Jennifer Mansfield

Associate Professor of Biology

Jennifer Mansfield studies development and evolution of vertebrate body plans. Research in the lab focuses on the development and evolution of somites, which are embryonic structures that give rise to various musculoskeletal derivatives. We seek to understand how Hox transcription factors regulate the development of somites and their derivatives in order to produce differing musculoskeletal morphologies along the body axis.

The Mansfield lab, and students in her lab course, are also involved in a collaborative project within the Barnard Biology Department, which aims to characterize chemosensory genes (primarily gustatory and olfactory receptors) and their functions in the moth Manduca sexta.

Academic Focus: 

Developmental genetics

Vertebrate development


Molecular and Mendelian Genetics

Lab in Molecular Biology


Senior Seminar in Evolution of Development

Awards & Honors: 

2012 Tow Award for Innovative and Outstanding Pedagogy, Barnard College

2014 Emily Gregory Award, Barnard College

2018 Teaching Excellence Award, Barnard College


Holzman MA, Bergmann JM, Feldman M. Landry-Truchon K, Jeannotte L, Mansfield JH. 2018. HOXA5 protein expression and genetic fate mapping show lineage restriction in the developing musculoskeletal system.  International Journal of Developmental Biology 62: 785-796.

Landry-Truchon K, Houde N, Boucherat O, Joncas FH, Dasen JS, Philippidou P, Mansfield JH, Jeannotte L. 2017. Hoxa5 plays tissue-specific roles in the developing respiratory system.  Development  144: 3547-3561.

Kanost M et al. 2016.  Multifaceted biological insights from a draft genome sequence of the tobacco hornworm moth, Manduca sexta.  Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 76: 118-47.

Koenig C, Hirsh A, Bucks S, Klinner C, Vogel H, Shukla A, Mansfield JH, Morton B, Hansson BS, Grosse-Wilde E.  2015.   A reference gene set for chemosensory receptor genes of Manduca sextaInsect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 66: 51-63.

Wong SF, Agarwal V, Mansfield JH, Denans N, Schwartz MG, Prosser HM, Pourquié O, Bartel DP, Tabin CJ, McGlinn E.  2015. Independent regulation of vertebral number and vertebral identity by microRNA-196 paralogs.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 112(35):E4884-93.

Mansfield, J. H., E. Haller, N.D. Holland and A.E. Brent.  2015. Development of somites and their derivatives in amphioxus, and implications for the evolution of vertebrate somites.   EvoDevo 6: 21.

Mansfield, J.H. and N.D. Holland.  2015.  Amphioxus tails: source and fate of larval fin rays and the metamorphic transition from an ectodermal to a predominantly mesodermal tailActa Zoologica 96: 117-125

Afroz, A., Howlett, N., Shukla, A., Ahmad, F., Batista, E., Bedard, K., Payne, S., Morton, B., Mansfield, J.H. and J.I. Glendinning. 2013. Gustatory receptor neurons in Manduca sexta contain a TrpA1-dependent signaling pathway that integrates taste and temperatureChemical Senses 38(7):605-17.

Mansfield, J.H. 2013.  Commentary:  cis-regulatory change associated with snake body plan evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 110(26):10473-4.

Chen, J. W., Zahid, S., Shilts, M.H., Weaver, S., Leskowitz, R.M., Habbsa, S., Aronowitz, D., Rokins, K.P., Chang, Y., Pinnella, Z., Holloway, L. and J.H. Mansfield. 2013. Hoxa-5 acts in segmented somites to regulate cervical vertebral morphologyMechanisms of Development 130(4-5):226-40.

