Zack Harmer

Position title: Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Student



I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Utah in 2019.  I joined the Cellular and Molecular Biology PhD program at UW-Madison in 2019 and joined the McClean Lab.


I am interested in developing novel methods for multiplexing optogenetic signals and applying those to dynamically control microbial community structures.


  • Saba Parvez, Chelsea Herdman, Manu Beerens, Korak Chakraborti, Zachary P. Harmer, Jing-Ruey J. Yeh, Calum A. MacRae, H. Joseph Yost, Randall T. Peterson. MIC-Drop: A platform for large-scale in vivo CRISPR screens.  Science. DOI:10.1126/science.abi8870 (2021).
  • Heriberto Cerutti, Soujanya Akella, Xinrong Ma, Romana Bacova, Zachary P. Harmer, Martina Kolackova, Xiaoxue Wen, David Wright, Martin Spalding, and Donald Weeks. Co-targeting strategy for precise, scarless gene editing with CRISPR/Cas9 and donor ssODNs in ChlamydomonasPlant Physiology. DOI:10.1093/plphys/kiab418 (2021).
  • Yarrington RM, et al. Nucleosomes inhibit target cleavage by CRISPR-Cas9 in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1810062115. (2018, contributor)
  • Thomas E. Smith, Christopher D. Pond, Elizabeth Pierce, Zachary P. Harmer, Jason Kwan, Malcolm Zachariah, Mary Kay Harper, Thomas P. Wyche, Teatulohi K. Matainaho, Tim S. Bugni, Louis R. Barrows, Chris M. Ireland, Eric W. Schmidt. Accessing chemical diversity from the uncultivated symbionts of small marine animals. Nature Chemical Biology. DOI:10.1038/nchembio.2537 (2018)