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Student and Post Doc Highlights

Graduate students Emily Pitcairn, Kyle Jewhurst, and Kaylinnette Pinet were awarded SDB travel fellowships to present their research at the National Society for Developmental Biology (SDB) meeting in Snowbird, Utah July 2015.

This grant is awarded by SYNENERGENE, a four year project from the European Commission aimed at establishing an open and honest dialogue about the potential benefits and risks of synthetic biology. SYNENERGENE has partnered with the iGEM to provide grants to teams around the world. Last year, as the only North American recipient, the Tufts Synthetic Biology team investigated bacteriophage therapy. This year, the team will explore the intellectual property claims surrounding CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing.

Rebecca Levy, Thesis MS student, published a paper "Explaining the sawtooth: latitudinal periodicity in a circadian gene correlates with shifts in generation number" in the January 2015 issue of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology. A photo of our species, the European corn borer, also made it onto the journal cover! (Click on image to view journal cover.)

Simran Kaushal, PhD candidate from the Freudenreich lab, received a Graduate School Research Award and also participated in the GIFT Program.

Natalie Kerr, PhD candidate from the Crone lab, attended the BES Symposium: 2015 Demography beyond the population in Sheffield, UK.

Rachael Bonoan, PhD candidate from the Starks lab, has been awarded three grants (the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc. Research Grant, the Essex County Beekeepers Association Grad Student Research Grant, and the Animal Behavior Society Student Research Grant). She also won 1st place in the research portion of the annual Graduate Student Photo Contest. Rachael also attended the Animal Behavior Society 2015 Conference in Anchorage, AK where she gave a presentation on the seasonality of mineral preferences in honey bees.

Anthony Scibelli, graduate student in the Trimmer lab, presented at the 2014 regional Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology conference.

From the McVey Lab: Kelly Beagan won the Best Poster Award at the Zing DNA Polymerases conference in Oxford, England in August of 2014. Varandt Khodaverdian won a Graduate Student Research Award from Tufts in the fall of 2014. Kasey Rodgers published a review titled "Error-prone repair of DNA double-strand breaks" in the Journal of Cellular Physiology in May of 2015.

Livia Baer-Bositis received funding through the Tufts University Graduate Student Research Competition as well as the Tufts Water Diplomacy IGERT traineeship.

Rachael Bonoan has participated in various invited talks for beekeepers and the general public. She gave a talk to the Boston Area Beekeepers Association, the Barnstable County Beekeepers Association, the Portsmouth, RI Garden Club, Pint of Science, and was part of Catalyst Conversation's "The Buzz About Bees".

Allen Su, Freudenreich lab, received the following awards: (1) Best Thematic Poster Award in DNA replication and repair theme by American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) in Experimental Biology 2015 annual meeting in March 2015. (2) Yeast Genetics Meeting Travel Award from Genetics Society of America (GSA) in July 2014.

Michael Babokhov, Fuchs lab, received a graduate student research award from GSAS and he also received an EAPSI (East Asia Pacific Summer Institutes) award from NSF and conducted research in Japan.

Michael Babokhov and Ishtiaque Quasem presented their research at the 2015 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology meeting in Boston.

The following presented at scientific conferences:

Jewhurst, K., and McLaughlin, K.A. (2014) A novel model of oxidative heart disease in Xenopus laevis. 74th National Society for Developmental Biology Conference, Seattle, WA.

Pitcairn, E., and McLaughlin, K.A. (2014) Investigating the role of transmembrane voltage potential during embryogenesis. 74th National Society for Developmental Biology Conference, Seattle, WA.

Parker, C.E., Franco, L., Romero, L.M. 2015. Are novel objects stressful? The relationship between heart rate and neophobia in the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Soc. Integ. Comp. Biol.

Rao, R., Parker, C.E., Romero, L.M. 2015. Daytime vs. nighttime incorporation of exogenous corticosterone in feathers of European starlings. Soc. Integ. Comp. Biol.

Flower, J.E., Mark A. Mitchell, M.A., Norton, T.M., Andrews, K.M., Nelson, S.E., Parker, S.C., Romero, L.M. 2014. Baseline plasma corticosterone levels in rehabilitation and free-ranging nesting loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Amer. Assoc. Zoo Vets.

Recent publications:

Local and Long-range Endogenous Resting Potential Gradients Antagonistically Regulate Apoptosis and Proliferation in Embryonic CNS. Pai VP, Lemire JM, LinG, Chen Y, Levin M. In Press @ International Journal of Developmental Biology

Endogenous Gradients of Resting Potential Instructively Pattern Embryonic Neural Tissue via Notch Signaling and Regulation of Proliferation. Pai VP, Lemire JM, Pare JF, Lin G, Chen Y, Levin M. J Neurosci. 2015 Mar 11;35(10):4355-85.

Type 7 serotonin receptor, 5-HT7, is essential in the mammary gland for regulation of mammary epithelial structure and function. Pai VP, Hernandez LL, Stull MA, Horseman ND. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:364746

Jewhurst, K., Levin, M., and McLaughlin, K.A., (2014) Optogenetic Control of Apoptosis in Targeted Tissues of Xenopus laevis Embryos. Journal of Cell Death 2014:7 25-31.

Grunst, M., Grunst, A., Parker, C.E., Romero, L.M., Rotenberry, J. 2015. Pigment-specific relationships between feather corticosterone concentrations and sexual coloration. Behav. Ecol. In Press.

Flower, J.E., Norton, T.M., Andrews, K.M., Nelson, S.E., Parker, C.E., Romero, L.M., Mitchell, M.A. 2015. Baseline plasma corticosterone, hematalogic, and biochemistry results in nesting and rehabilitating loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Conserv. Physiol. 3 (1): cov003 doi: 10.1093/conphys/cov003.

Ishtiaque Quasem and Stephen Fuchs coauthored a paper in Drug Discovery Today: Disease Models called Budding yeast as a model to study epigenetics in July 2014.

Submitted Paper:

Musgrove, A.B., Wiebe, K.L., Parker, C.E., Romero, L.M. Relationships between measures of physiological performance, body condition, and plumage color: what indicates "quality" in nestlings? Submitted.