May 23, 2017
Congratulations to Gina, Hanna, Natalie, and Dave on their graduation from Tufts today!
May 12, 2017
Our story about Pol theta and its domain-specific roles in ICL repair and alternative end joining was accepted today by PLoS Genetics. Kudos to Kelly, Alice, Robin, Nikolai, and Amy, and thanks to the Scharer and Wood labs for their invaluable contributions with the biochemistry.
May 1, 2017
Gina Tomarchio earned Highest Thesis Honors today for her independent research investigating how Rev1 promotes tolerance to alkylating agents in Drosophila. Truly REVolutionary…
March 27, 2017
Felicitaciones to Jane Blackmer, who was named a Tufts Summer Scholar, and to Juan Castaneda, who was awarded the Carpenter Fellowship. Both will be continuing their research in the lab this summer.
December 1, 2016
Varandt's review about the involvement of various polymerases in homologous recombination repair was just published in the Annual Review of Genetics. The review was a fun joint effort between our lab and Wolf Heyer's lab at UC-Davis.
November 14, 2016
Kelly's paper showing that Pol theta repairs DNA breaks that accumulate during gene amplification in follicle cells was published today. This was a great collaboration with Jessica Alexander and Terry Orr-Weaver at MIT.
June 17, 2016
Hearty congratulations to Dr. Kelly Beagan, who successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis about Pol theta today. The celebration with her outside examiner, Dr. Rick Wood, was well-earned!
May 22, 2016
Five senior undergraduates from the lab walked across the graduation stage today. Best wishes and bright futures for Catie, Ece, Alex, Noa, and Connor. Keep in touch!
May 2, 2016
Catie Donlon earned Highest Thesis Honors for her independent research describing how the drug sertraline affects Drosophila development.
April 26, 2016
Alex Schmidt earned Highest Thesis Honors for his research investigating how the SPHRH protein influences repair of chemically-induced DNA damage in Drosophila.
October 19, 2015
Kelly's review about DNA polymerase theta was accepted by CMLS today. There's a lot of interest in this protein right now—stay tuned...
August 5, 2015
Kasey finished off her M.S. degree in style with a rousing defense of her Pif1 studies today. Her mom was present at the celebration and is happy that Kasey will be returning to sunny California!
May 20, 2015
Kasey's review on error-prone double-strand break repair was accepted for publication in the Journal of Cellular Physiology. It's an overview of recent papers which describe the mechanisms by which mutations arise during alternative end-joining and homologous recombination.
April 30, 2015
Julie defended her senior thesis and garnered Highest Honors today. She handled the committee's tough questions without breaking a sweat.
March 30, 2015
Gina Tomarchio was named a Tufts 2015 Summer Scholar! She will continue her investigations this summer on domain-specific functions of DNA polymerase theta.
March 7, 2015
Julie Cox presented her research on the roles of DNA helicases in homologous recombination today. She is the first student from the lab to give a talk at the Undergraduate Symposium at the Fly Conference. She celebrated with some Chicago-style deep-dish pizza…
December 12, 2014
Varandt was awarded a Tufts Graduate Student Research Award for his
work on Drosophila Rev1. Congrats Varandt!
April 24, 2014
Robin Armstrong and Connor Clairmont earned highest thesis honors
for their senior honors thesis presentations this week. Robin will
be enrolling in a Ph.D. program at UNC-Chapel Hill (Go Heels!) and
Connor will be starting a Ph.D. program at Harvard. Both have
promised to return for lab laser tag outings.
April 9, 2014
The lab was awarded a 5-year NIH Program Project Grant titled
"Mutations Arising during DNA Repair," with the Haber, Lovett, Freudenreich, and Mirkin labs. This project will investigate the
basic mechanisms by which DNA replication and repair lead to genome
instability and mutagenesis. Our lab is focusing on ways that
homologous recombination repair at double-strand breaks leads to
mutations, particularly at repeated sequences.
