Mark D. Hens

Mark D. Hens

Mark Hens

Associate Professor and Associate Head

(336) 334-4945
424 Eberhart Building


Cell adhesion and migration in vertebrate development.


Ph.D., Medical University of South Carolina


My research is focused on understanding the mechanisms that regulate growth factor induced changes in the adhesive and migratory behaviors of cells in early vertebrate development. Embryos of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, are used together with biochemical, molecular and immunological techniques to investigate the involvement of Rho family GTPases in mesodermal and cranial neural crest cell migration.

Recent Publications:

Lucas, J.M, Nikolic, I., and Hens, M.D. 2002. cDNA cloning, sequence comparison, and developmental expression of Xenopus rac1. Mechanisms of Development 115 (113-116).

Hens, M.D., Nikolic, I., and Woolcock, C.M. 2002. Regulation of Xenopus embryonic cell adhesion by the small GTPase, rac. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 298(3):364-370.

Hens, M.D., Fowler, K.A., and Leise, E.M. 2006. Induction of metamorphosis decreases nitric oxide synthase gene expression in larvae of the marine mollusc Ilyanassa obsoleta (Say). Biological Bulletin 211:208-211.


Principles of Biology I (BIO 111)
Principles of Biology Lab I & II (BIO 111L & 112L)
Cell Biology (BIO 355)
Cell Biology Lab (BIO 356)
Vertebrate Morphogenesis (BIO 453)
Advanced Topics in Cell Biology (BIO 504)
Current Topics in Biology (BIO 549)
Molecular Biological Approaches in Research (BIO 596)
Honors Proseminar (HSS 198)