Student and Post Doc Highlights
New Weapon to Fight Dangerous Infections
Tufts researchers find drugs already approved for other uses in people help
frogs survive deadly E. coli by changing their cells' electrical charge.
was written by Jean-Francois Pare, Ph.D., and
Dr. Michael Levin joined by Christopher J. Martyniuk
of the Center for Environmental and Human Toxicology and Department of Physiological
Sciences, University of Florida Genetics Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine,
University of Florida, Gainesville.
New research led by Tufts University shows that the
invasive European paper wasp, Polistes
dominulus, plays a role in facilitating sour
rot disease in the absence of other insects.
USA Science and Engineering Festival 2016
Wasps and wine: paper wasps found to contribute to sour rot grape
disease, a scourge of wine industry
This year, the Tufts BUGS (Biology Union of Graduate Students) were lucky enough to participate in the USA
Science and Engineering Festival which is held in Washington, D.C. The mission of the USA Science and
Engineering Festival is "to stimulate and sustain the interest of our nation's youth in science, technology,
engineering and math (STEM) by producing and presenting the most compelling, exciting, and educational
Festival in the world." With over 3,000 interactive activities, 50 stage shows, and 350,000+ visitors over the
course of the weekend, I'd say the Festival has achieved its mission! Being able to take action and participate
in such an admirable mission was truly a transformative experience.
Spear-headed by Emily Pitcarin and Kyle Jewhurst, BUGS started planning for the event about a year ago.
In one short year, we formed committees to come up with–and solidify–three interactive activities all
with the same theme: communication. In total, 12 graduate students attended the event:
Rory Fuller, Brenna Gormally, Kyle Jewhurst, Varandt Khodaverdian, Elizabeth Landis, Marcus Lehr, Clare Parker,
Kaylinnette Pinet, Emily Pitcairn, Taylor Sands-Marcinkowski, and Ishtiaque Quasem.
Jennifer Mortensen, Reed Lab Group, successfully
defended her Ph.D. thesis, "Multifaceted characterization of
extinction risk in the endangered, cooperatively breeding
White-breasted Thrasher (Ramphocinclus brachyurus)".
Jennifer Nguyen, Freudenreich Lab, successfully
defended her Ph.D. thesis, "Roles of the Srs2 helicase and the Ctf18
clamp loader in replication of structure-forming CAG repeats in
Biology seniors, Jennifer Hammelman
and Maya Emmons-Bell,
are featured in an article,
That's Fit to Print". The article is also in rotation on the
Daniel Lobo, postdoctoral fellow in the Levin
Lab, accepted a position as Assistant Professor at the University of
Maryland, Baltimore County to start
his own lab.
Rachael Bonoan, Ph.D. candidate in the Starks lab, attended
two conferences: Protecting Pollinators in Ornamental Landscapes in
Hendersonville, NC and Social Insects in the North-East Regions 5 at
Boston University. Rachael was also awarded the Tufts Institute of
the Environment Travel Grant, and Nooria Al-Wathiqui and Rachael
published a paper in Physiological Entomology (Bonoan RE, Al-Wathiqui
N, Lewis S. 2015. Linking larval nutrition to adult reproductive
traits in the European corn borer Ostrinia nubilalis.
Physiological Entomology 40: 309-316).
Crista Wadsworth, Dopman Laboratory, successfully
defended her Ph.D. thesis, "The Mechanisms and Consequences of
Evolution in Phenology". Congratulations Crista!
Charles van Rees, Ph.D. candidate in the Michael
Reed Lab, was featured on 2 local Hawaiian TV shows that featured
his research. They can be seen
Simran Kaushal, Ph.D. candidate in the Freudenreich
Laboratory, was awarded second place in the Tufts Ignite
competition. Every Fall students from AS&E have the opportunity to
present their research in a five-minute presentation format to an
audience and judges. Congratulations Sim!
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
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.
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.
and Stephen Fuchs coauthored a paper
in Drug Discovery Today: Disease Models called Budding yeast as a model to study
epigenetics in July 2014.
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?