More than three decades ago, the haloarchaeal S-layer glycoprotein was the first glycoprotein identified in any prokaryote and remained one of just a few archaeal glycoproteins until now. Check out Stefan’s work defining the most extensive archaeal glycoproteome in his article “Glycoproteomics of Haloferax volcanii reveals an extensive glycoproteome and concurrence of different N-glycosylation pathways” on bioRxiv. Thanks Friedhelm Pfeiffer for yet another wonderful collaboration!
Michiyah, Farid and I are excited to be part of the organizing committee of the “Archaea Power Hour“, a monthly meeting that gives students, postdocs and research scientists the chance to present their work and interact in a very informal way. Our goal is to strengthen, grow and diversify the Archaea community across the Americas! Join us on February 24th at 1pm for our first meeting!
We welcome sophomore Keya Patel, who’s also in the Biology Master’s submatriculation program to our lab and are excited to have Zuha and Taylor returning to the lab in person! We even had President Gutman attend our first lab meeting 🙂
Farid’s already published a first-author Methanogen paper in the Costa lab but his H. volcanii work still is being published – see Microbiology research article describing a collaboration with the Duggin lab at the University of Technology in Sydney. Why does H. volcanii only make rods in early log phase and how does it switch to disks? Stay tuned for the answers – we, together with some great H. volcanii groups across the Globe are trying to understand this cool morphological phenomenon.
The year ended beautifully thanks to amazing work from literally everyone in the lab – check out the three papers that were published in December!
1. Simi’s screen and Michiyah’s selection for hypermotile H. volcanii tn-mutants and the characterization of the “winners of the race” was published in Genes. This work would have not been possible without great work of all the co-authors including our collaborators, Mike Dyall-Smith and Friedhelm Pfeiffer – thanks everyone!
2. Fantastic collaboration with the Hippler lab at the University of Muenster – check out the Bioinformatics publication “SugarPy facilitates the universal, discovery-driven analysis of intact glycopeptides“. Congrats, Stefan!
3. “Haloferax volcanii Immersed Liquid Biofilms Develop Independently of Known Biofilm Machineries and Exhibit Rapid Honeycomb Pattern Formation“, that also includes three undergraduate students from the Biol376 Microbial Diversity and Pathogenesis lab course is now published in mSphere!
Oh, and let me not forget – check out Taylor’s amazing performance in the Penn Dance Group (if you don’t have time to watch all of the Glee Club/Dance collaboration, go to 15.5 min).
Welcome to the lab Criston Young! Cris, who is part of the inaugural Penn Freshmen Exposure to Research in Biological Science (PennFERBS) cohort, will work with Heather to learn more about the liquid biofilms formation and dispersal. We look forward to working with you, Cris! Also, can’t wait to hear you perform in the Penn Band post-COVID!!!!!
Welcome Dina Issakova, first year Biology graduate student, who is rotating in the lab this semester working with Stefan as well as Michiyah who, finally after six months is allowed back into the lab. We are excited that you can finish your exciting project on H. volcanii hyper motile mutants before graduating!
Stefan Schulze mentored two amazing students from Carver Engineering and Science High school, Morgan Bryson and Sultanah Harper who were part of the LENS program, While we only got to know each other online this summer, we are hoping to meet you in in person to show you or lab very soon!!!!
Stefan’s recently published work on the Archaeal Proteome Project (see below) as well as his discovery and subsequent characterization of rapid liquid biofilm honeycomb pattern formation in collaborations with Heather Schiller was featured in PennToday. The manuscript describing latter work was also submitted to BioRxiv. Four undergraduate students contributed to this story and Theopy Rados from the Bisson lab at Brandeis University provided this beautiful Movie.
Our Archaeal Proteome Project (ArcPP), an international collaboration between 5 laboratories across 3 continents was just published in Nature Communications. The idea for this project was to more efficiently use existing proteomics data by combining not only resources but also expert knowledge across different fields of biology, in order to gain a deeper understanding of archaeal cell biology.
Thanks and congratulations to Stefan Schulze, the postdoc in the lab who spearheaded this project, and collaborators who shared large amounts of proteome data, provided invaluable insight and carried out experiments.
After demonstrating the usefulness of our approach, we made our results available in a web-database (https://archaealproteomeproject.org/). We are eager to work together with more laboratories in order to extend our analyses to other archaeal species or even bacteria, harvesting the synergistic effects of a broad scientific community.
Heather, congratulations for passing your Prelims during a very difficult period and while writing a manuscript that was only tangentially related to your prelim proposal!
Congratulations Taylor for graduating from Carver High School of Engineering and Science and for receiving the “Linda H Ahmed Award” for being an exceptional female student in the STEM fields – see you in the Fall!!!!
Congratulations Bienfait – it’s been an honor to have had you in the lab and we hope that you will stay in touch. I can’t wait to see the great things you will continue to contribute to Science and Society!
Michiyah, congratulations for receiving the Jumpstart for Juniors Research Fellowship – looking forward to working with you this summer – even if it’ll be virtual!
While the poster presentation at the Delaware Tristate Science Fair had to be cancelled, Taylor won 3rd price in the highly competitive Microbiology category for the paper describing her research project – CONGRATULATIONS. Oh, and that’s not it, guess who will be a Freshman at Penn this Fall 🙂 Taylor, we can’t wait to see you again on campus, but this time with and “undergrad Penn ID!
Congratulations Taylor for winning the 1st price in the Microbiology category of the City-wide Carver Science Fair, qualifying for the Delaware Tristate Science Fair AND winning the Eastern Branch ASM price for finding super-interesting H. volcanii persister mutants. The project was perfect for you: while challenging you persisted!!!
