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Dr. Lisa A. Taneyhill



Department of Animal & Avian Sciences 1405 AnSc/AgEn Building 8127 Regents Drive College Park, Maryland 20742


  • Early embryonic patterning
  • Intercellular interactions and communication
  • Neural crest cells
  • Placode cells


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, California Institute of Technology, 2000-2007
  • Ph.D., Princeton University, 2000
  • M.A., Princeton University, 1997
  • B.A., McDaniel College, 1995


  • We study animal growth and development by unraveling the molecular mechanisms orchestrating embryonic patterning using chick and mouse embryos as our model systems. To this end, we focus on two critical embryonic cell types, neural crest and placode cells.
  • Neural crest cells are truly an evolutionary marvel. This transient population of migratory cells ultimately differentiates to become sensory neurons and glia of the peripheral nervous system, skin pigment cells (melanocytes), and the bones and cartilage of the face and neck. Neural crest cells emerge from the neural tube and become motile by undergoing an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), an event molecularly similar to EMTs observed in metastatic or invasive cancers when cells leave the primary tumor site.
  • Neurogenic placode cells arise in the epidermis and concomitantly become migratory and differentiate to form sensory neurons. These neurons interact and aggregate with neural crest cells to assemble the cranial ganglia, which are crucial for integrating various somatosensory inputs
  • Neural crest and placode cells contribute substantially to vertebrate embryogenesis. Not surprisingly, many human congenital and hereditary malformations, diseases and cancers result from aberrant neural crest and placode cell development. We aim to uncover the molecular pathways that control neural crest and placode cell development to shed light on the etiology of these diseases.


2009-present: ANSC497/688G: Animal Biotechnology Recombinant DNA Laboratory

2010, 2013: ANSC489T/688T: Current Topics in Animal Sciences: Comparative Vertebrate Development

2017, 2018: BISI712: Responsible Conduct of Research for Biologists

Awards & Honors

2003-2006     NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship, NRSA (F32 HD043535), NICHD

2006-2011     NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00 HD0550534), NICHD

2007               Elsevier Scholars Foundation Women in Science Award

2008               UM Graduate Research Board Summer Research Award

2009               Honoree at the 2nd Annual UM Celebration of Research & Scholarship

2011               Outstanding Faculty Educator, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, UM

2012               On-Campus Junior Faculty Award, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, UM

2012               Western Maryland (McDaniel) College Alumni Professional Achievement Award

2013               Outstanding Faculty Advisor, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, UM

2014               UM Graduate Research Board Summer Research Award

2014               Gamma Sigma Delta Certificate of Merit for Mentoring, National Capital Chapter

2015-2019       Honoree at the 8th-13th Annual UM Celebration of Research & Scholarship

2015-2019     Honoree at the 17th-21st Annual UM Research Leaders Luncheon

2017               UM AGNR Women in Agriculture

Professional Activities

Professional Memberships

1995-              Member, Phi Beta Kappa                                                                             

2002-              Member, Society for Developmental Biology (SDB)                                             

2002-              Member, FASEB                                                                               

2007-              Member, American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)         

2008               Member, Sigma Xi                

2009-              Member, Association of Women in Science

2010-              Member, American Association for Anatomy (AAA)

2014-              Member, Gamma Sigma Delta

2015-              Member, Society for Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology (SCGDB)

2016-2019     Secretary, SCGDB

2017-2021     Member, AAA Program Committee

2019-              Vice-President, Phi Beta Kappa (UM Chapter)

2021, 2023     Vice-Chair (2021) and Chair (2023), Gordon Research Conference on Neural Crest and Cranial Placodes


Professional Activities

Grant Review and Other Panels

NIH: Developmental Biology subcommittee, 2008; P41 review, NICHD, 2010; R15 AREA Review Panel Member, 2013, 2015, 2018; DEV1 reviewer, 2019; NIDCR Special Emphasis Panel ZDE1 YM (18) M, 2020.

NSF: Animal Developmental Mechanisms, 2008 (panel) and current ad hoc reviewer.

Gordon Research Conference: Craniofacial Morphogenesis and Regeneration, Interdisciplinary workshop for biologists and bioengineers, 2008.

Invited Discussion Leader on “Career Planning,” NIH NICHD Postdoctoral Fellow Workshop, 2009.

Invited Panelist, Princeton University Department of Molecular Biology Career Symposium, 2014.


