New faculty Stephen Van Hooser joins Biology Dept

Steve is back, starting this month.

Stephen Van Hooser is an alumnus of Brandeis Neuroscience Ph.D. program, graduating in 2005. After a highly productive stint as a postdoc as Duke, Steve rejoins us in May, 2010 as Biology’s newest assistant professor. The Van Hooser lab will focus on the role of visual experience in maturation and development of neural circuit, using optical and optogenetic tools.

New in Pubmed

Have no time to write News and Views, but there are a few new papers from our labs that have recently popped up in Pubmed.

Drosophila TRPA1 and the ancient origin of chemical nociception

Story today on Brandeis NOW about research from the Garrity lab:

Whenever you choke on acrid cigarette smoke, feel like you’re burning up from a mouthful of wasabi-laced sushi, or cry while cutting raw onions and garlic, your response is being triggered by a primordial chemical sensor conserved across some 500 million years of animal evolution, report Brandeis scientists in a study in Nature this week.

Kang et al., “Analysis of Drosophila TRPA1 reveals an ancient origin for human chemical nociception”

Research quickies

Some of our recent publications (descriptions are mine, not the authors’)

Lau: Finding new insect viruses by sequencing small RNAs (siRNA and piRNA)

Katz Lab: Taste affects smell

Sengupta Lab: Stress early in life causes epigenetic changes in worms

Back online

We’ve been off-line for a while, and now we’ve moved into the new version of WordPress supported by the campus IT folks. It should now be relatively easy for labs to post themselves to this blogs.

What have we missed? Well, for one, Michael Rosbash and Jeff Hall are getting the Gruber Neuroscience Prize, together with Michael Young (Rockefeller U), for their work on genetics of circadian rhythms.

I’ll post some more of the “backdated” news when I get a chance. Feel free to ask for an account so you can do it yourself…

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