David Parichy

Pratt-Ivy Foundation Distinguished Professor of Morphogenesis
314 PLSB
(434) 982-6162


• B.A., Reed College, 1991

• Ph.D., Population Biology, University of California at Davis, 1997

• Postdoctoral, Washington University Medical School, 1997–2000


Research Interests

Our research program seeks to answer a variety of questions having both basic and translational relevance. Current efforts focus on: 

• long-distance communication by specialized cellular projections
• intersections of hormonal controls with local mechanisms of differentiation and morphogenesis
• establishment and recruitment of post-embryonic stem cells during development and regeneration
• molecular and cellular bases for the evolutionary diversification of adult form

Much of our work uses zebrafish and related species, and emphasizes pigmentation, pigment cells, and their neural crest progenitors. Additional efforts focus on mechanisms of melanoma progression, development and regeneration of scales and skin in zebrafish, and appendage regeneration in salamanders. 

Adult pigment cells in magritte mutant zebrafish

Past areas of research have included genetic controls of post-embryonic development and metamorphosis; behavioral significance of pigment pattern variation; molecular and endocrine factors in skeletogenesis and kidney function; zebrafish natural history in India; and pigment pattern development and evolution in amphibians. The lab has diverse interests and we are always happy to entertain new ideas. We welcome postdoctoral scholars, graduate students and undergraduates. For more information please see our website.

Representative Publications

  • Lewis VM, Saunders LM, Larson TA, Bain EJ, Sturiale SL, Gur D, Chowdhury S, Flynn JD, Allen MC, Deheyn DD, Lee JC, Simon JA, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Raible DW, Parichy DM. Fate plasticity and reprogramming in genetically distinct populations of Danio leucophores. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1901021116.
  • Saunders LM, Mishra AK, Aman AJ, Lewis VM, Toomey MB, Packer JS, Qiu X, McFaline-Figueroa JL, Corbo JC, Trapnell C*, Parichy DM*. Thyroid hormone regulates distinct paths to maturation in pigment cell lineages. eLife 8:e45181
  • Spiewak JE, Bain EJ, Liu J, Kou K, Sturiale SL, Patterson LB, Diba P§, Eisen JS, Braasch I, Ganz J, Parichy DM. 2018. Evolution of endothelin signaling and diversification of adult pigment pattern in Danio fishes. PLoS Genetics 14:e1007538.
  • Aman AJ, Fulbright AN, Parichy DM. 2018. Wnt/β-catenin regulates an ancient signaling network during zebrafish scale development. eLife 10.7554/eLife.37001
  • Eom DS, Parichy DM. 2017. A macrophage relay for long distance signaling during post-embryonic tissue remodeling. Science 355:1317–1320. PMC5836293.
  • Patterson LB, Bain EJ, Parichy DM. 2014. Pigment cell interactions and differential xanthophore recruitment underlying zebrafish stripe reiteration and Danio pattern evolution. Nature Communications 5:6299. PMC4224114
  • McMenamin SK, Bain EJ, McCann AE, Patterson LB, Eom DS, Waller ZP§, Hamill JC§, Kuhlman JA, Eisen JS, Parichy DM. 2014. Thyroid hormone-dependent adult pigment cell lineage and pattern in zebrafish. Science 345:1358–1361.
  • Patterson LB, Parichy DM. 2013. Interactions with iridophores and the tissue environment required for patterning melanophores and xanthophores during zebrafish adult pigment stripe formation. PLoS Genetics 9:e1003561.
  • Parichy DM, Elizondo MR, Mills MG, Gordon TN, Engeszer RE. 2009. Normal table of post-embryonic zebrafish development: staging by externally visible anatomy of the living fish. Developmental Dynamics 238:2975–3015.