Lisa Maves, PhD

Lisa Maves, PhD

Academic Title: Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington

Research Center: Center for Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine

"At Seattle Children's, my work focuses on basic research on heart and muscle development. Each day offers a new opportunity to make a discovery that will impact new therapies for children with muscular dystrophy and congenital heart disorders."

  • Dr. Lisa Maves is a principal investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and an associate professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She received her PhD from the University of Washington and completed postdoctoral research at the University of Oregon and at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She was a staff scientist at Fred Hutch before joining Seattle Children's Research Institute in 2012.


    • Related Resources

  • Award Name Award Description Awarded By Award Date
    Sandler Memorial Award Finalist (Drosophila Dissertation Research) Larry Sandler Memorial Award 1998
    Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Research Fund Postdoctoral Fellowship Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Research Fund 1998 - 2001
    Developmental Biology Training Grant NIH / University of Washington 1993 - 1996
    ARCS Foundation of Seattle Fellowship ARCS Foundation of Seattle 1992 - 1995
    NSF Fellowship - Summer Undergraduate Research Program National Science Foundation / Washington University 1991
  • Other Publications

    • Goody MF, Carter EV, Kilroy EA, Maves L, Henry CA
      "Muscling" Throughout Life: Integrating Studies of Muscle Development, Homeostasis, and Disease in Zebrafish.
      28335860 Current topics in developmental biology, 2017 : 124197-234
    • Talbot J, Maves L
      Skeletal muscle fiber type: using insights from muscle developmental biology to dissect targets for susceptibility and resistance to muscle disease.
      27199166 Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Developmental biology, 2016 July : 5(4)518-34 PMCID:PMC5180455
    • Fong AP, Yao Z, Zhong JW, Johnson NM, Farr GH 3rd, Maves L, Tapscott SJ
      Conversion of MyoD to a neurogenic factor: binding site specificity determines lineage.
      25801030 Cell reports, 2015 March 31 : 10(12)1937-46 PMCID:PMC4683018
    • Kao RM, Rurik JG, Farr GH 3rd, Dong XR, Majesky MW, Maves L
      Pbx4 is Required for the Temporal Onset of Zebrafish Myocardial Differentiation.
      26770887 Journal of developmental biology, 2015 : 3(4)93-111 PMCID:PMC4709844
    • Maves L
      Recent advances using zebrafish animal models for muscle disease drug discovery.
      24931439 Expert opinion on drug discovery, 2014 Sept. : 9(9)1033-45 PMCID:PMC4697731
    • Smith JD, Hing AV, Clarke CM, Johnson NM, Perez FA, Park SS, Horst JA, Mecham B, Maves L, Nickerson DA, University of Washington Center for Mendelian Genomics., Cunningham ML
      Exome sequencing identifies a recurrent de novo ZSWIM6 mutation associated with acromelic frontonasal dysostosis.
      25105228 American journal of human genetics, 2014 Aug. 7 : 95(2)235-40 PMCID:PMC4129399
    • Johnson NM, Farr GH 3rd, Maves L
      The HDAC Inhibitor TSA Ameliorates a Zebrafish Model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
      24459606 PLoS currents, 2013 Sept. 17 : 5 PMCID:PMC3870918
    • Yao Z, Farr GH 3rd, Tapscott SJ, Maves L
      Pbx and Prdm1a transcription factors differentially regulate subsets of the fast skeletal muscle program in zebrafish.
      23789105 Biology open, 2013 June 15 : 2(6)546-55 PMCID:PMC3683157
    • Krom YD, Thijssen PE, Young JM, den Hamer B, Balog J, Yao Z, Maves L, Snider L, Knopp P, Zammit PS, Rijkers T, van Engelen BG, Padberg GW, Frants RR, Tawil R, Tapscott SJ, van der Maarel SM
      Intrinsic epigenetic regulation of the D4Z4 macrosatellite repeat in a transgenic mouse model for FSHD.
      23593020 PLoS genetics, 2013 April : 9(4)e1003415 PMCID:PMC3616921
    • Paige SL, Thomas S, Stoick-Cooper CL, Wang H, Maves L, Sandstrom R, Pabon L, Reinecke H, Pratt G, Keller G, Moon RT, Stamatoyannopoulos J, Murry CE
      A temporal chromatin signature in human embryonic stem cells identifies regulators of cardiac development.
      22981225 Cell, 2012 Sept. 28 : 151(1)221-32 PMCID:PMC3462257
    • Paige SL, Thomas S, Stoick-Cooper CL, Wang H, Maves L, Sandstrom R, Pabon L, Reinecke H, Pratt G, Keller G, Moon RT, Stamatoyannopoulos J, Murry CE


Research Description

The Maves lab investigates skeletal muscle and heart development, with the goal of making discoveries that lead to new understanding of, and treatments for, muscular dystrophy and heart disorders. We primarily use the zebrafish as an animal model because of its advantages for genetic manipulations, in vivo imaging, and drug screening. By using the power of genetics and embryo development, we can gain insights into the origins of heart and muscle disease. We currently have three main projects. 

1) We are using a zebrafish model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (the dmd mutant strain) to investigate the developmental biology and epigenetics of DMD as well as to identify new drug therapies for DMD. We also work closely with Dr. David Mack’s lab ( to take advantage of human iPSC and rat models of DMD. 

2) We are investigating the mechanisms of skeletal muscle fiber-type differentiation. This work will eventually help us understand why certain types of muscle fibers are more susceptible to muscular dystrophy.

3) We are using CRISPR genome screening and precision editing in zebrafish to engineer mutations in genes that have been implicated in human congenital heart defects. Recently our screening has identified several new genes required for heart development. Our goal is to gain insight into the complex genetics of congenital heart defects.

About My Work

Research Focus Area

Congenital Heart Defects, Muscular Dystrophy, Developmental Biology