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




Abraham Asare

Lab manager

I am a third year Molecular and Cell Biology undergraduate from San Bernardino, California. I joined the Hariharan Lab in 2019 as one of two lab managers tasked with ensuring the efficiency of lab operations. Outside of work, I spend my time socializing with friends and often partake in hours of competitive FIFA matches.



Lupita Hernández

Media preparation and stock maintenance


Joyner Cruz

I graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a B.S. in biology and psychology in 2016 after transferring there from a two year community college program. While there, I had my formative research experience studying membrane morphogenesis in budding yeast with Linda Huang. After graduating, I worked as a technician with Paul Garrity at Brandeis University studying sensory transduction in the fruit fly, where I solidified my decision to go to graduate school. My research interests are broad, which led me to the MCB program at UC Berkeley. As a newly minted member of the Hariharan Lab, I am interested in many aspects of tissue homeostasis. I prefer to keep my life outside of lab an enigma.




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.


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.


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 joined the lab in 2017 as an undergraduate under the phenomenal mentorship of Taryn Sumabat and Maya Emmons-Bell, who cultivated my deep fascination with development and genetics. In 2019, I received my bachelor's degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley, and have since continued to ponder the mysteries of growth and development at the Hariharan Lab a a post-baccalaureate researcher. Besides flies, my interests include cycling and fishing.


Erika Kumar

I am a second year Public Health student from Seattle, Washington. I am working with Jamie to study mechanisms of cell competition and signaling between tumor cells and normal cells in the imaginal wing disc. Outside of lab and classes I spend my time entertaining my cat and convincing her to watch Netflix with me.


Claire Wingert

I am a second year undergraduate from Colorado intending to major in Molecular and Cell Biology with an emphasis of Immunology and Pathogenesis and minor in Buddhist Studies. Currently, I am working under Nick to use single-cell RNA sequencing data and immunofluorescent staining to map gene expression of Drosophila wing imaginal discs. Previously, I worked under Dr. Patricia Ernst at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus studying the role of MLL1 in leukemia and regulation of hematopoiesis. In my free time, I like to hike around the Bay Area, do yoga, and ride my horse.

Victor Yu photo

Victor Yu

I am a second year undergraduate student from Mountain View, California, intending to major in Molecular and Cell Biology and minor in Computer Science. I am working under Jamie, and we are currently exploring mechanisms of cell competition between normal cells and tumor cells. In my free time, I love to swim, bike, run (aka triathlon), and cook.

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

James Walker (postdoc) Primary mentor was André Bernards (IKH was co-mentor)

Massachusetts General Hopital, Harvard Medical School
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
Abigail Gerhold (graduate student) Department of Biology, McGill University


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