The Westerfield Laboratory

Institute of Neuroscience
1254 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1254

Contact Info:
Phone: (541) 346-4596
Fax: (541) 346-4548
Contact Person: Judy Peirce
Lab Members:

Angela Banks, Student
Bernardo Blanco-Sánchez, Research Associate
Aurélie Clément, Research Associate
Kimberly Lerner, Student
Judy Peirce, Research Assistant

Jennifer Phillips, Research Associate
Jeremy Wegner, Research Assistant
Monte Westerfield, Professor
Westerfield Lab Alumni
ZFIN Database:

Leyla Bayraktaroglu, Scientific Curator
Yvonne Bradford, Scientific Curator
Madison Cheek, Curator
Anne Eagle, Project Manager
David Fashena, Scientific Curator
Ken Frazer, Scientific Curator
Doug Howe, Curation Manager
Ashley Hughes, Curator
Patrick Kalita, Software Engineer
Jonathan Knight, Adminstrative Assistant
Ryan Martin, System Administrator

Prita Mani, Software Engineer
Sierra Moxon, Database Administrator Christian Pich, Software Engineer
Sridhar Ramachandran, Scientific Curator
Kevin Schaper, Software Engineer
Holle Schaper, Adminstrative Assistant
Xiang Shao, Software Engineer
Amy Singer, Scientific Curator
Sabrina Toro, Research Associate
Ceri Van Slyke, Scientific Curator

Zebrafish International Resource Center:

Justin Bauer, Fish Facility Staff
Renee Clark, Fish Facility Staff
Keely Core, Fish Facility Staff
April Freeman, Administrative Staff
Gordon Hennesy, Technical Staff
Ron Holland, Database Administrator
Jen-Jen Hwang-Shum, Research Associate
Michael Kent, Professor
Evyn Loucks, Fish Facility Staff
David Lains , Fish Facility Staff

Dagmara Marston, Fish Facility Staff
Jen Matthews, Fish Facility Staff
Katy Murray, Veterinarian
Andrzej Nasiadka, Research Associate
Erin Quinn, Administrative Assistant
Alex Schumann, System Administrator
Calvin Smith, Fish Facility Staff
Evan Williams, Fish Facility Staff
Zoltan Varga, Director

Research Interests:

Our laboratory focuses on understanding the mechanisms that regulate the differentiation of neurons.  We study how the specific properties of different kinds of neurons are regulated. 

We use zebrafish and a combination of anatomical, physiological, molecular, and genetic techniques.  The goal of our research is to provide a better understanding of the mechanisms that regulate the establishment of specific neuronal cell fates during normal development and what goes wrong during disease. 

Current research focuses on models of human disease. In particular, we are making and studying models of Usher syndrome, the leading cause of deafblindness.

Our research is funded by the National Eye Institute, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communicative Disorders, the National Institute of Child Health and Development, and the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health. We also thank the Megan Foundation, Vision for a Cure, The Usher 1F Collaborative, and The Gary Shapiro Memorial Fund for generous donations to the Usher Syndrome Research Fund that supports our work.

Contribute to the Usher Syndrome Research Fund.

Lab Haikus from annual Institute retreats:

Mutant hunt is fun
Tangoing through the gene pool
Don't drink the water
Free the zebrafish!
Take them to Amazon Creek
We need more field trips


Some Recent Publications: (or see all publications)

The Coalition for Usher Syndrome Research
Usher syndrome registry
The Usher 1F Collaborative
Hear See Hope - Usher syndrome: Hope for a cure
The Foundation Fighting Blindness
Association for Research in Vision and Opthalmology
ZFIN (the zebrafish information network) - the zebrafish model organism database.
The Zebrafish International Resource Center