Editorial Boards

2011-present: Member, Frontiers in Craniofacial Biology

2016-17: Guest Editor: Special Issue on Collective Cell Migration, Mechanisms of Development

2019-20: Guest Editor, Special Issue on Neural Crest and Cranial Placodes, Frontiers in Physiology

2020-2022: Editorial Board, Developmental Dynamics


Invited Speaker

SDB Annual Meetings: 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2016.

ASCB Annual Meeting: 2006.

AAA Annual Meetings: 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2019.

SDB Mid-Atlantic Regional meetings: 2013, 2017, 2019.

Gordon Research Conference on Neural Crest and Cranial Placodes: 2015.

SCGDB Annual Meeting: 2016.

Gordon Research Conference on Craniofacial Morphogenesis and Tissue Regeneration: 2018.


Other Service

Committee member: National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Committee on Gene Drive Research in Non-Human Organisms: Recommendations for Responsible Conduct, 2015-2016.

Principal organizer: SDB Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting, 2009; UM Evo-Devo Journal Club, 2013-2016; SCGDB Annual Meeting, 2015.

Session Chair: “Cranial Sensory Organs: From Placodes to Disease,” AAA Annual Meeting, 2016; “Assembling the Peripheral Nervous System,” AAA Annual Meeting, 2018; “Sculpting the Face: A Role for the Cranial Nerves,” AAA Annual meeting, 2020.

Moderator: “Science, Ethics and Engagement in the Governance of Gene Drives: It Takes a Village,” American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting, 2017.

Director: AAA Regional Meeting Task Force, 2018.


To facilitate review, Dr. Taneyhill's name is highlighted in BOLD on all publications. All journal names are italicized. An asterisk (*) identifies Dr. Taneyhill as the lead or corresponding author. It is customary in Dr. Taneyhill’s field to list the laboratory director's name or advisor's name last on publications. The research reported in these publications was performed by Dr. Taneyhill or by the undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty research assistants, and postdoctoral researchers/research associates under her direct supervision.

  • Postdoctoral researcher or Research Associate mentored by Dr. Taneyhill 
  • Graduate student mentored by Dr. Taneyhill
  • Faculty research assistant mentored by Dr. Taneyhill
  • Mentored by Dr. Taneyhill as an undergraduate researcher (funded by HHMI)


Chapters & Books

  1. Taneyhill LA* and Adams MS. Investigating Regulatory Factors and their DNA Binding Affinities Through Real Time Quantitative PCR (RT-QPCR) and Chromatin Immunoprecipitation (ChIP) Assays. In:  Methods in Cell Biology, Volume 87, Avian Embryology, 2nd Edition. Eds. Bronner-Fraser M, Wilson L, and Matsudaira PT. Academic Press (Elsevier), Inc., San Diego, CA, USA; 2008: 367-389.
  2. Taneyhill LA* and 1Schiffmacher AT. Cadherin dynamics during neural crest cell ontogeny. In: The Molecular Biology of Cadherins, Volume 116. F. van Roy, ed., as part of the series “Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science.” Edited by Conn PM. Elsevier, Inc., Taramani, Chennai, India; 2013: 291-315. 
  3. Taneyhill LA* and 2Padmanabhan R. The Cell Biology of Neural Crest Cell Delamination and EMT. In: Neural Crest Cells: Evolution, Development and Disease. Edited by Trainor P. Elsevier, Inc., Taramani, Chennai, India; 2013: 51-72.