March 30, 2014
Elyse Bolterstein, Rachel Rivero, and Melissa Marquez had their
paper accepted today at Genetics. It describes a novel
function for Drosophila WRNexo in dealing with replication stress
and suggests that WRNexo and BLM may work together in flies to
process stalled replication forks.
March 28, 2014
Kudos to Julie Cox, who is the recipient of a Tufts Summer
Scholar fellowship to do research in the lab this summer, and Robin
Armstrong, who was awarded the Thomas Harrison Carmichael and Emily
Leonard Carmichael Prize for her research on Drosophila PolQ.
March 7, 2014
Hearty congratulations to TEACRS fellow Elyse Bolterstein, who
has accepted an Assistant Professor position in the
Department at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago,
starting in the fall of 2014. Let's hope her flies can grow
accustomed to the other Windy City...
October 25, 2013
Kelly Beagan was named a winner of the Graduate Student Research
Competition and will receive additional funding for her project
investigating novel roles of DNA polymerase theta. Nice work, Kelly!
July 11, 2013
to Dr. Adam Thomas, who defended his Ph.D. thesis today
and entertained his audience with a captivating tale of his quest to
find the scpt gene. Adam will continue his scientific odyssey as a
postdoc in Dr. Ying Zhang's lab at the National Cancer Institute.
April 26, 2013
Anna Dukhovich successfully defended her senior honors thesis,
a tour de force which melded polymerase theta biology with
embryogenesis and RNA interference. She will be moving on
down the road to Tufts Medical School in the fall.
April 5, 2013
Update on undergraduate awards: Connor Clairmont received a
Carpenter Fellowship and Robin Armstrong was named a Tufts Summer
Scholar. These prestigious awards will support their independent
research in the lab this summer.
February 11, 2013
Anna Dukhovich has been awarded a Thomas Harrison Carmichael and
Emily Leonard Carmichael Prize Scholarship in Biology, in
recognition of her research about DNA polymerase theta.
November 7 , 2012
Adam's paper about common mutations in the cytochrome P450 gene Cyp6d2 was
accepted to G3 (Genes, Genomes, and Genetics) today. It's a great story about
two common mutations in multiple Bloomington stocks and how these mutations
synergize with mutations in the BRCA2 repair gene to cause extreme sensitivity
September 26, 2012
The lab has relocated! Our new space at 200 Boston Avenue, as part of the
Collaborative Cluster in Development and Genome Patterning, is gorgeous (and
much bigger than our old lab). All visitors are now welcome, but beware the fly
room with the self-locking antechamber...
March 30, 2012
More props for current and former lab members: Carrie Hui has been accepted into
the Ph.D. program at the Tufts Sackler School, Amy Baker was awarded an NSF
pre-doctoral fellowship, Varandt Khodaverdian received honorable mention for
said fellowship, and Anna Dukhovich has been named a 2012 Summer Scholar.
March 16, 2012
Time for more celebration cake! Dr. Dan Kane successfully defended his Ph.D.
thesis today. His public defense was attended by family and friends and rumor
has it that his performance may have garnered him an Oscar nomination.
March 4, 2012
Dan's finding that translesion polymerases play a big role during homologous
recombination repair will be published soon in PLoS Genetics. Now maybe he can
finally provide an answer to Amy Yu's question: "So Dan, which polymerase is
December 19, 2011
Genome Biology published our collaborative paper showing that Blm mutants have
increased frequencies of genome rearrangements and tumorigenesis. Interestingly,
these increases don't require DNA ligase IV, providing more evidence that
alternative end joining may correlate with cancer development and/or
December 13, 2011
Kelly emerged from her thesis proposal defense with all limbs intact. She has
now proven to her committee that she has something to do in graduate school.
Last part of the 3-step program to graduate school success: actually doing it!
