News

Cammie’s paper preprint now available

G protein-coupled estrogen receptor is not required for sex determination or ovary function in zebrafish

An important negative result: We find that G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER) is not required for sex determination or ovary development in zebrafish. While nuclear estrogen receptors are clearly involved in sex determination and gonad development, Cammie’s preprint suggests that non-canonical estrogen signaling is dispensable for sex determination and gonad development.

Meeting Jennifer Doudna

Dr. Jennifer Doudna (center) with graduate students Hailey Edwards (left) and Paige Souder (right)

During a break from reviewing grants for an upcoming study section, the lab and I went to hear Dr. Jennifer Doudna give a seminar. We use CRISPR-Cas9 extensively to modify the zebrafish genome, so seeing one of the scientists who discovered CRISPR and adapted it for targeted DNA modification in non-bacterial species…that will be something to tell my genetically engineered grandchildren about.

Shannon’s magnum opus published!

Finally, after more than two years, submission to six journals, three editorial rejections and six rounds of peer-review, I am proud to report that Shannon’s first author paper, her magnum opus, the diamond in her PhD crown, was published in PLOS Genetics!

I would be proud no matter what, but I’m extra proud because Shannon had the guts to stick with this story, continue to add and refine data in the face of multiple rejections and aim for publication in a high impact journal. Meanwhile the grant proposals based on this project, both Shannon’s NRSA and my R01 (and the R01-A1, and the subsequent R01), were not even discussed, let alone funded.

Throughout the entire process, Shannon remained in high spirits. The rest of the lab came together to contribute supporting data that kicked the impact up a notch. We found two great collaborators with expertise in assays requested by the reviewers.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed working on it.

Dan wins pilot award from Rheumatic Diseases Core Center

We are thrilled to announce that our project, ‘Identifying T cell-specific glucocorticoid receptor agonists for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis,’ was selected to receive funding by the UAB Rheumatic Diseases Core Center. This project has been near and dear to my heart for years, although relegated to the back burner due to lack of funding – too risky, as some funding agencies described it (we’re looking at you, NIH). Thanks UAB RDCC for taking a chance on us. We won’t disappoint.