Ethanol derived acetate modifies brain epigenetic landscape

Derek Sung: @immunofluorescence

Faculty Spotlight: Cesar de la Fuente

Regenerating the lung: harnessing the untapped potential of AT2 cells

Where are they now – Theonie Anastassiadis

Faculty Spotlight: Will Bailis

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February 14, 2017

Influenza A viruses, the causative agent of the annual flu, infect birds and some mammals. The viruses are categorized into different subtypes, depending on the types of hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) proteins located on the surface of the viral envelope. The trivalent flu vaccine contains HA components of the three circulating strains. These viruses undergo significant genetic drift, necessitating an annual update of the flu vaccine. The effectiveness of the vaccine depends on how well the viruses in the vaccine match those in circulation, but antibodies made in response to the vaccine may still provide cross-protection to related viruses.


February 14, 2017

Launched in August 2013, the Office of Inclusion and Diversity is a relatively new addition to Penn Medicine that supports, evaluates, and generates programs that promote diversity within our research community. Prior to the generation of this office, initiatives and programs to broaden access in the medical school and biomedical graduate studies, from graduate students to faculty, were handled by separate entities. There was a need for an executive-level office to direct a more cohesive and coordinated effort. The Office of Inclusion and Diversity (OID) is a product Penn Medicine’s five-year Strategic Plan, “Shaping the Future of Medicine,” which incorpo...

February 14, 2017

Is the “traditional postdoc” actually traditional?

Most graduate students who want to pursue the academic route aim to complete a “normal” postdoctoral fellowship in a basic research lab at a prestigious institution. CAMB alumnus Geoffrey Hannigan (GTV) is setting himself apart from others on this path by keeping “all his doors open.” Geof earned his Ph.D. in Dr. Elizabeth Grice’s lab, where he investigated viral communities on the skin in relation to wound healing and open fractures. After defending in 2015, he began his postdoctoral research at the University of Michigan in the lab of Dr. Pat Schloss. As a postdoc, Geof investigates the microbiome of the...

February 14, 2017

Dr. Valder Arruda began his career in Sao Paulo, Brazil as a clinician specializing in hematology and hemotherapy. His first job was to organize a hemophilia treatment center at the University of Campinas to attract and treat a greater number of patients. After almost a decade of clinical training, he received his Ph.D. in molecular biology studying the molecular basis of factor VIII deficiencies, which are responsible for 80% of hemophilia A cases. At the time, sequencing evidence had identified a number of novel factor VIII mutations in hemophilic patients. Dr. Arruda came to the realization that if you wanted to cure a factor VIII deficiency molecularl...

February 14, 2017

Metabolic flexibility and rewiring is a distinctive feature of the cellular stress response and oncogenesis. The staggering breadth of adaptive pathways simultaneously promises a wealth of therapeutic targets while also acting as obstacles to effective therapies. Therefore, interest centers on linchpin metabolic actors as accessible handles for throttling cellular growth and survival. This idea is exemplified by a study appearing in the October 2016 edition of Cell Reports by Steven Zhao, fourth-year graduate student in the Cancer Biology program in the laboratory of Dr. Kathryn Wellen.

The Wellen laboratory studies the pathways of production and utilizati...

February 14, 2017

Most students begin graduate school planning to pursue a traditional academic career path. As the years pass, some maintain this desire, while others explore so-called “alternative” careers to identify the path that excites them. Yet there are a few students, including CAMB alumna Margaret Fleetwood (DSRB), who plan from the beginning to pursue an “alternative,” non-research career.

When Margaret began graduate school in 2005, she estimated that 98% of her peers ostensibly planned to complete academic postdoctoral fellowships and continue toward tenure-track faculty positions. Margaret, however, knew that she wanted to enter the field of intellectual prope...

February 6, 2017

Hello CAMB community,

To celebrate Pi day (3.14) this year the CAMB Student Newsletter is hosting a fundraiser for the Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia ( 

The Charity:

CSFP is a privately-funded program that grants need-based scholarships to children from low-income Philadelphia families, all of which are awarded by random lottery. CSFP currently serves about 5,300 children enrolled at over 160 private and parochial schools and was given a perfect score by CharityNavigator.

The Fun:

We are selling $1 dollar entries (unlimited) to a lottery for the opportunity to "Pie a PI". One lucky winner per CAMB sub group will...

November 7, 2016

Dr. Stephen DiNardo is the chair of DSRB (Developmental, Stem, & Regenerative Biology), but to the students in DSRB, he is so much more. Self-declared “Your Leader Steve”, he offers himself to students as a constant academic advisor, scientific mentor, and friend. Steve developed a love for biology during his sophomore year at Columbia under the tutelage of a very enthusiastic biochemistry teacher. After taking time off to work as a research technician, Steve attended graduate school at the State University of New York at Stony Brook before becoming a post-doctoral fellow at University of California, San Francisco. Both positions gave him access to adviso...

November 7, 2016

As human beings, we all grapple with the soul-searching question of what makes life meaningful. In his memoir When Breath Becomes Air, neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi endeavors to answer this question as his path towards an illustrious career is tragically cut short by lung cancer. This is a beautifully written, heart-wrenching book that challenges us to reflect on what our core values are and how to live our lives according to those values.

Kalanithi developed a strong appreciation for language as a young man in Arizona. Motivated by the desire to understand what makes life meaningful, he embarked on a scholarly journey of literature and human biology to inte...

November 7, 2016

The newest CAMB students were welcomed with gusto both from the administration and upperclassmen. A variety of orientation activities were held in the beginning of September to acquaint new arrivals with Penn’s campus, disseminate information about program requirements, introduce them to potential faculty mentors and connect with their peers.

Here are a few snapshots of the new students who clearly show that they are never too cool for school.

Campus Scavenger Hunt

While Google Maps is certainly indispensable, it may not direct you correctly to the Cell Center stockroom. That is why participating in the Campus Scavenger Hunt is a crucial initiation experienc...

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