June 5, 2023
Three new undergraduate students joined the lab today. Caroline will be studying the FANC proteins as a Summer Scholar, Ana will be working on DNA damage tolerance as a Laidlaw Scholar, and Carly will be investigating circular RNAs in a collaboration with Tufts president Tony Monaco. Welcome to the lab family (labily)!

May 21, 2023
Vicki, Maya, Rita, Katelin, and Lauren all flew the coop today, graduating on a gorgeous day in Medford. Congratulations to these five amazing women as they launch into the world beyond Tufts!

May 2, 2023
Kudos to Vicki Do, who today earned highest honors for her senior thesis, in which she investigated the mechanisms by which chromosome translocations are created in Drosophila.

April 19, 2023
Our lab and others have shown that both the helicase and polymerase domains of DNA polymerase theta are important for alternative end joining repair. But what about the linker domain that connects the two? Justin Blanch gave us an answer to this question in his PhD thesis defense today. Spoiler alert: the linker domain is needed to repair DNA double-strand breaks and to tolerate interstrand crosslinks. Dr. Blanch will now try to figure out exactly what the linker is doing to promote these processes.

April 11, 2023
Mai Tran successfully defended her PhD thesis today, thrilling the audience with her story describing how the SLX1/4 endonuclease becomes important for tolerating DNA alkylation damage when translesion synthesis is compromised. She will now bring her formidable teaching skills to our department's Bio13 introductory biology class. Onward, Dr. Tran!

October 20, 2022
Why does the second copy of the BRCA1 gene often mutate in individuals who are born with one broken copy? Sara Martin wrote a perspective piece in Molecular Cell highlighting novel work from the Gerhardt lab that may answer this question.

September 6, 2022
A hearty welcome to Kayla Curameng, who will be rotating in the lab this fall. They bring prior expertise in Drosophila muscle dissection to our lab, which will prove useful with the imaginal disc dissections we have planned.

June 17, 2022
The SD-MMEJ trilogy is now complete. Terrence and Nick’s research elucidating the ‘rules’ of SD-MMEJ was published today in Nucleic Acids Research. Surprisingly, they found that the stiffness of the loop in DNA secondary structures has a big impact on the efficiency of DNA polymerase theta-mediated end joining.

May 31, 2022
We've recruited new talent! Welcome to undergraduate students Jenna, Rita, and Kian, who will join the "screen team," and to Jill and Ben, who join Lora as part of the "gut team." Lots of good research to do this summer.

May 22, 2022
Jake, Celia, Luana, Sofia, and Michelle all took flight today at the first Tufts’ in-person graduation in 3 years. Congrats to our seniors as they move on to the next stages of their scientific careers!

May 13, 2022
Nick passed his PhD qualifying exam with ‘flying’ colors today. Onward!

April 7, 2022
Luana and Jake presented their undergraduate research at the Annual Drosophila Conference in San Diego this week. Sara and Mitch tagged along and enjoyed some delicious Mexican food as well. We concluded the conference with a long hike next to the Pacific Ocean.

March 7, 2022
Our latest paper describing the roles of the BLM, HELQ, and FANCM helicases in homologous recombination repair was published in Genes today. This work involved the efforts of several previous grad and undergrad students in the lab, all of whom moved on several years ago. Here’s to finishing what we started!

March 4, 2022
Alyssa was named a Laidlaw Scholar today. She’ll be working with Sara Martin this summer investigating the role of the FANC genes in Drosophila damage tolerance. Congrats Alyssa on this honor!

January 18, 2022
A big welcome to Polina and Nick, who will be rotating in the lab this spring. Both are studying damage tolerance: Nick will be working on a gene called Polybromo, while Polina is investigating the MMS22L-TONSL complex.

September 24, 2021
Today the lab started a new chapter, with funding from the NIA to study how gut barrier integrity can be promoted with probiotics to promote healthspan in Drosophila. We’re doing this in collaboration with Dr. Jimmy Crott’s lab at BU.

May 20, 2021
Lara is now ABD—she successfully passed her PhD qualifying exam about REV7 functions in flies.

May 14, 2021
So many of our undergraduate researchers eclosed this year! We said ‘see you soon’ to Nina, Sofia, Anna, Serra, and Manan, who are off to jobs at Harvard University, The Broad Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the NIH. Fantastico!

May 4, 2021
Manan successfully defended his senior honors thesis today, earning highest honors. During his time in the lab, he worked on three distinct projects!

April 20, 2021
Congrats to Sofia Rosa for her selection as an REU scholar this summer. Sofia will join the Drosophila aging team to figure out how to make flies live longer and healthier.

March 29, 2021
Kudos to Harshannie Kundun and Vicko Do for their VERSE awards! Both will join the lab this summer, working on a variety of projects related to DNA repair and damage tolerance.

March 24, 2021
Terrence became a Doctor today, successfully defending his thesis describing the ‘rules’ of SD-MMEJ repair. On to Homology Medicines!

March 22, 2021
We have a new Summer Scholar in the lab: Luana Machado! Luana will be studying stem cell hyperplasia and gut barrier integrity in aging Drosophila.

January 4, 2021
A hearty welcome to Dr. Sara Martin, who is joining us from Rick Wood’s lab at MD Anderson. She’ll be investigating mechanisms of damage tolerance in Drosophila.

October 24, 2020
First time the entire lab has been together in over 6 months. We enjoyed some socially distanced hiking!

July 9, 2020
Congrats to Terrence for the publication of his review about inaccurate double-strand break repair and how it impacts genome evolution. Read all about it on MDPI Journals.

June 22, 2020
A slow return to physical lab work…let the science continue!

June 5, 2020
Healthy Aging at Tufts awarded a pilot grant for our collaborative proposal with Jim Crott to investigate how specific anaerobic bacteria can promote longevity and healthspan in Drosophila. Thanks, Healthy Aging!

May 17, 2020
Congratulations to Sarah, Ishan, Ethan, Finn, and Gabe for graduating in the middle of a pandemic. We’ll celebrate soon!

March 13, 2020
The lab shut down today due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And yet the flies keep breeding! Time to practice some fly flipping at home…

March 11, 2020
Zoloft causes a slight increase in birth defects for children whose mothers take it during pregnancy. We’ve now found that it also causes oxidative damage that affects development in fruit flies. Fortunately, the solution seems to be to pair it with vitamin C! You can read all about it in our paper out today in Scientific Reports.