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Congratulations to Dr. Sergei Mirkin, who received a $2.6M Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA) from NIH in March 2019, to advance his pioneering studies of the mechanisms of genome instability mediated by simple DNA repeats.
Tufts Biologists win "Project of the Year" from the Department of Defense's SERDP Resource Conservation Program, for 'Endangered Butterflies as a Model System for Managing Source-Sink Dynamics on Department of Defense Lands.' This project was led by Dr. Elizabeth Crone, with Norah Warchola, Lee Brown, and researchers from Duke University, Michigan State University, Washington State University, and the Institute of Wildlife Studies. The project demonstrated how habitat restoration, if carefully planned, enhances landscapes for endangered butterflies.
The Biology department would like to welcome Dr. Erik Hoel, who started as a Research Assistant Professor at Allen Discovery Center.
Professor Barry Trimmer and his colleague Vishesh Vikas have been awarded a new NSF grant as part of the National Robotic Initiative entitled 'M3SoRo: Mobility and Morphing using Modular Soft Robots.'
Throughout October 2018, Professor Barry Trimmer is serving as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA) in Edinburgh.
Congratulations to Biology Ph.D. candidate Charles van Rees, who won 'Best Paper' at the 2018 Conference of The Waterbird Society. In August 2018, members of Tufts University's Reed Lab and Romero Lab traveled to Vancouver, Canada and attended the Waterbird Society annual conference. They also attended the 27th International Ornithological Congress, which provides a platform for ornithologists around the world to meet and share up-to-date research, along with conservation accomplishments and concerns. The Congress occurs every four years, and is considered the oldest and most prestigious of meetings for avian scientists.
Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Avalon Owens, who won the Founders Memorial Award for the best student or postdoc paper at the 2018 Animal Behavior Society Meeting held in Madison, Wisconsin.
Congratulations to members of the Mirkin Lab, whose paper "The mechanisms of genetic instability caused by (CGG)n repeats in an experimental mammalian system" was recently published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. The paper is also referenced in a News & Views feature.
Congratulations to Dr. Michael Romero, who received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics & Engineering Mentoring, on June 25, 2018.
Congratulations to Dr. Benjamin Wolfe on his new appointment to the Eileen Fox Aptman and Lowell Aptman Professorship at Tufts University, effective May 18, 2018.
Congratulations to Allan Chen, a Tufts Biology graduate student, along with Jaclyn Dunphy, Neuroscience, who earned third place in the Gordon Institute's $100K New Ventures Competition. They pitched their idea for Cabin Labs, a pharmaceutical company engineering a safe medicine for chronic pain, and were awarded some seed money to begin their venture. Congratulations to both Allan and Jaclyn.
Congratulations to Ph.D. student Jessica Rozek. This week, Jessica received the national AbbVie Immunology Scholarship ($15,000), which is awarded to exceptional students living with inflammatory diseases. Persons with disabilities are disproportionately underrepresented in STEM as graduate students, and in the workforce. Her diagnoses of both Crohn's Disease and Autoimmune Hepatitis have encouraged her to become a voice and advocate for graduate students and young scientists with chronic illnesses.
Congratulations to the Freudenreich Lab on the recent publication of their paper in GENETICS about ISW1 and triplet repeat expansion. Their work was a featured this past week on the SGD blog "Trouble with Triplets", and they made an exciting video animation of the work.
Congratulations to Dr. Kate Mirkin for receiving a "Tufts Teaching with Technology Award" in recognition of her outstanding use of technology in the classroom. Educational Technology Services requested that students throughout the university nominate individuals "whose use of technology has had a markedly positive impact on their learning and engagement in a Tufts course." The IT Governance Sub-Committee on Teaching and Learning then selected the honorees. Kate will receive her award on the first day of the university-wide teaching conference on May 21, 2018. Congratulations to Dr. Mirkin, from everyone in the Biology department.
The awardees and honorable mentions for the 2018 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program competition have been announced. The NSF received over 12,000 applications, and made 2,000 award offers. Congratulations to Gabriela Garcia from the Orians Laboratory, who was awarded a fellowship this year.
Congratulations to Prof. Dany Spencer Adams, principal investigator at the Tufts Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology and research professor in the Department of Biology, who has been named editor-in-chief of the new journal Bioelectricity. "We are on the threshold of a transformation in the intellectual and technical strategies used in the biosciences, as ever more researchers begin to explore the biophysical phenomena that act synergistically with the biochemical," said Adams in an announcement about the journal. "That makes this an exhilarating moment in the progression of bioelectricity studies, from a small specialty to an internationally recognized topic of great significance to biology and medicine."
