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Johann K Eberhart

Associate Professor
Molecular Biosciences


Phone: 512-232-8340

Office Location
PAT 522

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712

Research Summary:

How does a structure as complex as the vertebrate head form during development? How is variation in facial morphology generated both through evolution and in disease? Research in my lab aims at uncovering answers to these questions, primarily using the zebrafish as a model organism. Using live imaging of developing transgenic embryos we can analyze the cell movements and interactions that drive morphogenesis. We also employ genetics, molecular biology and classic embryology to dissect the regulatory networks underlying facial development. Our goal is to build a comprehensive understanding of the genetic and environmental inputs underlying facial morphogenesis.

We study how genetics and the environment influence the cellular mechanisms underlying craniofacial development. Craniofacial morphogenesis requires the precise control of multiple cellular processes, including cell movement, signaling, and differentiation. Disruption of any one of the processes can result in craniofacial disease, which is prevalent in humans. Our goal is to determine how these varied cellular processes integrate during craniofacial morphogenesis using the zebrafish as a model organism. Studies in the lab utilize a variety of techniques including genetics, molecular biology, and live imaging of embryos to finely dissect normal craniofacial morphogenesis and help determine the causes of craniofacial disease.


2013 Eberhart J.K. and Harris R.A., Understanding variability in ethanol teratogenicity, PNAS

2012 M.E. Swartz, V. Nguyen, N.Q. McCarthy and J.K. Eberhart, Hh signaling regulates patterning and morphogenesis of the pharyngeal arch-derived skeleton, Dev Biol. 369: 65-75

2011 Swartz ME, Sheehan-Rooney K, Dixon MJ, Eberhart JK., Examination of a palatogenic gene program in zebrafish., Dev Dyn. 240: 2204-20.

2011 He X, Yan YL, Eberhart JK, Herpin A, Wagner TU, Schartl M, Postlethwait JH., miR-196 regulates axial patterning and pectoral appendage initiation., Dev Biol. 357: 463-77

2011 Sheehan-Rooney K, Pálinkášová B, Eberhart JK, Dixon MJ., A cross-species analysis of Satb2 expression suggests deep conservation across vertebrate lineages., Dev Dyn. 239: 3481-91

2011 Tittle RK, Sze R, Ng A, Nuckels RJ, Swartz ME, Anderson RM, Bosch J, Stainier DY, Eberhart JK, Gross JM., Uhrf1 and Dnmt1 are required for development and maintenance of the zebrafish lens., Dev Biol. 350: 50-63

2009 X. He, J.K.Eberhart and J.H. Postlethwait, MicroRNAs and micromanaging the skeleton in disease, development and evolution, J. Cell Mol. Med. 13: 606-618

2008 Kimmel CB, Eberhart JK., The midline, oral ectoderm, and the arch-0 problem., Integr Comp Biol. 48: 668-80

2008 J.K. Eberhart, X. He, M.E. Swartz, Y-L. Yan, H. Song, T. Boling, A.K. Kunerth, M.B. Walker, C.B. Kimmel, and J.H. Postlethwait , MicroRNA Mirn140 modulates Pdgf signaling during palatogenesis, Nat. Genet. 40: 290-298

2007 M.B. Walker, C.T. Miller, M.E. Swartz, J.K. Eberhart and C.B. Kimmel, Phospholipase c, beta 3 is required for Endothelin1 regulation of pharyngeal arch patterning in zebrafish, Dev. Biol. 304: 194-207

2007 M.R. Miller, T.S. Atwood, B.F. Eames, J.K. Eberhart, Y.L. Yan, J.H. Postlethwait and E.A. Johnson , RAD marker microarrays enable rapid mapping of zebrafish mutations, Genome Biol. 8: R105

2007 C.T. Miller, M.E. Swartz, P.A. Khuu, M.B. Walker, J.K. Eberhart and C.B. Kimmel , mef2ca is required in cranial neural crest to effect Endothelin1 signaling in zebrafish, Dev. Biol. 308: 144-157

2006 J.K. Eberhart, M.E. Swartz, J.G. Crump and C.B. Kimmel, Early Hedgehog signaling from neural to oral epithelium organizes anterior craniofacial development, Development 133: 1069-1077

2006 J.G. Crump, M.E. Swartz, J.K. Eberhart and C.B. Kimmel, Moz-dependent hox expression controls segment-specific of skeletal precursors in the face, Development 133: 2661-2669

2005 Sahin M, Greer PL, Lin MZ, Poucher H, Eberhart J, Schmidt S, Wright TM, Shamah SM, O'connell S, Cowan CW, Hu L, Goldberg JL, Debant A, Corfas G, Krull CE, Greenberg ME., Eph-dependent tyrosine phosphorylation of ephexin1 modulates growth cone collapse., Neuron 46: 191-204

2004 Eberhart J, Barr J, O'Connell S, Flagg A, Swartz ME, Cramer KS, Tosney KW, Pasquale EB, Krull CE., Ephrin-A5 exerts positive or inhibitory effects on distinct subsets of EphA4-positive motor neurons., J Neurosci. 24: 1070-8

2002 Eberhart J, Swartz ME, Koblar SA, Pasquale EB, Krull CE., EphA4 constitutes a population-specific guidance cue for motor neurons., Dev Biol. 247: 89-101

2001 Swartz M, Eberhart J, Mastick GS, Krull CE., Sparking new frontiers: using in vivo electroporation for genetic manipulations., Dev Biol. 233: 13-21

2001 Swartz ME, Eberhart J, Pasquale EB, Krull CE., EphA4/ephrin-A5 interactions in muscle precursor cell migration in the avian forelimb., Development 128: 4669-80

2000 Eberhart J, Swartz M, Koblar SA, Pasquale EB, Tanaka H, Krull CE., Expression of EphA4, ephrin-A2 and ephrin-A5 during axon outgrowth to the hindlimb indicates potential roles in pathfinding., Dev Neurosci. 22: 237-50