Lab members  

Iswar Hariharan Ishwar Hariharan

I obtained my degree in Medicine (MBBS) from the University of Sydney and my Ph.D. degree from the University of Melbourne where I worked with Jerry Adams and Suzanne Cory. My post-doctoral training was with Gerry Rubin at the University of California, Berkeley. I joined the faculty of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School in 1992. In 2004 my lab moved to the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at U. C. Berkeley where I am a Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology. I have no hobbies and have forgotten how to relax.

Publications on PubMed

Profile on Google Scholar


Chau Pham (lab manager)


Jo Downes Bairzin

I received my bachelor's in biology from UC Santa Barbara in 2011. It was at UCSB where I first dived into biological research, studying the sensual topic of nematode mating behavioral asymmetry in the laboratory of Dr. Joel Rothman. I joined the Hariharan lab in 2015, and my work delves into the role of cell adhesion in tissue growth. Outside of lab, I'm a proud member of Ravenclaw house, and I enjoy drawing and playing bass guitar.


Maya Emmons-Bell

I graduated from Tufts University in 2016 with a B.S. in biology, where I investigated the remarkable regenerative capacity of the planarian flatworm in the laboratory of Michael Levin. I joined the Hariharan lab in 2017, and am now pursuing my passion for morphogenetic growth and patterning in a more airborne invertebrate. Outside of lab, I enjoy hunting for the Bay Area's best running trails, beer gardens, and live music venues.


Nick Everetts

Computational Biology PhD student.
League of Legends.
Mapping transcriptional patterns of the Drosophila wing imaginal disc using single-cell RNA sequencing.


Sophia Friesen

In 2017, I received my bachelor’s degree in molecular genetics from the Ohio State University. There, I studied the genetic ‘clock’ that helps control axial skeleton development in mouse in the lab of Dr. Susan Cole. One year later, I joined the Hariharan lab, where I study developmental timing and the regulation of epithelial growth and patterning. Outside the lab, I enjoy baking, backpacking, and misidentifying native plants.


Jamie Lahvic

I completed my PhD in Len Zon's laboratory at Harvard University, where I found a receptor for lipid signaling molecules that regulate regeneration of the blood system in both zebrafish and mammals. I joined the Hariharan lab as a post-doc in 2017, and here I am investigating mechanisms of cell competition. This research should shed light both on normal cell-cell interactions and on the response of normal cells to tumors in their midst. Outside of the lab I spend my time blues dancing and bicycling around town.


Linda Setiawan

I am a graduate student at the Free University Berlin conducting my thesis project in Iswar's lab. During my Master studies in biochemistry, I felt a need to resurface from the subcellular and to study developmental biology in real animals. I did my Master thesis research in Didier Stainier's lab at UCSF studying the fate decision in liver/pancreas progenitors in zebrafish. In Iswar's lab, I study the mystery of genes involved in regeneration and have been conducting a genetic screen together with Melanie to address the burning question: Why do we regenerate less as we age?


Danielle Spitzer

I graduated from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2017 with a B.S. in Biology and Women’s and Gender Studies. I fell in love with research while working in Scott Williams’ lab at UNC, where I studied the role of cell adhesion molecules called nectins during palatogenesis in mice. I joined the Hariharan lab in 2018 where I am continuing to explore the interface of cell and developmental biology. Outside of lab, I enjoy cooking, riding my bike, and volunteering at the local dog rescue.


Taryn Sumabat

I graduated from Stanford University in 2011 with a B.S. in Biology. There, my affinity for the Hippo pathway first took root, and I became interested in aspects of growth control while studying cell cycle dynamics in the lab of Dr. Jan Skotheim. Following graduation, I moved to Hong Kong to serve as a Princeton-in-Asia teaching fellow for one year. I then returned to California to pursue graduate studies at UC Berkeley, where I have been a member of the Hariharan lab since 2013. My work aims to understand the genetic and molecular coordination of tissue growth during development.

2014-2017: Graduate Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation (NSF).


Melanie Worley

I received my bachelor’s degree in biology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006 and learned that I am intrigued by both genetics and developmental fate decisions. I received my PhD from University of California, Berkeley in 2013 (in the Hariharan lab). I have now exhibited a fate change from graduate student to a post doc and am pursuing the identity of a mutant that enhances the frequency of transdetermination. I also developed a new technique to visualize and manipulate multiple clones, which we named "TIE-DYE", because we are in Berkeley after all. Besides in lab, I can be found outside searching for birds to add to my life list.

Publications on PubMed

Profile on Google Scholar

2008-2010: Predoctoral Scholar, California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).
2014: Winner - Best Poster Award (postdoc category) - Annual Drosophila Research Conference
2014: Runner Up - Image Award - Annual Drosophila Research Conference


Riku Yasutomi

I am a first year undergraduate student from Japan, intending to major in Molecular and Cell Biology and Psychology. I am currently working under Taryn to better understand the genetic coordination of growth control mechanisms. Outside of lab I love riding bicycles, fishing, and napping in the sun.

The "extended family" - some former members
Nicolas Tapon (postdoc) The Francis Crick Institute, London
Kenneth Moberg (postdoc) Department of Cell Biology, Emory University School of Medicine
Ivana Delalle (postdoc) Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Boston University
Cathie Pfleger (postdoc) Department of Oncological Sciences, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine
Kieran Harvey (postdoc) Peter MacCallum Cancer Center, University of Melbourne
Hiroshi Kanda (postdoc) Department of Physiology, Keio University
Brett Pellock (postdoc) Department of Biology, Providence College
Adrian Halme (postdoc) Department of Cell Biology, University of Virginia
Rachel Smith-Bolton (postdoc) Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Tania Reis (postdoc) Department of Medicine, University of Colorado, Denver
Ai-Sun Kelly Tseng (graduate student) School of Life Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Sarah Siegrist (postdoc) Department of Biology, University of Virginia
Sa Kan Yoo (postdoc) RIKEN, Center for Developmental Biology, Kobe
Joriene de Nooij (graduate student) Department of Neurology, Columbia University
Robin Harris (postdoc) School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University


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