Lazzaro Lab News Archive

Halloween 2016

Halloween 2016 was especially festive in the Lazzaro Lab! More photos here.                                                                                                                                   


Back to writing the AP Biology exam

The AP Biology Development Committee reconvenes for the first time this academic year in Princeton, NJ. The committee is responsible for constructing the Adanced Placement college equivalency exam in Biology, administered to approximately 235,000 high school students annually. Brian serves as committee co-chair representing higher education.


Brian to speak at Drexel Biology

Brian will be giving a seminar titled "Evolutionary Genetics of Infection and Immunity in Drosophila" to the Department of Biology at Drexel University on October 18.


International Congress of Entomology 2016

Back to Orlando for the second time this year, this time for the International Congress of Entomology. This is huge and spectacular meeting featuring a truly international representation of the best insect scientists in the world. The representation of insect immunity was particulary impressive, including molecular genetics, evolutionary ecology, and associated microbiota.


The Lazzaro Lab welcomes Felicia New

Felicia New will be working in our lab this Fall sememster as rotation student in the Genetics, Genomics and Development Ph.D. program. Felicia completed her M.S. at the University of Florida, working on Drosophila population genomics. We look forward to having her as part of the team.


Congratulations, Dr. Schwenke!!

Congratulations to Robin Schwenke on the successful defense of her Ph.D. thesis. Robin's research examines the role of juvenile hormone and dietary composition as regulators of post-mating immunosuppression in D. melanogaster. She gave an excellent seminar and presented a well-constructed thesis to her advisory committee. Congratulations, Robin, and best of luck with your move to South Africa!


Au revoir, Charlote

It was a tremendous pleasure having Charlotte Renne in the lab for the past year, and although we knew it was going to happen, we're sorry to be losing her back to her home country. We wish you the very best of luck and look forward to your next visit to Ithaca.


Lazzaro Lab at TAGC 2016

Joo Hyun and Brian have gone to The Allied Genetics Conference in Orlando, FL. This year, for the first time the Genetics Society of America has combined their annual model systems conferences into a single super-meeting. We in addition to the regular Fly Meeting, we get yeast, worms, mouse, zebrafish, microbes, and evolution! Joo Hyun presented a poster on her work studying the population genomics of phagocytosis and autophagy genes.


Welcome, Gabe Fox

The Lazzaro Lab welcomes Gabe Fox, who has joined us as lab manager and technician. Gabe's has an undergraduate background in microbiology at Cornell and will be working on projects related to bacterial infectivity and behavior in Drosophila


EEID 2016 Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for this year's Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease (EEID) conference, to be held at Cornell June 3-5. This is an excellent conference that emphasizes disease evolution and epidemiology in natural systems. We will be making a special point to emphasize both theoretical and empirical work in plant and animal systems.

There will be four primary themes for the meeting:
1) Polymicrobial Infection and Disease
2) Pathogen Dynamics within the Host
3) Pathogen Genomics, Evolution, and Selective Constraints
4) Disease Outbreaks on the Landscape Scale

More details here. We hope to see you at Cornell in June for EEID!


Lazzaro Lab research featured by Cornell

Despite the somewhat sinister photo chosen by the Cornell Research office, the lab has recently gotten some really good press from various Cornell outlets.

Check out this feature put out by the Cornell Research office on Brian's research program.

Cornell Research also did a feature story on Eliana's work in the lab. Eliana was additionally featured in the Cornell Chronicle earlier this year.

CALS and Cornell Entomology shot a video on the experience of being in the Lazzaro Lab, and along the way, a outtake grew into this video on how to remove fruit flies from your kitchen (incidentally, malt vinegar with a drop of liquid soap works even better than the trap described in the video).


Eliana accepts an IRTA position at the NIH for Fall 2016

Eliana has chosen a lab for her research internship at the NIH next year. She'll be working with Dr. Daniel Chertow on the recent ebola outbreak in west Africa.


Halloween 2015!!

Halloween 2015 pictures are here. If you need context,                                                                  


Welcome, Charlotte Renne

The Lazzaro Lab welcomes Charlotte Renne, who is coming to us from France on a year-long Visiting Scientist position. Charlotte's background is primarily in the genetics of plant-pathogen interactions, but she is looking to broaden her working expertise to include Drosophila and its bacterial pathogens. She will be helpinog to poineer genome editing approaches in our lab.


Dr. Virginia Howick is the most newly minted Lazzaro Lab Ph.D.

