Current students: check OnCourse for course hours. All others: please email me for an appointment.
BIO112 Cells and Genes
BIO280 Research in Regenerative Biology
BIO401 Biology Senior Seminar
BIO405 Biochemistry Senior Seminar
FSEM101 Cancer: Exploring the Enemy Within
Growth regulation in vertebrates
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
B.A., Amherst College
Wildtype and longfinned zebrafish (Danio rerio)
My research utilizes the zebrafish model system to explore the regulation of proportional growth in vertebrates. During normal development, growth is integrated such that relative sizes among structures and tissues are specified and maintained. My laboratory is studying a zebrafish mutant strain (Schleier) with fins that grow to over twice the normal length. This long-finned mutant is notable in that it maintains patterned overgrowth, distinct from the kind of aberrant proliferation seen in cancer and overgrowth disorders. As zebrafish share many of their genes with humans, we hope to use this mutant to identify conserved pathways that regulate growth in vertebrates. Zebrafish also possess the remarkable ability to regenerate their fins within two weeks of amputation. Thus, understanding the growth pathways that are activated in our mutant fish may lend insight into tissue regeneration. Current work is focused on characterizing the molecular cause of the Schl allele and addressing whether changes in vascular tone are sufficient to change appendage size in the zebrafish.
I teach Biochemistry, Genetics, Seminars in Biology and Biochemistry, and a research-based course, Regenerative Biology. I am also the co-coordinator for the Biochemistry program, along with Professor Hilary Gaudet in the Chemistry Department. I am especially interested in helping students acquire the skills to become confident scientists, from designing and executing research projects to learning how to read, interpret, and contribute to the scientific literature.
Harris, M.P., Daane, J.M. and Lanni, J. (2020). Through veiled mirrors: Fish fins giving insight into size regulation. WIRES Developmental Biology . https://doi.org/10.1002/wdev.381
Lanni, J.S., Peal, D., Ekstrom, L., Chen, H.*, Stanclift, C.*, Bowen, M., Kahle, K., Harris, M. (2019) Integrated K+ channel and K+Cl- cotransporter functions are required for the coordination of size and proportion during development. * denotes undergraduate author. Developmental Biology 456(2), 164-178. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2019.08.016
Daane, J., Lanni, J., Rothenberg, I., Seebohm, G., Higdon, C., Johnson, S., & Harris, M. (2018). Bioelectric-calcineurin signaling module regulates allometric growth and size of the zebrafish fin. Scientific Reports 8, Article number:10391 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-28450-6
Kunduru, H., Lanni, J., Shields, J., Andreeva, V., Fraher, D., and Yelick, P. (2012) Characterizing the phenotype of the novel zebrafish mutant 152N [abstract]. J. Dent Res91(Spec Iss A): 1553.
Haining Chen, 2019: Genotypic and phenotypic analysis of unique Crispr-Cas induced mutations in the KCC4a gene.
Michelle Laverriere, 2018: Quantitative measurement of gene expression in wild-type, mutant, and regenerating zebrafish fins using qPCR.
Liam McCafferty, 2017: RNAseq analysis of gene expression in wild-type and mutant zebrafish fin tissue.
Caroline Stanclift, 2017: Immunohistochemical detection of KCC4 protein in zebrafish tissues.
Katie Henrikson, 2016 and Kevin (Ao) Shi, 2017: Phenotypic analysis of the vasculature and pigment during fin regeneration in zebrafish strains with activated potassium channels.
Ethan Fitzgerald, 2016: Determining the pattern and timing of KCC4 expression in wild-type and mutant zebrafish strains. (Also worked on phenotypic analysis)
Julia Jennings, 2015: Assaying the lateral line phenotype in zebrafish strains with potassium channel mutations. (Also worked on phenotypic analysis)