Derek Lessing

Lee Lab

Lab Manager

Harvard University


About Derek Lessing

Until joining the Lee lab, my scientific career was centered around Drosophila. As a student with Roel Nusse at Stanford, I studied the regulation of transcription of the gene wingless in the fly embryo, and then shifted to adult neurobiology during a postdoc with John Carlson at Yale. Recently as a research scientist with Nancy Bonini at Penn, I worked on Drosophila models for neurodegenerative disease. I've come full circle to my roots in development and transcriptional regulation in Jeannie's lab, albeit with a bigger and furrier model critter, whose mechanism of dosage compensation is a closer match to that of humans.

  1. Spencer RJ, del Rosario BC, Pinter SF, Lessing D, Sadreyev RI, Lee JT. A boundary element between Tsix and Xist binds the chromatin insulator Ctcf and contributes to initiation of X-chromosome inactivation. Genetics 2011 Oct; 189(2):441-54.

  2. 2009
  3. Jung J, Xu K, Lessing D, Bonini NM. Preventing Ataxin-3 protein cleavage mitigates degeneration in a Drosophila model of SCA3. Hum. Mol. Genet. 2009 Dec 15; 18(24):4843-52.

  4. Lessing D, Bonini NM. Maintaining the brain: insight into human neurodegeneration from Drosophila melanogaster mutants. Nat. Rev. Genet. 2009 Jun; 10(6):359-70.

  5. 2008
  6. Lessing D, Bonini NM. Polyglutamine genes interact to modulate the severity and progression of neurodegeneration in Drosophila. PLoS Biol. 2008 Feb; 6(2):e29.

  7. 2005
  8. Goldman AL, Van der Goes van Nat W, Lessing D, Warr CG, Carlson JR. Coexpression of two functional odor receptors in one neuron. Neuron 2005 Mar 3; 45(5):661-6.

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