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David Hutcheson, PhD

Languages spoken: English

Academic Information

Departments: Neurobiology - Research Assistant Professor, Dentistry - Adjunct Instructor

Divisions: Anatomical Sciences

Academic Office Information

Research Interests

  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neurobiology
  • Neurosciences
  • Neuroanatomy


My research interests focus on the development of functional neural circuits. While neurons have been described in great detail at a single cell level, a neuron's functional role in behaving organisms requires an understanding of the neural circuits within which they operate. Description of functional circuits in vertebrates has been difficult to address due to the complexity of the CNS, lack of genetic tools with which to label live neurons in vivo, and other technical shortcomings.

We are developing both genetic tools and transgenic lines of Zebrafish to address these problems. Zebrafish is a small genetically tractable model organism in which the developing CNS can be visualized and analyzed in live behaving fish. We have created modified enhancer-trap constructs that will allow us to create hundreds of lines of unique Zebrafish in which plasmid DNA integrates in a non-biased manner into the genome. Depending on the specific genomic locus of integration, we will be able to visualize specific subsets of neurons and glia, target these cells for destruction, inactivation, or activation, and do so at the developmental time of our choosing. Additional zebrafish tools are being developed in which TALENS mediated mutagenesis is used alongside homologous recombination constructs to target transgenes to specified locations while simultaneously deleting the endogenous gene. These knock-in knock-out lines allow analysis of both loss of function mutations and further manipulations of the targeted cell populations.


I teach pre-clinical medical and dental students in Gross Anatomy and case based learning courses.

Education History

Postdoctoral Fellowship University of Utah
Developmental Biology
Postdoctoral Fellow
Postdoctoral Fellowship Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Developmental Neurobiology
Postdoctoral Fellow
Doctoral Training University of Utah
Undergraduate Middlebury College

Selected Publications

  1. Alexander MD, Hutcheson D, Lawton M (2021). Neurovascular Venous Anatomy: Brain, Head, and Neck . In Hetts SW and Cooke DL (Eds.), Handbook of Clinical Neurology: Interventional Neuroradiology (1st, 176, pp. 23-32). San Diego: Elsevier.
  2. Alexander MD, Hutcheson D, Lawton M (2021). Neurovascular Arterial Anatomy: Brain, Head, and Neck. In Hetts SW and Cooke DL (Eds.), Handbook of Clinical Neurology: Interventional Neuroradiology (1st, 176, pp. 1-22). San Diego: Elsevier.
  3. Hutcheson DA, Xie Y, Figueroa P, Dorsky RI (2020). A transgene targeted to the zebrafish nkx2.4b locus drives specific green fluorescent protein expression and disrupts thyroid development. Dev Dyn, 249(11), 1387-1393.
  4. Hageman GS, Pappas CM, Brown EN, Hutcheson D (2019). Methods of Predicting the Development of Complement Mediated Disease. U.S. Patent No. Application # 61480929. Washington, D.C.:U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  5. Otsuna H, Hutcheson DA, Duncan RN, McPherson AD, Scoresby AN, Gaynes BF, Tong Z, Fujimoto E, Kwan KM, Chien CB, Dorsky RI (2015). High-resolution analysis of central nervous system expression patterns in zebrafish Gal4 enhancer-trap lines. Dev Dyn, 244(6), 785-96.
  6. Willardsen M, Hutcheson DA, Moore KB, Vetter ML (2014). The ETS transcription factor Etv1 mediates FGF signaling to initiate proneural gene expression during Xenopus laevis retinal development. Mech Dev, 131, 57-67.
  7. Aldiri I, Moore KB, Hutcheson DA, Zhang J, Vetter ML (2013). Polycomb repressive complex PRC2 regulates Xenopus retina development downstream of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Development, 140(14), 2867-78.
  8. Murphy MM, Lawson JA, Mathew SJ, Hutcheson DA, Kardon G (2011). Satellite cells, connective tissue fibroblasts and their interactions are crucial for muscle regeneration. Development, 138(17), 3625-37.
  9. Mathew SJ, Hansen JM, Merrell AJ, Murphy MM, Lawson JA, Hutcheson DA, Hansen MS, Angus-Hill M, Kardon G (2011). Connective tissue fibroblasts and Tcf4 regulate myogenesis. Development, 138(2), 371-84.
  10. Hutcheson DA, Kardon G (2009). Genetic manipulations reveal dynamic cell and gene functions: Cre-ating a new view of myogenesis. Cell Cycle, 8(22), 3675-8.
  11. Hutcheson DA, Zhao J, Merrell A, Haldar M, Kardon G (2009). Embryonic and fetal limb myogenic cells are derived from developmentally distinct progenitors and have different requirements for beta-catenin. Genes Dev, 23(8), 997-1013.
  12. Etard C, Behra M, Fischer N, Hutcheson D, Geisler R, Strahle U (2007). The UCS factor Steif/Unc-45b interacts with the heat shock protein Hsp90a during myofibrillogenesis. Dev Biol, 308(1), 133-43.
  13. Hutcheson DA, Hanson MI, Moore KB, Le TT, Brown NL, Vetter ML (2005). bHLH-dependent and -independent modes of Ath5 gene regulation during retinal development. Development, 132(4), 829-39.
  14. Hutcheson DA, Vetter ML (2002). Transgenic approaches to retinal development and function in Xenopus laevis. Methods, 28(4), 402-10.
  15. Hutcheson DA, Vetter ML (2001). The bHLH factors Xath5 and XNeuroD can upregulate the expression of XBrn3d, a POU-homeodomain transcription factor. Dev Biol, 232(2), 327-38.

Global Impact

Education History

Type School Degree
Postdoctoral Fellowship Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Developmental Neurobiology
Postdoctoral Fellow