Ginny Howick has defended her final Ph.D. thesis, "The Evolution and Genetic Architecture of Defense as Resistance to and Tolerance of Pathogenic Infection in Drosophila." In these four chapters, Ginny makes a detailed examination of the genetic basis for resistance and tolerance, and examines the evolutionary implications of natural genetic variation in both components of defense. Congratulations, Ginny, on five years of hard work and your current success.


Congratulations, Lazzaro Lab Seniors!

With a record seven undergradaute seniors graduating this year, we say a hearty congratulations and an emotional goodbye. It's been great having all of you in the lab, and we look forward to following your next steps. Congratulations Hannah, Gerry, Glen, Kelly, Yonathan, Mike, and Sarah! Every single one is headed to graduate or medical school.


Congratulations, Joo Hyun and Katia!

Congratulations to Joo Hyun Im and Katia Sotelo-Troha, who each passed their oral qualifying exams within the past few weeks. Now back to the research!


Well-timed articles, Fly Meeting!

As always, the Genetics Society of America's Drosophila Research Conference in Chicago was a great conference. But it was especially fun this year because Rob had published the cover article in this month's issue of the Society's flagship journal Genetics, and the cover with David's photo was all over displayed all over the meeting. Additionally, the lab had two papers published this month in the Society's secondary joural G3. So we're definitely doing our part to support the community.

Robin, Rob and Ginny all gave well received posters at the conference, Brian delivered a small workshop talk, and Joo Hyun collected her first Fly Meeting experience.


Filming JoVE

Sarah, Eliana and Moria filmed a methods article for Journal of Visualized Experimetns in February 2015. The piece illustrates a couple of different methods for delivering bacterial infections to Drosophila and quantifying post-infection phenotypes like systemic pathogen load, induction of immune response genes, and time to host death. More pictures here and the full video should be available soon.

Update: The video is now available.


Lab Holiday Party 2014

Moria hosted the Lazzaro Lab end-of-year Holiday Party again this year, complete with homemade pretzel making, a white elephant gift exchange, and champagne to celebrate new job offers (congratulations Moria and David!). You'd never guess what the most sought-after present in the gift exchange was...


Halloween 2014

Halloween 2014 pictures are here. This years theme was Infections and Diseases.                                                                  


Congratulations, Susan!

Congratulations to Susan on successful defense of her Masters thesis. Susan's thesis research was on the effect of Wolbachia on resistance to bacterial infection in Drosphila and on the population genetics of Anopheles immune system genes.


Infectious Disease Conference - Roscoff, France

Brian and David both gave talks at the September CNRS conference Infectious diseases as drivers of evolution: the challenge ahead in Roscoff, France. Beautiful weather, great food, and also some decent science. Lots of discussion about how complex environments and host-pathogen interactions can drive dynamic evolution of immunity. David presented his work on sexual dimporphism in immune defense, Brian presented Rob's and Ginny's work on the maintenance of polymorphism and convergent evolution in antibacterial peptides.


Lab BBQ 2014

The lab headed down to Stewart Park on the lake on a sunny July friday afternoon for some bbq and sport. Photos here.


Sarah K. at Evolution 2014

Sarah Khalil is representing the lab in Raleigh at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution. Sarah was the recipient of an Undergraduate Travel Award from the conference organizers, and is presenting a poster on her work with Moria, "Effect of chronic Providencia rettgeri infection Drosophila melanogaster resource allocation." Have a great time, Sarah, and the rest of the lab looks forward hearing you report back on what is new and cool in evolutionary biology.


Welcome to the Lab, Joo Hyun Im

Joo Hyun Im has joined the lab as a Ph.D. student in Genetics, Genomics and Development, and has joined the lab with a general interest in experimental and computational approaches to studying the evolution of host-pathogen interactions. Prior to coming to Cornell, Joo Hyun spent some time in Mimi Shirasu-Hiza's lab at Columbia University. Before that, she earned her B.A. in Biology from Grinnell College.


Moving on to Bigger and Better Things

Congratulations to several members of the lab as they prepare for the next stages in their careers.

Alireza has graduated from Cornell and will be pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts in the fall.

Jamilla and Alix will be graduating this semester. Alix is staying at Cornell for her Ph.D., and Jamilla, who was awarded an Honorable Mention for her NSF Graduate Research Fellowship application, will be moving to Harvard for her Ph.D. study.

