Both Jo Chapman and Tom Hill were awarded K-INBRE postdoctoral fellowships. Jo will work on gene duplication in antimicrobial peptides and Tom will work on host/virus coevolution in mycophagous (mushroom feeding) Drosophila. Congratulations to both of them!
We've been fortunate to have a great group of undergraduates working in the lab over the past two years. Four of them are graduating and moving on to new things:
Rosanna Chan worked on the genetic basis of natural variation for resistance to infection in Drosophila. She is taking a gap year before enrolling in either graduate school or medical school.
Maureen Dowell also worked on the genetic basis of natural variation for resistance to infection in Drosophila. She will attend Brown University in a Microbiology graduate program.
Judith Ikerionwu worked on host/virus coevolution and is enrolling in a Pre Admissions Program at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
Randie Rudder worked on the interaction between Wolbachia and immunity and graduated in December. Randie now works for Millipore Sigma in Kansas City.
Judith Ikerionwu (senior) presented her research on DNA virus evolution at the Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 28th. Congratulations on the culmination of a lot of work!
Edit: Judith won an "Outstanding Presentation Award" for her work!
We've grown quite a bit since the last lab photo was taken on our first day back in August 2016. Here we are in February 2018. Front (left to right): Uma Desai, Rosanna Chan, Mason Wilkinson, Sarah Mullinax, Maureen Dowell. Back (left to right): Kent Mulkey, Judith Ikerionwu, Rob Unckless, Tom Hill, Jo Chapman. Missing: Randie Rudder, Katie Pileggi.
Mason Wilkinson recently joined the lab as an assistant researcher (or technician). He hails from Overland Park, Kansas. Mason graduated from KU in December 2017 and worked in Roberto de Guzman's lab on a biophysical characterization of the Burkholderia Type III Secretion System Minor Translocon Protein, BipC. This earned Mason an honorable mention for a poster presented at the recent K-INBRE symposium in Overland Park, KS. Mason will bring his biochemistry skills to our lab to work on molecular aspects of how immune proteins interact directly with pathogens.
Tom Hill (postdoc) recently published a paper characterizing the genome of the Drosophila innubila Nudivirus (DiNV). These viruses are large (155kb), double-stranded, circular DNA viruses that appear to infect several members of the Drosophila genus. Tom found preliminary evidence that a few key genes are evolving adaptively in the virus. You can read the paper in Infection, Genetics and Evolution by clicking here.