Howlett, N., Dauber, K.L., Shukla, A., Morton, B., Glendinning, J.I., Brent, E., Gleason, C., Islam, F., Izquierdo, D.,  Sanghavi, S., Afroz, A., Aslam, A., Barbaro, M., Blutstein, R., Borovka, M., Desire, B., Elikhis, A., Fan, Q., Hoffman, K., Huang, A., Keefe, D., Lopatin, S., Miller, S., Patel, P., Rizzini, D., Robinson, A., Rokins, K., Turlik, A., and J. H. Mansfield. 2012. Identification of chemosensory receptor genes in Manduca sexta and knockdown by RNA interference. BMC Genomics 13: 211. 

Mansfield, J.H. and E. McGlinn. 2012. Evolution, expression and developmental function of Hox-embedded microRNAs. Current Topics in Developmental Biology 99: 31-57.

McGlinn, E. and J.H. Mansfield. 2011. Detection of gene expression in mouse embryos and tissue sections. Methods in Molecular Biology 770: 259-92. 

Mansfield, J.H. and A. Abzhanov. 2010. Hox expression in the American alligator and evolution of archosaurian axial patterning. Journal of Experimental Zoology (Molecular and Developmental Evolution), 314B(8): 629-44.

Mansfield, J.H.  2010. microRNAs in animal development. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. Wiley. DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0021489.

McGlinn, E., Yekta, S., Mansfield, J.H., Soutschek, J., Bartel, D.P., and C.J. Tabin. 2009. In ovo application of antagomiRs indicates a role for miR-196 in patterning the chick axial skeleton through Hox gene regulation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106(44): 18610-5. 

Hazelrigg, T, and J.H. Mansfield. 2006. Green Fluorescent Protein Applications in Drosophila. Methods Biochemical Analysis 47: 227-57.

Hornstein, E., Mansfield, J.H., Hu, J., Yekta, S., Harfe, B.D., McManus, M.T., Baskerville, S., Bartel, D.P. and C.J. Tabin. 2005. miR-196 acts upstream of Hoxb-8 and Sonic Hedgehog in limb development. Nature 438: 671-4. 

Harfe, B.D., McManus, M.T., Mansfield, J.H., Hornstein, E., and C.J. Tabin. 2005. The RNAse III enzyme Dicer is required for morphogenesis but not patterning of the vertebrate limbProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102: 10898-903.  

Mansfield, J., Quan, W., Jia, C., and M. Halpern. 2005. Sexual dimorphism in the accessory olfactory bulb and vomeronasal organ of the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domesticaChemical Signals in Vertebrates 10: Part 1, 5 p. 283-290. 

Mansfield, J.H., Harfe, B.D., Nissen, R., Obenauer, J., Srineel, J., Chaudhuri, A., Farzan-Kashani, R., Zuker, M., Pasquinelli, A., Ruvkun, G., Sharp, P.A., Tabin, C.J. and M.T. McManus. 2004. microRNA-responsive “sensor” transgenes uncover Hox-like and other developmentally regulated patterns of vertebrate microRNA expression. Nature Genetics 36: 1079-83. 

Mansfield, J.H., Wilhelm, J.E. and T. Hazelrigg. 2002. Ypsilon Schachtel, a Drosophila Y-box protein, acts antagonistically to Orb in the oskar mRNA localization and translation pathway. Development 129(1): 197-209.

Wilhelm, J.E., Mansfield, J., Hom-Booher, N., Wang, S., Turck, C., Hazelrigg, T. and R.D. Vale. 2000. Isolation of a ribonucleoprotein complex involved in mRNA localization in Drosophila oocytes. Journal of Cell Biology 148(3): 427-440. 




Office Hours: 

Spring 2019:  Tues-Wed 4-5pm


B.A., Oberlin College

Ph.D., Columbia University

In the News

For five years, Barnard has supported an increasing number of STEM students through the Summer Research Institute (SRI).

This summer, faculty in Barnard’s Chemistry Department were awarded major federal grants that will support them, individually and collaboratively, as they research a variety of topics.

Barnard College presented the faculty with awards to honor their commitment to exceptional teaching and research.

In the summer and fall of 2017, Barnard's exceptional faculty were awarded multiple prestigious research grants and fellowships.