September 1, 2011
The lab got its first R01 grant today from NIGMS. This grant will fund our
studies of proteins involved in error-prone repair of DNA double-strand breaks
and how the resulting mutations can lead to tumorigenesis in flies.
April 28, 2011
Amy Baker gave a rousing defense of her senior honors thesis today. Next stop
for Amy junior? A Ph.D. program at
Dartmouth. We'll certainly miss her talking muffin jokes... good luck Amy!
March 30, 2011
Victoria Mak has been named a 2011 Summer Scholar. She'll use the funding to
investigate the role of the Ku proteins in alternative end joining.
March 21, 2011
Introducing....Dr. Amy Yu! Amy successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis today. For
an encore presentation, Amy will be staying on the Red Line, moving to
Leona Samson's lab at MIT for a
postdoctoral fellowship beginning this summer.
December 3, 2010
Dan received a DeLill
Nasser Career Development Award from the Genetics Society of America. He's
already agreed not to use the award to support his "one-flug-a-day" habit, for
which he is currently receiving treatment.
September 24, 2010
A big day in the lab! We just learned that the
American Cancer Society will fund our investigations into the mechanisms by
which error-prone polymerases promote DNA double-strand break repair. Thanks to
everyone who has ever participated in a fundraising event for the ACS.
May 11, 2010
Bena and Amy's paper describing several important roles of translesion DNA
polymerase theta in alternative end joining was accepted to PLoS Genetics today.
This fascinating protein appears to be central to many types of DNA repair in
fruit flies—now comes the challenge of figuring out exactly what it's doing!
press release that accompanied the article.
April 30, 2010
Michael defended his senior honors thesis titled "Characterization of the role
of Drosophila melanogaster Pol32 in homologous recombination and DNA
repair." Of course, Darwin, the lab mascot/demigod, was in attendance as he
received highest thesis honors.
April 27, 2010
Amy's paper proposing a new model for alternative end joining was accepted today
at Nucleic Acids Research. The model, aptly named "SD-MMEJ" (for
synthesis-dependent microhomology-mediated end joining), postulates that local
DNA sequence context flanking a break site may play a crucial role in the repair
process. Feedback on this model is most certainly welcome.
March 28 , 2010
Carrie Hui was named a 2010
Summer Scholar and will use her award to further her studies on the
mysterious Trf4 proteins in Drosophila.
March 4, 2010
It's official: Adam is now a Ph.D. candidate, after successfully defending his
thesis research proposal today. No backing out now...
March 1, 2010
More props for the undergrads: Amy Baker was named this year's Biology
department recipient of the Paula Frazier Poskitt Scholarship, which will
support her as she works on her Senior Honors Thesis project. Michael won the
Class of 1898 Prize, which recognizes his high scholarly ability.
January 4, 2010
How many ways are there to repair an interstrand crosslink? What can slime molds
tell us about this type of repair? For answers to these questions and more,
check out a review by Mitch published in a special crosslink repair issue of
Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis.
August 17, 2009
Alice and Dan's paper describing the use of DmBlm mutants in imprecise
transposon excision screens was accepted at Genetics. Because one of the Minos
transposons that Alice excised was located in a gene named Tequila, the
possibilities for celebratory activities were pretty obvious. The work will also
be highlighted in the April 2010 edition of Fly.
May 5, 2009
Bena defended her senior honors thesis titled "Involvement of DNA polymerase
theta in alternative end-joining repair of DNA double-strand breaks in
Drosophila melanogaster." She knew things were going well when her
committee members started excitedly discussing models halfway through the
presentation. Highest honors to Bena!
May 1, 2009
Dan was presented with an award from the Tufts Graduate Student Council for his
outstanding achievements to undergraduate education. He's currently building a
new trophy case for his growing collection.