Our manuscript “Lipid anchoring of archaeosortase substrates and mid-cell growth in haloarchaea” a great collaborative effort with Alex Bisson‘s lab (see his ArtA, PssA and PssD mid-cell localization movies above) was submitted to BioRxiv.
For the second time, Michiyah Collins presents her summer research at the Annual CURF Research Expo. Her project was also selected for a presentation at the upcoming family weekend – congratulations Michiyah!
We keep the tradition going – this summer we have two high school students from Carver Engineering and Science – Taylor Bui as well as David Kouassi – help out in the lab. Taylor, one of the 2019 LENS students will also continue working with us this Fall!
Congratulations to Evan Yang who will leave Penn for Harvard. Enjoy grad school in Cambridge and please stay in touch!!!!!!
Congratulations to Michiyah who received not one but two fellowships to work in the lab this summer, the Pincus Magaziner Family Research Award and the College Alumni Society Grant. Looking forward to having you in the lab this summer!!!!
Haloferax volcanii is Trends in Microbiology’s “Microbe of the Month“!!!!
Anthony Dilucido joined the lab as a Research Technician – welcome!
Bienfait received yet another award, the Seltzer Family Digital Media Award 2018 – felicitation encore une fois Bienfait!
Bienfait and Michiyah both presented posters about their summer work at the CURF Research Expo.
Zuha Mutan, an incoming freshman in the College joined the lab and right away helped Michiyah sort over 150 microscopes donated by Alpha and Omega Microscope Service in Maryland (thanks Peter Potter for delivering them on Saturday) for distribution to Philly teachers at our next Biology High School Professional Development session.
Sarah Sawda, a rising senior from George Washington Carver Engineering and Science joined the lab for the summer as part of the LENS program. We are looking forward to having her in the lab this Fall as she is continuing the characterization of her hyper motile H. volcanii transposon mutants.
Bienfait Igiraneza received the Pincus-Magaziner Family Undergraduate Research and Travel Fund from the College Alumni Society – felicitation Bienfait!
Vagelos student, David Yang, joined the lab just after finishing his sophomore year – welcome David!
Interested in how Mecky Pohlschroder’s career path from a small German farm via UMass and Harvard to UPenn? Check out this month’s Omnia article.
Anjana Sundarrajan was invited to attend the GapSummit.
Bienfait Iriganeza received the Pincus Magaziner Family Undergraduate Research Fellowship.
Simi Afolayan was accepted into the Summer Research Internship Program at the CHOP Pediatric Center of Excellence in Nephrology.
Michiyah Collins received a Penn Undergraduate Research Mentoring Program Fellowship from the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.
Farid Abdul-Halim’s characterization of the ArtA active site was published in Molecular Microbiology.
Stefan was awarded a Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft postdoctoral fellwoship – congratulations Stefan!
Lisa Valenti is moving on to her next rotation – thanks Lisa for great science AND art contributions 🙂
It’s been great to have Mariana Costa, from the University of Mar del Plata in Argentina visit the lab for a month. We are excited about our ongoing collaboration on the effects of rhomboid proteases on pili biosynthesis and function.
We also had two new Masters of Biotechnology students, Anjana Sundarrajan and Kun Yun, as well as a a sophomore, Simisola (Simi) Afolayan and a freshman, Michiyah Collins, join the lab this Fall. Lisa Valenti, a first year Biology graduate student is rotating in the lab.
Sending off Georgio Legerme to Med School at the University of Florida, Gainesville and Ronald Rodriguez to Grad School at Berkeley was a bittersweet event.
Laboratory Experiences in the Natural Sciences (LENS) students Tamera Stanley from George Washington Carver Engineering and Science High School spent the summer in the lab and screened nearly 4000 mutants for a motility defect. Her work was featured in the Penn News and she presented her mutants during the LENS poster session.
Stefan Schulze (postdoc) and Precious Nwanwa (undergraduate student) joined the lab – welcome!
Ronald Rodriguez just obtained an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship – Congratulations, Ronald!!!!! Read more here
Jonathan Stoltzfus started his Assistant Professor position at Millersville University after just a year as a postdoc in the lab!
…he managed to attend the Halophile Meeting in Puerto Rico just before leaving though!
Rianne Esquivel started her post-doc at the Wistar Institute. Her acceptance to the Lindau Nobel Laureates meeting was just one of the highlights during her extremely successful time as a graduate student in the lab!
Rianne with Nobel Laureate Francoise Barre-Sinoussi and fellow students in Lindau, Germany.
Farid Abdul Halim, after completing the Teece Fellowship, allowing him to participate in the Woods Hole Microbial Diversity Course in 2015, now also obtained an SAS Dissertation Completion Fellowship.
Georgio Legerme received a NASA post-baccalaureate fellowship. He also presented his work on identifying and characterizing H. volcanii adhesion transposon mutants at the ASM meeting in Boston.
Also check out:
Astrobiology Magazine’s research highlight featured our type IV pili work “Appendages Help Microbes Survive Harsh Conditions”
Joshua Kouassi, freshman at Carver High School wins 1st place and 2nd place in Microbiology at the Carver and Delaware Science Fairs, respectively with his project “One in a Million“, a transposon screen that allowed him to identify intriguing hyper motile H. volcanii mutants. Thanks Evan for training Josh!
Penn News featured Evan Yang in the article: “Studying a Salt-loving Microbe, Penn Senior Evan Yang Imagines Life on Mars.“
Evan presenting his work, supported by an ASM URF fellowship, on H. volcanii motility transposon mutants at the ASM Microbe meeting in Boston.