Skip Navigation

Department of Oral Health Sciences

Dr. Courtney J. Haycraft


 Courtney J. Haycraft, PhD.

 Assistant Professor
 Department of Oral Health Sciences
Contact Information

BSB 230-D (office)
173 Ashley Ave
P.O. Box 250509
Charleston, SC 29425
Phone: 843-792-8095

B.S. Molecular Genetics, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
M.S. Biology, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND
Ph.D. Cell Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

Honors and Awards:
Bausch and Lomb Scholar, University of Rochester

Department Affiliations
Craniofacial Biology (primary)
Department of Medicine - Nephrology (secondary)

Research Interests
Primary cilia are found on most cells in the mammalian body and recent work from our lab and others have shown that they are essential for many developmental processes and tissue homeostasis.  The process by which cilia and flagella are formed and maintained is highly conserved and has been studied in organisms from algae to vertebrates.  In humans, a growing number of syndromes have been attributed to loss of the structure or function of the primary cilium including many which feature pathologies in the skeleton and dentition.  We focus on the function of one of the core proteins essential for ciliary assembly, Ift88, and the effects of loss or dysfunction of Ift88 in the development and morphogenesis of the mineralized tissues of the mammalian body.  Our laboratory uses a combination of congenic and conditional mouse mutants in addition to cell culture, histology and molecular biology techniques.  In the developing skeleton, loss of primary cilia leads to defects in osteoblast differentiation and ectopic cartilage formation in the long bones in addition to defects in patterning of the digits.  We are also investigating the defects in ciliogenesis in the orpk mutant mouse, which encodes a hypomorphic Ift88 allele.  In contrast to Ift88 null mice, which die during gestation, orpk mutant mice develop a single ectopic digit and ectopic molar in addition to renal cysts and other pathologies.  In the orpk mutant mice, cilia loss is incomplete and the molecular mechanism underlying the formation of the cilia is unclear.

Recent Publications

Kierszenbaum AL, Rivkin E, Tres LL, Yoder BK, Haycraft CJ, Bornens M, Rios RM. GMAP210 and IFT88 are present in the spermatid golgi apparatus and participate inthe development of the acrosome-acroplaxome complex, head-tail coupling apparatusand tail. Dev Dyn. 2011 Mar;240(3):723-36. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.22563. Epub 2011 Feb10. PubMed PMID: 21337470.

Steele SL, Wu Y, Kolb RJ, Gooz M, Haycraft CJ, Keyser KT, Guay-Woodford L, Yao H, Bell PD. Telomerase immortalization of principal cells from mouse collecting duct. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2010 Dec;299(6):F1507-14. Epub 2010 Oct 6. PubMed PMID: 20926633; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3006301.

Berbari NF, O'Connor AK, Haycraft CJ, Yoder BK. The primary cilium as a complex signaling center. Curr Biol. 2009 Jul 14;19(13):R526-35. Review. PubMed PMID: 19602418; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2814769.

Ohazama A, Haycraft CJ, Seppala M, Blackburn J, Ghafoor S, Cobourne M, Martinelli DC, Fan CM, Peterkova R, Lesot H, Yoder BK, Sharpe PT. Primary cilia regulate Shh activity in the control of molar tooth number. Development. 2009 Mar;136(6):897-903. Epub 2009 Feb 11. PubMed PMID: 19211681; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2727556.

Haycraft CJ, Serra R. Cilia involvement in patterning and maintenance of the skeleton. Curr Top Dev Biol. 2008;85:303-32. Review. PubMed PMID: 19147010.

Johnson ET, Nicola T, Roarty K, Yoder BK, Haycraft CJ, Serra R. Role for primary cilia in the regulation of mouse ovarian function. Dev Dyn. 2008 Aug;237(8):2053-60. PubMed PMID: 18629867.

Tran PV, Haycraft CJ, Besschetnova TY, Turbe-Doan A, Stottmann RW, Herron BJ, Chesebro AL, Qiu H, Scherz PJ, Shah JV, Yoder BK, Beier DR. THM1 negatively modulates mouse sonic hedgehog signal transduction and affects retrograde intraflagellar transport in cilia. Nat Genet. 2008 Apr;40(4):403-10. Epub 2008
Mar 9. PubMed PMID: 18327258.

Song B, Haycraft CJ, Seo HS, Yoder BK, Serra R. Development of the post-natal growth plate requires intraflagellar transport proteins. Dev Biol. 2007 May 1;305(1):202-16. Epub 2007 Feb 12. PubMed PMID: 17359961; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1931410.

McGlashan SR, Haycraft CJ, Jensen CG, Yoder BK, Poole CA. Articular cartilage and growth plate defects are associated with chondrocyte cytoskeletal abnormalities in Tg737orpk mice lacking the primary cilia protein polaris. Matrix Biol. 2007 May;26(4):234-46. Epub 2006 Dec 29. PubMed PMID: 17289363.

Haycraft CJ, Zhang Q, Song B, Jackson WS, Detloff PJ, Serra R, Yoder BK. Intraflagellar transport is essential for endochondral bone formation. Development. 2007 Jan;134(2):307-16. Epub 2006 Dec 13. PubMed PMID: 17166921.