Tufts Biology was ranked 5th in the nation by College Factual. The general biology program was ranked 5th out of 820 programs, nationwide. This makes general biology at Tufts a Top 5 program in the United States. Read more >
Congratulations to Biology Ph.D. candidate Charles van Rees, who was the recipient of a Fulbright Award to do a post-doctoral fellowship next year in Spain. He also attended a World Wetlands Day celebration in Hawaii to receive a Certificate of Commendation for Dedication and Service to Hawaiian Conservation from the State of Hawaii House of Representatives.
Tufts biologist Benjamin Wolfe and his research were featured in National Public Radio's 'The Cheese Does Not Stand Alone: How Fungi and Bacteria Team Up for a Tastier Rind". The article describes how bacteria use fungal "highways" in cheese to spread, affecting the flavor.
Congratulations to Sarah Dykstra, a post doc in the Biology Department who was co-organizer of a recent highly successful career development symposium. Learn more about the Boston Symposium on Careers and Collaboration in Science (B-SOCCS).
Research completed in Dr. Sergei Mirkin's lab was featured in a December 2017 article in Tufts Now: New process could be key to understanding complex rearrangements in genome. This approach from Tufts-led researchers could lead to new diagnostic and treatment techniques for many cancers and genetic disorders. Learn more about The Mirkin Lab >
Dr. Elizabeth Crone's work on monarch butterflies was recently featured in a Northwest Public Radio article 'Monarch Butterflies Are Disappearing, But They May Be Saved, Researchers Say.'
Congratulations to Dr. Michael Levin, who received a $1.86M grant award from DARPA's Microsystems Technology Office, for a proposal he submitted earlier this year titled "Somatic computation via bioelectricity for novel life-time learning machines." Dr. Levin was the primary investigator for this grant, and he collaborated with two co-investigators: Josh Bongard (University of Vermont) and Sara Walker (Arizona State University). Learn more about this DARPA program >
MD/PhD candidate Alex Neil in the Mirkin lab, found that mutations in the flap endonuclease (Rad27/FEN1) result in the dramatic increase in (GAA)n repeat expansions in vivo, which led him to propose a new mechanism for repeat instability involving lagging-strand template-switch during DNA replication. This work was done in collaboration with the Tainer labs at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the Grasby lab at University of Sheffield and the Hamdan lab at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Learn more >
Former Graduate Student Allen Su and Professor Catherine Freudenreich, of the Tufts Department of Biology, recently published the following paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In the paper, Su and Freudenreich show that that R-loop-induced deamination of cytosines is responsible for causing chromosomal breaks at an expanded CAG repeat sequence, as well as loss of repeat units (contractions). R-loops are structures that form when transcribed RNA remains bound to its DNA template to form a stable RNA:DNA hybrid. Expanded CAG repeat tracts are the cause of several human diseases, including Huntington's disease and myotonic muscular dystrophy. Su and Freudenreich were able to show that the repeat contractions were caused by base excision repair, a pathway used in other circumstances to repair damaged DNA bases. Intriguingly, the R-loop dependent double-strand breaks were caused by the MutL gamma endonuclease, which is known to recognize structured DNA and cause nicks, defining a new mechanism for how R-loops can generate DNA breaks. The results have implications for human repeat expansion diseases and provide a paradigm for how RNA:DNA hybrids can cause genome instability at structure-forming DNA sequences. Read the paper >
Congratulations to Michael Romero, who has received a five year NSF award "ABR: Melding Mathematical and Theoretical Models of Stress" totaling $1,025,381!
Welcome to Biology. Norah Warchola is a new lecturer in the Department of Biology, where she has been a part-time lecturer since 2016. She received her B.S. in biology and her Ph.D. in ecology and evolution from Stony Brook University. Previously, she was a postdoctoral research associate at Harvard and at Tufts, studying Fender's blue butterfly and Bartram's Scrub-Hairstreak butterfly. A member of the Ecological Society of America, she has published in the Journal of Applied Ecology and the Journal of Insect Conservation.