April 29, 2009
Adam Thomas switched to the Ph.D. program, in spite of the multiple
Ph.D. comic strips that Mitch posted around the lab. Welcome to the dark
April 3, 2009
Amy Baker was named a 2009
Summer Scholar and will delve into the mysteries of alternative end joining,
together with Amy Yu, this summer. Perhaps we'll start calling them the 'A
March 25, 2009
Amy Yu received a travel scholarship from the American Society for Microbiology
to present her research at the
3rd ASM conference
on DNA Repair and Mutagenesis in Whistler, Canada. Thanks to the ASM for
supporting international collaboration!
March 15, 2009
Bena has been accepted to the Biology graduate program at
M.I.T., where she will continue
her studies next fall. This means that she'll still be able to attend the lab
parties once she graduates. Congrats, Bena!
December 16, 2008
Two big events today. Amy Yu was awarded a travel scholarship from the
Keystone Symposia to present her
research on alternative end joining repair of DNA double-strand breaks in
Drosophila. You can hear about her research in Taos, New Mexico at the Genome
Instability and DNA repair conference. Also today, Dan successfully defended his
thesis research proposal, ensuring many more happy days with the flies.
November 5, 2008
Karina presented the results from her REU summer program research at the 2008
ABRCMS conference in Orlando
today. Her reward involved visits to several Orlando tourist attractions.
September 21, 2008
Want to know more about alternative end joining repair of DNA double-strand
breaks? Check out a review about microhomology-mediated end joining that Mitch
co-authored with Sang Eun Lee, published today in Trends in Genetics.
April 30, 2008
Camille successfully defended her senior honors thesis titled "The role of
ligase III in DNA double-strand break repair in Drosophila melanogaster"
and received high honors. She will soon be relocating to the other coast to take
a position in Ophir Klein's lab at UCSF. Congrats, Camille!
April 25, 2008
More honors: Bena was awarded the R.M. Karapetoff Cobb Chemistry Fund Prize
and the Thomas Harrison & Emily Leonard Carmichael Prize Scholarship, both of
which recognize significant academic achievement.
April 3, 2008
Two lab members received honors today. Dan received Honorable Mention for his
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Application. Bena was named a 2008
Tufts Summer Scholar and
will use her award this summer to conduct research for her senior thesis. Kudos
to both Bena and Dan!
February 26, 2008
Amy successfully defended her thesis research proposal today, making her an
official Ph.D. candidate. Onward to the thesis!
February 13, 2008
Amy and Dan presented results of their research at the
Keystone Conference on DNA Replication and Recombination. Dan took many
thought-provoking questions after his talk, and Amy endured a 3 hour marathon
January 25, 2008
Alice, Dan, and Adam won first and second prize in Kimtech's "Love That Glove"
video contest . Their masterpieces can be viewed
here ("Looking for
Love in a Glove" and "Training the New Guy"). We're still waiting for the Golden
November 10, 2007
Camille won a prize for her ABRCMS poster titled "The role of ligase III in DNA
double-strand break repair in Drosophila." Unfortunately, she and Endry were
unable to find a mechanical bull for their post-conference celebration.
September 28, 2007
Camille and Endry received travel awards to present their research at the Annual
Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS)
in November in Austin. Onward to the Longhorn State!
July 30, 2007
The major research projects in the lab are now funded by a National Science
award. The grant supports investigations into the "Interactions Between
Error-Prone and Error-Free DNA Double-Strand Break Repair Pathways in Drosophila
April 6, 2007
The McVey lab First Distinguished Quote Hunt was held. All quotes were accounted
for (together with lots of candy).
October 27, 2006
Amy was awarded a Graduate Student Research Award for her project, "Effect of
DNA ligase 4 on cell death after chromosome breakage."
September 10, 2006
Adam got married today! The biology department celebrated his union by
decorating his lab bench. He's decided to keep the decorations for good
experimental karma (see picture).
July 1, 2006
The lab received its first outside grant today. The
Ellison Medical Foundation has awarded us a
New Scholar in Aging grant to study the prevalence and mechanisms of
error-prone end-joining repair in Drosophila as they age.