The Fehon Lab

Cellular organization and function of the Hippo Pathway in tissue growth control

Recent Lab News

March 18, 2024 – Welcome to Carol Dilts!, Carol, a first-year graduate student in the DRSB program, will rotate in the lab Spring quarter. Carol will be examining the relationship between Rho kinase and Kibra dynamics and localization.

Feb. 9, 2024 – Congratulations to Nicki on being accepted to dental school at the University of Minnesota. Nicki is planning to start this coming summer.

Sherzod Tokamov presenting the Sandler Award talk at the TAGC conference.


March 6, 2024 – Congratulations Sherzod! The Genetics Society of America selected Sherzod  to receive this year’s Larry Sandler Award for the best dissertation in the Drosophila community. His talk in the opening plenary session of this year’s combined TAGC conference in Washington DC was a big sucess! This is a huge and well-deserved honor for Sherzod! More about the award, including a list of past recipients, can be found here.









Jan. 1, 2024 – Tokamov et al. 2024 published in MBoC! Sherzod’s third paper, and the lab’s first paper of the New Year, was officially published today. This paper explores the mechanism by which cortical tension in the imaginal epithelium promotes Kibra degradation via the polarity kinase Par-1. It’s published as a part of the special ‘Forces’ issue of Molecular Biology of the Cell and involved a collaboration with the Fernandez-Gonzalez and Horne-Badovinac labs.

October 9, 2023 – Tokamov et al. 2023 published in Developmental Cell! Sherzod’s second major paper from his dissertation research was officially published today. This paper reveals how actomyosin dynamics and the apical polarity complex together control Kibra subcellular localization and its ability to promote Hippo signaling. Colleagues Ashley Rich and Michael Glotzer collaborated.

September 18, 2023 – Our longstanding grant to study the functions of Merlin and its partners has been renewed! This R01 grant from NINDS, which is currently in its 23rd year of funding, has supported the lab since the pioneering work of Brooke McCartney (Assoc. Prof., CMU) and Dennis LaJeunesse (Prof., UNCG) on Merlin. In this next cycle, which lasts 5 years, we will  explore how actomyosin dynamics, cortical tension and apical basal polarity together control Hippo pathway activity.

September, 2023 – The lab welcomes Maddie Lessard! Maddie, a first-year student in the CMB graduate program, is rotating in the Fehon lab fall quarter. Maddie will be examining how polarity proteins control Kibra subcellular localization and dynamics.

July 5, 2023 – Congratulations to KathyAnn! DRSB student KathyAnn Lee was selected as a trainee by the NIH funded Developmental Biology Training Grant.

June 2023 – The lab welcomes Victoria Sullivan and Aimee Smith for the summer. Victoria just finished her first year as an undergraduate in the College. She will be working with Niranjan on neuroblast polarity. Aimee is a rising senior at Bethel University who is participating in the NSF REU program housed in our home department, Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology. She will work with KathyAnn on Kibra function in the follicular epithelium.

June 2023 – Niranjan participates in graduation as one of 10 University Student Marshalls. This position is ‘The highest honor the University awards to undergraduate students on the basis of academic performance and involvement in and contribution to the campus community.” Congratuations!

June 2023 – Sherzod receives the DRSB Dissertation Award for 2023. Each BSD graduate program can award one student each year. Congratulations on this honor!




Sherzod at the BSD hooding ceremony, in full graduation regalia!

April 2023 – Niranjan was selected to receive the Genetics and Genomics Summer Research Fellowship for Summer 2023. This marks the third straight summer that Niranjan has obtained independent funding for his research in the lab.