoo SH and Harden N. (2016). Adducin at the Neuromuscular Junction in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Hanging on for Dear Life. Front Cell Neurosci.
  • Wang S, Yoo S, Kim HY, Wang M, Zheng C, Parkhouse W, Krieger C and Harden N. (2015). Detection of in situ protein-protein complexes at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction using proximity ligation assay. J Vis Exp.
  • Vlachos S, Jangam S, Conder R, Chou M, Nystul T and Harden N. (2015). A Pak-regulated cell intercalation event leading to a novel radial cell polarity is involved in positioning of the follicle stem cell niche in the Drosophila ovary. Development.
  • Wang SJ, Tsai A, Wang M, Yoo S, Kim HY, Yoo B, Chui V, Kisiel M, Stewart B, Parkhouse W, Harden N and Krieger C. (2014). Phospho-regulated Drosophila adducin is a determinant of synaptic plasticity in a complex with Dlg and PIP2 at the larval neuromuscular junction. Biol Open.

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