Hemlata Mistry

Hemlata Mistry, PhD

  • Professor
Media Expertise:
  • Health Sciences
  • Science & Environment

Affiliated Programs


  • PhD, Genetics (1999)
    University of Cambridge (UK)
  • BS, Molecular Biology (1993)
    University of Glasgow (UK)

About Me

I earned my PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK, where I investigated the genetic mechanisms regulated by G-proteins that are important for cell communication. I continued my training as a postdoctoral research associate at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, working on genetic and developmental mechanisms underlying the generation of cell diversity in the nervous system of Drosophila.

Since joining Widener, I have worked closely with undergraduate students to continue investigating genetic and cellular mechanisms important for nervous system development in fruit flies. I teach introductory biology, genetics, and upper-level cell and molecular biology electives. I find the processes of scientific discovery and discourse with my students both enriching and rewarding.

Research Interests

I am interested in the development of fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster). The embryonic Drosophila central nervous system similar to the human spinal cord is a paradigm for understanding the cellular processes and genetic pathways regulating the formation and maintenance of a diverse population of nerve cells.

My research interests include investigating the role of RNA degradation in Drosophila development, investigating the impact of wounding in the Drosophila embryonic central nervous system, and investigating the effect of protein degradation on the activity of different transcription factors in neuronal fate decisions during nervous system development in Drosophila.


  • David Lopatto, Anne Rosenwald, … Hemlata Mistry, … Wilson Leung, Laura Reed, Sarah Elgin.  Facilitating Growth through Frustration: Using Genomics Research in a Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, Vol 21, No. 1 (2020) 
  • Meg M. Laakso, Leocadia V. Paliulis, Paula Croonquist, Brianna Derr, Elena Gracheva, Charles Hauser, Carina Howell, Christopher J. Jones, Jacob D. Kagey, Jennifer Kennell, S. Catherine Silver Key, Hemlata Mistry, Srebrenka Robic, Jamie Sanford, Marisol Santisteban, Chiyedza Small, Rebecca Spokony, Joyce Stamm, Melanie Van Stry, Wilson Leung, and Sarah C.R. Elgin. An undergraduate bioinformatics curriculum that teaches eukaryotic gene structure. CourseSource Vol 04, p1-9. (2017) 
  • Miki Fujioka, Hemlata Mistry, Paul Schedl and James B. Jaynes.  Determinants of chromosome architecture: Insulators pairing in cis and in trans.  PLoS Genetics 12 (2), e1005889 (2016) 
  • Haluk Lacin, Rusch, J., Yeh, RT., Fujioka, M., Wilson, BA., Zhu, Y., Mistry, H., Jaynes, JB., and Skeath JB.  Genome-wide identification of Drosophila Hb9 targets reveals a pivotal role in directing the transcriptome within eight neuronal lineages, including activation of Nitric Oxide Synthase and FoxD.  Developmental Biology 388 (1), 117-133 (2014)  
  • Lacin, H., Rusch, J., Yeh, R.T., Fujioka, M., Wilson, B.A., Zhu, Y., Mistry, H., Jaynes, J.B., & Skeath J.B. (2014). Genome-wide identification of Drosophila Hb9 targets reveals a pivotal role in directing the transcriptome within eight neuronal lineages, including activation of Nitric Oxide Synthase and FoxD. Developmental Biology, 388(1), 117–133.
  • Shaffer, C., Mistry, H., et al.(2014). A course-based research experience: How benefits change with increased investment in instructional time. CBE Life Sciences Education 13(1), 111–130.
  • A. Burcu Babaoglan, A., O'Connor-Giles, K.M., Mistry, H., Schickedanz, A., Wilson, BA, & Skeath, JB. (2009). Sanpodo: A context-dependent activator and inhibitor of Notch signaling during asymmetric divisions. Development 136(24), 4089–4098.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Genetics Society of America (GSA) 

American Society of Cell Biology (ASCB) 

Genetics Education Partnership (GEP) 


  • Provost Grant, Widener University

  • Faculty Development Grant, Widener University (2015–2016)

  • Cynthia H. Sarnoski Faculty Fellowship, Widener University (2013–2015)