Our very own postdoc Alex Colón-Rodríguez has just returned from the 2-week MBL Zebrafish Development and Genetics course at Woods Hole (seven years after Megan attended in 2010) where she learned many useful techniques including microinjections, imaging, and in vitro fertilization. Among all the fun and work, Alex also had the opportunity to present her first poster as a postdoc and as a Dennis lab member!
Happy bday Elisa Ha (and excellent cake making, Brittany Radke)
Paulina and Colin recently attended the meeting “Evolution and Core Processes in Gene Expression”, a special symposium from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), held at Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, MO.
Paulina presented the poster “The birth of regulatory elements within human-specific genomic duplicated regions”, which had good reception and comments. Both really enjoyed their time at Stowers, the talks were very useful and interesting. Overall, it was a great opportunity for knowing others working on gene expression and evolution.
Detailed information about the meeting program can be found here:
Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Congratulations to Paulina Carmona-Mora for being named a one of 61 semifinalists from ~500 applicants for the 2017 Charles J. Epstein Trainee Awards for Excellence in Human Genetics Research for the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics. The upcoming meeting will be held in Orlando, FL, October 17-21. Wishing you the best of luck, Paulina!
Dennis Lab postdoc Alexandra Colón-Rodríguez became a neuroscientist after seeing family members suffer from Alzheimer’s and PTSD. She wanted to find out for herself and others why these diseases happen. Colón-Rodríguez is also passionate about outreach. She shares her own experience as a Puerto Rican woman advancing in the field to inspire others, especially females and underrepresented minorities, to become neuroscientists. Click here for her story.
Here's to another year successful science in the Dennis Lab!
Lab members took a moment out of their busy, busy week of grant writing to support Red Nose Day, a foundation that raises money for "projects that ensure kids are safe, healthy, educated, and empowered.... in all 50 states and in some of the poorest communities in Latin America, Asia and Africa."
Had a blast running in the Fourth Annual Imani Bolt 5K Run for Health. It's always a bonus when we can get out and run while supporting a great cause. To find out more about the incredible resources provided by the Imani Clinic to local communities check out their webpage here.
We are pleased to welcome three new lab members to the Dennis lab this quarter.
Our study characterizing human specific segmental duplications is out! After searching through hundreds of human and great ape genome sequencing, we identified unique human duplications containing 33 gene families (80 total paralogs). Of these, 10 were found in all humans (thousands tested) in a putatively functional form and expressed in tissues, making them candidate genes for innovative features in modern humans.
Though unable to defend our 2015 title in the annual UC Davis Genome Center Halloween costume contest, we had a lot of fun with our Mario-kart theme. :)
Congratulations to the LaSalle lab winning with their epigenetic-inspired costumes!
The lab is full of energy this summer, with new undergrad Juliann Wang recently joining and BMCDB/IMSD-fellow student Daisy Castillo Guzman rotating in our group. Also, we were happy to have undergrad Eva joining us full time and welcome soon-to-be JRS Kyle back from his monthlong European backpacking tour.
Thank you to the UC Davis MIND Institute for funding our pilot experiments modeling autism in zebrafish! We are well under way generating mutant fish in the lab thanks to efforts by talented undergrads Kyle and Eva and look forward to developing phenotypic screens in the coming months.
You can find more information on the UC Davis IDDRC here.
Cheers to Paulina, who was recently awarded a fellowship through the Autism Research Training Program (ARTP) at the MIND Institute! Paulina will use the fellowship to learn more about the clinical and neurological aspects of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). She will also pursue a research project focused on the functional outcomes of structural variation at genomic hotspots across primates and in patients with neurological disease.
With Megan recently joining the faculty of the ARTP, we expect many exciting future interactions with trainees and investigators at the MIND Institute as we continue to investigate the underlying components of ASDs.
Learn more about the ARTP here.
We have another new addition to the Dennis lab, undergrad Eva Ferino! While pursuing her B.S. in Animal Sciences here at UC Davis, she will be working with Kyle to generate transgenic zebrafish. Notably, when not studying hard and working in the lab, her hobbies include reading, digital art, food, and crime shows. Certainly we can think of a couple others in the lab who share many of the same interests. Welcome Eva!
As we say a teary farewell to an original founding member of the lab, Jennifer (who is embarking on an exciting career in law enforcement as she finishes her masters), we also welcome our first postdoc, Paulina Carmona-Mora! Originally from Chile, Paulina comes to us fresh off her PhD in UNSW Australia, Sydney, where she worked on the function of transcription factor GTF2IRD1 implicated in Williams-Beuren Syndrome. We look forward to equally exciting projects in our group!