We are happy to welcome Aidan Huene into the lab! Aidan is a first year graduate student in the ISB program. She will be working out the mechanisms by which the Alr1/2 proteins are able to engage in isoform-specific homophilic binding... and probably some other exciting things too!
Our second Pitt Mobile Science Lab tailgate program was a success! This year's program focused on animal diversity, with Hydractinia as an example of a type of organism that most people probably don't immediately think of when asked to think of an animal. More than 180 football fans ranging from 3 to 80 years old (Note: we only verified the younger limit) came onto the truck to learn what makes Hydractinia an animal. They fed live colonies, observed different stages of their life cycle, touched them to see how they would respond to different stimuli.
Can't wait for next year!
Our manuscript describing the ability of Alr1 and Alr2 to engage in isoform-specific homophilic binding has been accepted for publication in Current Biology!
Congratulations to lead author Dr. Uma Karadge, and co-author Minja Gosto!
You can download the manuscript here.
This afternoon we congratulated Minja Gosto on her new job with Thermo Fisher. Minja worked in the Lakkis and Nicotra labs for five years (almost to the day) providing attentive care to the Hydractinia, performing experiments, and generally boosting morale. She will be missed, and we wish her all the best in her new job.
Dr. Uma Karadge has completed a very successful postdoctoral fellowship and is now moving to Boston to pursue the next step of her career. She's been the central figure in our work to identify the extracellular ligands of Alr1 and Alr2. We wish her all the very best as she gets to know her new city, new home, and (soon) new family member!