Refereed Journals

  1. Kroeger Smith MB, Rouzer CA, Taneyhill LA, Smith NA, Hughes SH, P. Boyer PL, Janssen PAJ, Moereels H, Koymans L, Arnold E, Ding J, Das K, Zhang Z, Michejda CJ, and Smith, Jr RH. Molecular modeling studies of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase nonnucleoside inhibitors:  Total energy of complexation as a predictor of drug placement and activity.  Protein Science 1995; 4:2203-2222.
  2. Kroeger Smith MB, Taneyhill LA, Michejda CJ, and Smith, Jr RH. Base sequence selectivity in the alkylation of DNA by 1,3-dialkyl-3-acyltriazenes. Chem Res Toxicol. 1996; 9:341-348.
  3. Kroeger Smith MB, Schmidt BF, Czerwinski G, Taneyhill LA, Snyder EJ, Kline AM, Michejda, CJ and Smith, Jr RH. Specificity of DNA alkylation by 1-(2-chloroethyl)-3-alkyl-3-acyltriazenes depends on the structure of the acyl group:  Kinetics and product studies.  Chem Res Toxicol. 1996; 9:466-475.
  4. Marechal V, Elenbaas B, Taneyhill L, Piette J, Mechali M, Nicolas J-C, Levine A and Moreau J. Conservation of the structural domains and biochemical activities of the MDM2 protein from Xenopus laevis. Oncogene 1997; 14:427-1433.
  5. Pennica D, Swanson TA, Welsh JW, Roy MA, Lawrence DA, Lee J, Brush J, Taneyhill LA, Deuel B, Lew M, Watanabe C, Cohen RL, Melhem MF, Finley GG, Quirke P, Goddard AD, Hillan KJ, Gurney AL, Botstein D, and Levine AJ. WISP genes are members of the connective tissue growth factor family that are up-regulated in Wnt-1-transformed cells and aberrantly expressed in human colon tumors. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 1998; 95:14717-14722.
  6. Taneyhill Ziemer L, Pennica D, and Levine AJ. Identification of a mouse homolog of the human BTEB2 transcription factor as a b-catenin-independent Wnt-1 responsive gene. Mol Cell Biol. 2001; 21:562-574.
  7. Taneyhill LA and Pennica D. Identification of Wnt responsive genes using a murine mammary epithelial cell line model system. BMC Dev Biol. 2004; 4:6.
  8. Taneyhill LA and Bronner-Fraser M. Dynamic alterations in gene expression after Wnt-mediated induction of avian neural crest. Mol Biol Cell 2005; 16:5283-5293.
  9. Taneyhill LA, Coles EG, and Bronner-Fraser M. Snail2 directly represses cadherin6B during epithelial-to-mesenchymal transitions of the neural crest. Development 2007; 134:1481-1490.
  10. 1Coles EG, Taneyhill LA, and Bronner-Fraser M. A critical role for cadherin6B in regulating avian neural crest emigration. Dev Biol. 2007; 312:533-544. (Co-first authors). Journal cover image
  11. 3 Jhingory S, 1Wu CY, and Taneyhill LA*. Novel insight into the function and regulation of αN-catenin by Snail2 during chick neural crest cell migration. Dev Biol. 2010; 344:896-910.
  12. Wu C-Y, 3Jhingory S, and Taneyhill LA*. The tight junction scaffolding protein cingulin regulates neural crest cell migration. Dev Dyn. 2011; 240:2309-2323.
  13. Fishwick KJ, 4Neiderer TE, 3Jhingory S, Bronner ME, and Taneyhill LA*. The tight junction protein claudin-1 influences cranial neural crest cell emigration. Mech Dev. 2012; 129:273-283.
  14. Wu C-Y and Taneyhill LA*. Annexin A6 modulates chick cranial neural crest cell emigration. PLoS One 2012; 7:e44903.
  15. 2 Carro T, Taneyhill LA and Ottinger MA. The effects of an environmentally relevant 58-congener polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) mixture on cardiac development in the chick embryo. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2013; 32:1317-1324.
  16. Schiffmacher AT, 2Padmanabhan R, 3Jhingory S, and Taneyhill LA*. Cadherin-6B is proteolytically processed during epithelial-to-mesenchymal transitions of the cranial neural crest. Mol Biol Cell 2014; 25:41-54. Journal cover image; Article highlighted by Mol Biol Cell Editorial Board in the journal and in the American Society for Cell Biology newsletter (
  17. Fairchild CL, Conway JP, 1Schiffmacher AT, Taneyhill LA, and Gammill LS. FoxD3 regulates cranial neural crest EMT via downregulation of Tetraspanin18 independent of its functions during neural crest formation. Mech Dev. 2014; 132:1-12.
  18. 1 Wu C-Y, 2Hooper RM, 4Han K, and Taneyhill LA*. Migratory neural crest cell αN-catenin influences chick trigeminal ganglia formation. Dev Biol. 2014; 392:295-307.
  19. 2 Padmanabhan R and Taneyhill LA*. Cadherin-6B undergoes macropinocytosis and clathrin-mediated endocytosis during cranial neural crest cell EMT. J Cell Sci. 2015; 128:1773-1786.
  20. 2 Shah A and Taneyhill LA*. Differential expression pattern of Annexin A6 in chick neural crest and placode cells during cranial gangliogenesis. Gene Expr Patterns. 2015; 18:21-28.
  21. Taneyhill LA*, Hoover-Fong J, Lozanoff S, Marcucio R, Richtsmeier JT, and Trainor PA. The Society for Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology 38th annual meeting. Am J Med Genet A. 2016; 170:1732-1753.
  22. Kaebnick GE, Heitman E, Collins JP, Delborne JA, Landis WG, Sawyer K, Taneyhill LA, and Winickoff DE. Precaution and governance of emerging technologies. Science 2016; 354:710-711.
  23. Schiffmacher AT, 4Xie V, and Taneyhill LA*. Cadherin-6B proteolysis promotes the neural crest cell epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition through transcriptional regulation. J Cell Biol. 2016; 215:735-747. Journal Table of Contents image; Article highlighted by J Cell Biol biobytes podcast, and by the online developmental biology forum the Node
  24. 2 Shah A, 1Schiffmacher AT, and Taneyhill LA*. Annexin A6 controls neuronal membrane dynamics throughout chick cranial sensory gangliogenesis. Dev Biol. 2017; 425:85-99. Journal cover image
  25. Jourdeuil K and Taneyhill LA*. Spatiotemporal expression pattern of Connexin 43 during early chick embryogenesis. Gene Expr Patterns. 2017; 27:67-75. Journal cover image
  26. Gammill LS, Cox TC, Marcucio R, Moody SA, Taneyhill LA, and Trainor PA. The Society for Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology 39th annual meeting. Am J Med Genet A. 2018; 176A:1270-173.
  27. Schiffmacher AT, 3Adomako-Ankomah A, 4Xie V, and Taneyhill LA*. Cadherin-6B proteolytic N-terminal fragments promote chick cranial neural crest cell delamination by regulating extracellular matrix degradation. Dev Biol. 2018; S0012-1606(17)30609-7.  Invited article for a Special Issue: “The Neural Crest: 150 Years after His’ Discovery”
  28. Wu C-Y and Taneyhill LA*. Cadherin-7 mediates proper neural crest cell-placodal neuron interactions during trigeminal ganglion assembly. genesis, The Journal of Genetics and Development: Craniofacial Special Issue. 2019 Jan; 57e23264.
  29. Taneyhill LA*, Moody SA, Cox TC, Klein O, Marcucio R, Schneider RA, and Trainor PA. The Society for Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology 41st annual meeting. Am J Med Genet A. 2019; 179:864-69.
  30. 1 Jourdeuil K and Taneyhill LA*. 2020. The gap junction protein Connexin 43 controls multiple aspects of cranial neural crest cell development. J Cell Sci. 133, jcs235440. doi:10.1242/jcs.235440.
  31. Eisenhoffer Jr, GT, Clouthier D, Cox T, Saint-Jeannet J-P, Taneyhill LA, Trainor PA, and Moody SA. The Society for Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology 42nd annual meeting. Am J Med Genet A. 2020; 1-7.


