Melanie Worley

Assistant Professor
316 PLSB
(434) 924-4374


  • B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2006
  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2013

Research Interests

How do tissues regenerate after damage? What are the mechanisms that allow cells to coordinate regeneration? The Worley lab combines experimental genetics, developmental biology, and single-cell transcriptomics to uncover the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate regenerative growth and re-patterning. We investigate these questions in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, a powerful system to study gene function. We aim to understand the genes and gene regulatory networks that are specifically activated during regeneration. Ultimately, this information has the potential to improve how we heal our own bodies through regenerative medicine. Research opportunities are available!

For more information, please see my lab website.

Representative Publications

  • Worley, M.I.*, Everetts, N.J.*, Yasutomi, R., Chang, R.J., Saretha, S., Yosef, N., & Hariharan, I.K. (2022) Ets21C sustains a pro-regenerative transcriptional program in blastema cells of Drosophila imaginal discs. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2022.06.040
  • Worley, M.I. & Hariharan, I. K.(2021). Imaginal Disc Regeneration: Something Old, Something New. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. a040733. DOI: 10.1101/cshperspect.a040733
  • Everetts, N.J.*, Worley, M.I.*, Yasutomi, R., Yosef, N., & Hariharan, I. K. (2021). Single-cell transcriptomics of the Drosophila wing disc reveals instructive epithelium-to-myoblast interactions. eLife 10, e61276. (*co-first author) DOI: 10.7554/eLife.61276
  • Worley, M. I., Alexander, L. A. & Hariharan, I. K. (2018). CtBP impedes JNK- and Upd/STAT-driven cell fate misspecifications in regenerating Drosophila imaginal discs. eLife 7, e30391. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.30391
  • Worley, M. I., Setiawan, L. & Hariharan, I. K. (2013). TIE-DYE: a seven-color marking system to visualize and genetically manipulate clones during development in Drosophila melanogaster. Development 140, 3275-84. DOI: 10.1242/dev.096057
  • Worley, M. I., Setiawan, L. & Hariharan, I. K. (2012). Regeneration and transdetermination in Drosophila imaginal discs. Annu. Rev. Genet. 46, 289-310. DOI: 10.1101/cshperspect.a040733
  • Smith-Bolton, R. K., Worley, M. I., Kanda, H. & Hariharan, I. K. (2009). Regenerative growth in Drosophila imaginal discs is regulated by Wingless and Myc. Dev. Cell 6, 797-809. DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2009.04.015