Do you know… that the NIH repays student loans?

Yes indeed it does, with the aim to recruit and retain talent in biomedicine and behavioral sciences! Check out the eligibility requirements here, and don’t be shy about applying. Loan repayment support can improve your quality of life and reduce stress while enabling you to focus on your science. Win-win-win!

A case for free-range lab mice whose immune systems converge when hanging out together?

As we celebrate the impending publication of Alec and Bola’s paper on how immunologically similar mice become when they spend time together outdoors, a fascinating glimpse into the world of you-are (immunologically)-with-whom-you-spend-time (!), we also look back over a year of attention to our group’s research:

Please check out Alec’s radio appearance and Brian Levinson’s TAPintoPrinceton article that features Scientists in the Suburbs, as well as Sonia Shah’s New Yorker article on The case for free-range lab mice! We’re glad that people far beyond campus appreciate our attempts to naturalize “mouse models” for immunology and neuroscience.

Dr. Alec!

Biggest news of the summer is that the outrageously talented and insightful Alec Downie successfully defended his Ph.D. and is now officially Dr. Alec!!! His dissertation is possibly the only one in the universe that includes data on both mice and elephant seals — but of course there may be a Dr. Alec in a parallel universe who also has such broad interests and such a wide size range of study organisms?!? Congratulations to you, Alec — we will miss you when you head to Germany.

OK, this has been getting ridiculous… it’s time for FANFARE!!!

In the past year, I fell far, far behind (even more so than usual) on posting exciting news here. But we’ve had some fabulous new arrivals to the group during the 2022-23 academic year who each deserve great fanfare!!! Please see further details of these marvellous individuals via the People page.

Graduate student Charlotte Knopp

Postdoctoral scholar Dr. David Chang van Oordt

GHP postdoctoral scholar Dr. Esther Annan

GHP-Mpala postdoctoral scholar Dr. Gugulethu Moyo

Graduate student Yoon Chang

Belated but HEARTFELT welcome to you all!!! It’s an honor and delight to work with you!

Dr. Liana!

Exciting news this week: the brilliant Liana Wait successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis and morphed into Dr. Liana Wait!! Congratulations on your important work on parasite-vaccine interactions, Dr. Liana, and all the best in your onward adventures in science writing! We will miss you and those clever raccoons.

Preprints and the tales of interdisciplinarity!

It’s been far, far too long since I posted, I know… good grief! but here I am to tout 2 preprints that I just posted on the publications page, both hugely interdisciplinary and fascinating!! Each is stuck in >1 year (and counting) of peer review cycles, so please enjoy them now: Ed’s excellent preprint on fruitful analogies between organismal and computer defenses, and Carrie’s cracking preprint on surprisingly powerful and consistent worm-germ interactions within non-human primates. An honor and delight to work with them both!

Dr. Ed!

We are delighted to announce that the wonderful Ed Schrom became Dr. Ed Schrom this week!!! MANY congratulations, Ed, and very best wishes in your new adventures at the NIH!

Danny Navarrete shines as brightly as ever!

Outstanding alumnus Danny Navarrete is pursuing his Ph.D. at Stanford and is now in the news there, with his inspiring family story. We are all so excited to follow Danny’s career path. Will the trypanosomes that he studied in college eventually win out, or will he instead continue to hone his expertise in prokaryotic disease agents? What balance will he strike between mathematics and lab work as he continues to develop as a scientist? What we know for certain is that he is continuing to shine.

Evolution, you’re making me sick (on Southern Miss radio)

Not long before lockdown, Andrea had the very good fortune to participate in Darwin Day festivities at the University of Southern Mississippi. She gave a talk about (what else) worms and immune systems, she admired and applauded a student game show in which all questions focused on evolutionary biology, and she took part in an amazing radio show called The Educated Guess, created and hosted by Professor Don Yee. Please listen to these, as Don has a real knack for making great radio! Andrea is on episode #5: Evolution, you’re making me sick.

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