"When we factored in climate change along with all the other threats to shorebirds, we found that 47 of the 49 species we evaluated were at a higher risk of extinction than scientists previously believed," says Michael Reed, a professor of conservation biology at Tufts University. Scientists and conservationists team up to protect imperiled migratory shorebirds. Read more >
Rachel Bonoan, PhD Student looks for clues into honey bee colony declines using hives on the Grafton Campus.
Well done to Gina Mantica, a PhD Student who recently had an article published in the Boston Globe. The article is a result of a science communication workshop that she attended this summer.
Congratulations to Prof. Elizabeth Crone, who has recently been invited to become an external member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. She was invited to accept the nomination as an external member in recognition of her outstanding academic merits.
New Weapon to Fight Dangerous Infections
Congratulations to Fallon Durant and Dr. Michael Levin, whose research has just come out in New Scientist. Fallon's paper also got the cover of the issue, featuring a homage to M. C. Escher's art. Also key contributors from our department were Junji Morokuma, Kate Williams, and Dany Adams.
Congratulations to Dr. Eric Tytell, whose NSF Career award "BIOMAPS: Comparative analysis of locomotor biomechanics and control in fishes" got funded in the amount of $910K for the next five years. This prestigious award is a testament of Eric's recognition by the scientific community.
Congratulations to Dr. Ben Wolfe, whose research proposal for NSF MCB Systems and Synthetic Biology was approved for funding.
Prof. Ben Wolfe received a grant from National Institute of Food and Agriculture/USDA totaling $387,783 to study "Linking patterns with processes in phyllosphere microbiome assembly".
Prof. Mimi Kao together with Prof. Ani Patel from Department of Psychology were selected to receive a Tufts collaborates grant.
Congratulations to graduate student Kaylinnette Pinet who presented her research at a conference sponsored by the Society for Developmental Biology (Woods Hole, MA). Her poster was awarded first prize in the graduate poster award competition.
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.
Congratulations to Simran Kausha, who has been selected to receive 2017 Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education Award.
Congratulations to Mitch McVey, who has been selected to receive 2017 Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Faculty Mentoring Award.Dr. Levin and Allen Discovery Center at Tufts use artificial intelligence to gain insight into the biophysics of cancer
Artificial intelligence uncovers new insight into biophysics of cancer. Read more >
Professors Levin and Adams publish new book
2016 List of 10 Top Science Books
Tufts researchers uncover possible source of genetic
error behind a dozen debilitating diseases
Two McLaughlin Lab research
assistants won first prize and Graduate student gives talk
Two Lily Glidden Award Recipients Named
The Lily Glidden Award
The Russell L. Carpenter Fund for Teaching and Research in
The Department of Biology published
the first edition of its Newsletter
Congratulations to Mitch McVey for his promotion to the Full Professor rank.
Dr. Ben Wolfe was selected to be the Bernstein Faculty Fellow for 2016-2017!
Dr. Sara Lewis' opinion piece, "Are fireflies flickering out?" featured by CNN.
Michael Reed's groundbreaking studies featured
Professor Sara Lewis' first book, "Silent Sparks: The Wondrous World of Fireflies" was published by Princeton University Press. For centuries, the beauty of fireflies has evoked wonder and delight. Yet for most of us, fireflies remain shrouded in mystery: how do fireflies make their light? What are they saying with all that flashing? And what do fireflies seek in a mate? Written for a general audience, this beautifully illustrated book uncovers the science behind the spectacle, revealing remarkable stories of passionate romance, treachery, and deadly poisons among these stunning ambassadors for Earth's natural magic.
NuA4 initiates dynamic histone H4 acetylation to promote
high-fidelity sister chromatid recombination at post-replication
gaps. Nealia C.M. House, Jiahui Yang, Stephen Walsh, Jonathan Moy,
C.H. Freudenreich (2014). Molecular Cell Sept. 18, 55(6). doi:
10.1016/j.molcel.2014.07.007. PMID: 25132173.
Tytell, E.D., Hsu, C.-Y., and Fauci, L.J. (2013). The role of mechanical resonance in the neural control of swimming in fish. Zoology in press. doi: 10.1016/j.zool.2013.10.011
Lobo, D., Solano, M., and Bubenik, G. A., (2014), A linear-encoding model explains the variability of the target morphology in regeneration, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 11: 20130918
Lobikin, M., and Levin, M., (2014), Endogenous bioelectric cues as morphogenetic signals in vivo, chapter 15 in The Fields of Cells, edited by D. Fels and M. Cifra, in press
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