Summer of 2015!


Summer of 2015 is well underway here in Lewiston! This summer we have a lot of different projects and papers underway and I am excited to have new students in the lab.

Thanks to the hard work of a 2015 grad, Tam Pham, our lab has finally completed a project I started during my postdoc at WHOI with Mark Hahn. Taking the protocol that Tam has finessed, class of 2016 student Jake Henderson will study the role of Nfe2 during development. This work is supported by my Maine INBRE grant. We just got the new Nfe2 antibody into the lab last week and we are excited to test it!

We are also embarking on some new microscopy work in the lab, funded by both the Maine INBRE and our MRI grant from the NSF. Michelle Kelley will be using our new confocal microscope to study the effects of the loss of Nfe2 on the cellular development of the otic vesicle and swimbladder. This is a follow-up study to my 2013 PLoS One paper that found that when Nfe2 was knocked down these two cellular structures did not form properly. To study these structures, Michelle will be using two different GFP transgenic lines that we have in the lab.

Lastly, Nancy Tran has come aboard to join an ongoing collaboration with Dr. Alicia Timme-Laragy’s lab from UMass-Amherst. Our labs are interested in the role of Nrf genes in the response to plasticizers called phthalates. Nancy will be using a morpholino knockdown methodology to study the expression of genes known to be involved in the oxidative stress response following the loss of Nrf1 paralogs.

For me—there is lots of work to be done this summer! I have recently been reappointed and have a few more years until tenure. I am hoping to work on two papers, do some genetic work on invasive Asian shore crabs on the Maine coast, attend a Gordon conference, and teach an outreach course to our friends at Southern Maine Community College.

Please stay tuned for the next 9 weeks to follow our progress.