Back in 2013, I co-founded KnipBio with Larry Feinberg. KnipBio’s goal is to develop Methylobacterium as an aquaculture feed ingredient that can simultaneously reduce the need for fishmeal-derived protein and provide high-value components and properties. In the past two years, our first publications have come out describing the successful use of this single-cell protein with a variety of aquaculture species (Tlusty et al., 2017. PeerJ, Hardy et al., 2018. Aquaculture Research). It has been very exciting to see work move from the lab and translate to practical outcomes.
This past Tuesday, 11/13, Siavash Riazi presented his defense for a PhD in BCB entitled “Mathematical modeling and analysis of gene expression to understand phenotypic heterogeneity and the response of Methylobacterium extorquens to formaldehyde toxicity.” His work was co-advised by Chris Remien (Mathematics) and me, and represents his first PhD student, and my first to finish here at Idaho. Many thanks to committee members, Holly Wichman, Steve Krone, and Craig Miller. And most of all congrats to Dr. Riazi!
Not nearly as exciting as the news from current and former lab members, but as of the last nearly two years I have been serving as a member of the Board of Reviewing Editors at Science. Although nobody needs more work to do, this has been a really neat opportunity to see just emerging work from many disciplines come streaming by. And it has been quite rewarding to see some of those that I expressed great excitement for make it to review and successfully out the other end, now appearing in print.
Besides new jobs, the lab now has the first alumni to be granted tenure. Alex Bradley is now an Associate Professor in Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University, St. Louis. Deepa Agashe is now tenured in Ecology and Evolution at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) in Bangalore. Many congrats to you both!!!
Very excitingly, two postdocs landed PI-level jobs this year. Jannell Bazurto has landed an Assistant Professor position in Plant and Microbial Biology at the University of Minnesota, and will start her own lab in January, 2019. Jessica Lee has landed a job as a Fellow with the non-profit, GlobalViral, and also has an Adjunct Assistant Professor position at San Francisco State University. They bring the total number fo PIs to emerge from the lab to nine!
This past year has seen some big turnover in the lab with many new positions, etc. In terms of undergrads, we are excited to have Olivia Speare and Mete Yuksel on the team. They are working on protein biochemistry and phenotypic heterogeneity, respectively. Furthermore, it is exciting to have Isaiah Jordan now having started graduate school in the lab as part of the BCB graduate program. He is also working on phenotypic heterogeneity, building upon the exciting results of former postdoc Jessica Lee and others.
In getting the ball rolling on posts again, where better to start than with students. First off, I want to congratulate Alyssa Baugh on having received an overwhelming number of grad school offers, and having chosen to go to University of Georgia. She was an awesome UG in the lab, and will kick butt in grad school.