Parvin has accepted a faculty position with the California State University at Fullerton and will begin in August 2015.

And proud we are of all of them.


Lazzaro Lab at the Fly Meeting

Rob, Katia, David, Moria and Brian went to San Diego for the annual Drosophila Research Conference. David and Moria presented posters that were very well received, and Rob gave a talk in the Evolution and Quantitative Genetics session. As always, the conference was stimulating and it was a great n


Ginny's first paper is published

Ginny's first paper appeared this month in BMC Evolutionary Biology. Genotype and diet shape resistance and tolerance across distinct phases of bacterial infection describes the complex relationship between resistance to infection and tolerance of infection consequences across two diets in a biphasic infection. Congratulations, Ginny!


Great Conference in Lake Tahoe

Moria, Ginny, and Brian attended a great scientific conference in January, which included the opporunity to catch up with lab alumna Sarah Short. The meeting was a Keystone conference called Mechanisms and Consequences of Invertebrate-Microbe Interactions. There were many outstanding presentations throughout the four-day meeting, and lots of good casual conversation. Other meetings that the Lazzaro Lab will be represented at this year include the Genetics Society of America's Drosophila Research Conference, the annual meeting of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, and the annual meeting of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology.


Brian in Kenya

Brian will be in Kenya teaching BioEE 2650 at the Mpala Research Center for the first three weeks of January and otherwise traveling for the rest of the month. This course presents a fantastic opportunity for undergraduate students to learn practical field biology on the equator in January, surrounded by exotic African animals and birds. During the entire month of January, Brian will have limited access to email and may be slow to respond to messages. Brian will not be accepting any new editorial responsibilities or review requests during until mid-Februrary, 2014.


Congratulations, Robin!

Congratulations, Robin, on a very smooth and impressive qualifying exam. It's all research from here on out!                                                                 


Real Doctors

Halloween 2013 pictures are up. This year, the lab converted to a medical clinic and we lived up to our titles of "Doctor".                                                                                                                                                          


Stockholm-Cornell Insect Biology Symposium, Part 2

In 2011, several Cornell faculty were invited to present research on Insect Science at Stockholm University. This October, Cornell hosted a reciprocal symposium, invited 13 faculty, graduate students, and postdocs from Stockholm University to visit Ithaca. The symposium included two days of talks from Stockholm and Cornell faculty, as well as a poster session and social mixers. Read the Cornell Chronicle coverage of the event here.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

The lab is thrilled to celebrate the marriage of Moria Chambers and Brian Smith. Congratulations, Brian and Moria, and thanks for including us in your special day.


Tri-Lab Retreat: Buchon, Douglas and Lazzaro groups

In August 2013, our lab joined the groups of Nicolas Buchon and Angela Douglas for a research retreat in Upper Treman State Park outside Ithaca. We had good informal discussion of ongoing and planned research and a potluck lunch. A tremendous thunderstorm blew through at the conclusion of the research talks. We hiked the falls after most of the storm had passed, raising the water level dramatically. Pictures here.


Congratulations, Jamilla!

Jamilla Akhund-Zade was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2013 competition for Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships. It is an impressive achievement even to reach the level of nomination by Cornell, and Honorable Mention in the national competition is tremendous. Nice job, Jamilla!


Lazzaro Lab Headed to the 2013 GSA Drosophila Research Conference #DROS2013

Lazzaro and Buchon labs loaded into a van with a few colleagues from Rochester to make the drive down to DC for this year's Fly Meeting. With 5 posters being presented and Ginny talking in a platform session, the lab is going to go have a strong presence this year!

See the pictures here!


Great Conference coming up January 2014

Save the date now for what should be an excellent Keystone conference on Invertebrate-Microbe Interactions. Organized by Bruno Lemaitre, Nicole Gerardo, and Jason Rasgon, to be held January 26-30, 2014, in Lake Tahoe, CA. More details here.


Brian and Ginny in Kenya

Ginny and Brian will be in Kenya for the first three weeks of January teaching BioEE 2650 at the Mpala Research Center. This is a fantastic Cornell course that offers undergraduate students the opportunity to learn practical field biology on the equator in January, surrounded by exotic African animals and birds. During this period, neither Brian nor Ginny will have much access to email, and Brian will not be accepting any new editorial responsibilities or review requests.


Ph.D. Candidate Howick

Congratulations to Ginny, who passed her qualifying A-exam with aplomb on Dec 14. Ginny is now officially a Ph.D. "candidate." Major milestone completed, congratulations, Ginny!


