Johann K. Eberhart

Associate Professor of Molecular Biosciences

Genetic and environmental regulation of cellular behaviors that govern craniofacial development.

Dr. Eberhart obtained bacherlor's degrees in Biology and Psychology from Bethel College in North Newton, Kan., a master's degree from Wichita State University, and a doctoral degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia.  

His graduate work explored the mechanisms that govern development of the nervous system. At Wichita State University, under the mentorship of John Schmidt, he analyzed the role of members of the cadherin family of cell-cell adhesion molecules in the development of the murine brain. While a Ph.D. student working in Catherine Krull’s laboratory, he determined the roles of Eph/ephrin signaling molecules in motor axon guidance in the chicken hind limb. Through his graduate training he gained a deep appreciation of the signaling and cell behaviors involved in development.

In his postdoctoral position, he combined genetics with imaging to finely dissect the effects of signaling interactions on the cellular behaviors underlying morphogenesis, working in Charles Kimmel’s lab.  He directly imaged neural crest cell behaviors in living wild-type and mutant zebrafish embryos. This direct imaging of morphogenesis provides deep understanding of both normal development and how development can go awry in disease.

At UT Austin, Dr. Eberhart's team continues to analyze crest cell behavior in zebrafish, looking not only into the signaling pathways involved in cell behaviors, but also the genetic and environmental modifiers mediating these behaviors.

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