Invited Review Articles

  1. Taneyhill LA. Understanding embryonic development: from screens to genes. Genome Biol 2005; 6:359-361.
  2. Taneyhill LA and Bronner-Fraser M. Recycling signals in the neural crest. J Biol 2005; 4: 10.1-10.4.
  3. Taneyhill LA*. To adhere, or not to adhere: The role of Cadherins in neural crest development. Cell Adh Migr. 2008; 2:1-8.
  4. Taneyhill LA* and 1Schiffmacher AT. Should I stay or should I go? Cadherin function and regulation in the neural crest. Genesis: The Journal of Genetics and Development. 2017; 55:e23028.
  5. Alfandari D and Taneyhill LA*. Cut loose and run: The complex role of ADAM proteases during neural crest cell development. Genesis: The Journal of Genetics and Development. 2018; 55:e23095. Invited review for a Special Issue: “150 years in neural crest research”
  6. Hines MA and Taneyhill LA*. Adherens junctions in Development. In: Reference Module in Life Sciences. Edited by Roberto Mayor. Elsevier, 2019, ISBN 978-0-12-809633-8,  
  7. Leonard CE and Taneyhill LA*. The road best traveled: Neural crest migration on the extracellular matrix. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2019;S1084-9521(19)30037-0.


Perspectives, Opinions, and Letters

  1. Artinger KA, Alfandari D, and Taneyhill LA. Editorial to Special Issue on Collective Cell Migration. Mech Dev. 2017; 148:1-2.