Welcome, Moria Chambers

Moria Chambers has joined the lab as a postdoc, effective Nov 1 (although she made the effort to show up, in costume, a day early). Moria comes to us from David Schneider's lab at Stanford. She will be working on interconnections between metabolism and immunity in Drosophila.


Halloween 2012 pictures posted

Halloween 2012 pictures are posted here.                                                                                                                                                          


Insectapalooza -- Coming up October 20!

Insectapalooza, Cornell Entomology's annual open house will be happening October 20 from 9am to 3pm in Comstock Hall on the Cornell Ithaca campus. There will be ativities for all ages, including hands-on exhibits for children and adults, a butterfly room, and an insect zoo. Come explore the world of insects: sometimes pests, sometimes beneficial, and always beautifully diverse in form and function.


Lots going on at the start of this semester

There's a lot that's new and exciting in the Lazzaro Lab at the start of this semester. Three newly minted Ph.D.'s graduated, out the door and on to new adventures. Two new postdocs coming in are Parvin Shahrestani (arrived July) and Moria Chambers (arriving November). Brian will be leading the 400-student Intro to Evolution and Diversity course this Fall (and to you students creeping the Prof's website, I look forward to meeting you all in class). Plus rotation students, a lot of science to do, and the resumption of seminars and journals clubs, it's going to be a fun and busy time.


Sarah Short Paroled

Sarah Short has been provisionally released from graduate school following a superb exit seminar and a successful Ph.D. thesis defense. Pending final and minor adjustments to her written thesis, Sarah will be transferred in October into the custody of Dr. George Dimopoulos for postdoctoral supervision.


Another successful defense

Jacob Crawford gave an excellent thesis seminar on Tueseday (June 12) and sailed through his subsequent defense. He'll be off to Dublin to present some of his work at SMBE next week. Jacob's Ph.D. work has been on the population genetics and genomics of Anopheles mosquitoes. Congratulations, Jacob.


Congratulations, Madeline!

On June 18, Madeline Galac successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis on the comparative pathology and genomics of bacteria in the genus Providencia. A few final touches on the thesis remain, but the last major hurdle to doctorhood has been cleared. Congratulations, Madeline.


Welcome to the Lab, Robin Schwenke.

Robin Schwenke has decided to join the lab. Robin is a Ph.D. student in Genetics and Development. She is still working out her thesis project, but her rotation project and general interests have focused on the mechanisms and evolutionary consequences of post-mating immune suppression in Drosophila.


Amazing BBQ Weather in March

High temperatures near 80 in March! Got us out to Stewart Park for a thursday afternoon BBQ. Slightly chillier with the wind blowing off the lake, but still surprisingly Spring-like temperatures for Spring Break.


Lazzaro Lab at the Fly Meeting

Rob, Sarah, Robin and Brian represented the lab at the annual Genetics Society of America Drosophila Research Conference in Chicago this month. Rob and Sarah both presented posters. The weather was beautiful (65 degrees in Chicago in the first week of March!), the science was excellent, and the socializing was outstanding as ever.


"Spring" semester starts at Cornell

Actually, the weather hasn't been too bad so far this year.                                                                                                                                                          

Lazzaro Lab News archive


Brian is headed back to Kenya!

Brian will be spending most of January 2012 at the Mpala Research Center in Kenya, helping teach BioEE 2650: Tropical Field Ecology and Behavior. This is a fantastic Cornell course that offers undergraduate students the opportunity to learn practical field biology on the equator in January, surrounded by exotic African animals and birds. During this period, Brian will have very little access to email and will not be accepting any manuscript or grant review requests.


Cornell insect scientists go to Stockholm

Brian Lazzaro and 8 other Cornell scientists studying diverse aspects of insect biology traveled to Stockholm, Sweden, in November 2011 to participate in a bilateral symposium with scientists from Stockholm University. The symposium was intended to enhance existing relationships between Stockholm and Cornell scientists and to explore the possibilities for new collaboration. Check out the story as covered in the Cornell Chronicle.


Lazzaro Lab Halloween 2011

See the pictures here.                                                                                                                                                          


Two new postdocs join the lab in Fall 2011

David Duneau and Rob Unckless are the two newest postdoctoral members of the Lazzaro Lab. Rob (left) got his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester working with John Jaenike and Alan Orr. David (right) comes from the University of Basel where he got his Ph.D. with Dieter Ebert.