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Lab News

Welcome Brenda Thomas to the Munson Lab!

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July 2020: We are excited to have Brenda Thomas join the Munson-Newburger teams to investigate VPS45 mutants and their role in severe congenital neutropenia!

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May 2020: Mary guest edits May 19 Issue of Protein Science, entitled “Cellular Dynamics”. 

New joint NIH R21 grant in collaboration with Vanderbilt's Macara Lab

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May 2020: The Munson lab received a new joint NIH R21 grant from NINDS in collaboration with Dr. Ian Macara’s lab at Vanderbilt, entitled “New Mouse Models to Investigate Neurological Defects Caused by Exocyst Mutations”.

Welcome Brittany Jette to the Munson Lab

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May 2020: The Munson lab extends a virtual welcome to our newest WPI undergraduate Brittany Jette, and congratulates her on receiving an NIH summer undergraduate supplement for her work!

Brittany is investigating a variety of reported disease-associated mutations in the exocyst complex, and plans to test the function (or dysfunction) of several of these in yeast, once she is able to join the lab in person!

Munson lab awarded joint R01 with the Newburger lab

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April 2020: The Munson and Newburger labs have been awarded a joint R01 from the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for their study of the molecular mechanisms of a rare severe congenital neutropenia caused by mutations in the endosomal regulatory protein VPS45. These studies are a powerful combination of in vitro biochemistry, genetics, cell biology and in vivo mouse models of the disease.

Munson Lab hosts Dr. Tae-Young Yoon

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April 2020: The Munson lab is pleased to host Dr. Tae-Young Yoon, an Associate Professor at Seoul National University in South Korea, during his sabbatical year. Dr. Yoon and his lab have been collaborating with us on the biochemistry, biophysics and cell biology on single-molecule characterization of the exocyst and membrane fusion. These studies are being complemented by cell biology and genetic data in yeast and cells from other model organisms, and are fundamental to understanding how cells grow, divide and communicate with each other, and how defects may potentially lead to cancers, neurological dysfunction and/or developmental problems.

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Feb 2020:  So much fun to have Sarah Cleveland rotate in the lab! Great talk and celebration of our new grant with the lab and other colleagues!

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November 2019:  Awesome rotation talk presented by Shawn Egri!
(maybe next time we will figure out the right construct for him to use…)

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November 2019:  The Munson lab is pleased to host Alfredo Figueroa Meléndez as a visiting graduate student from the Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education at Ensenada (CICESE) in Baja California, Mexico. Alfredo was awarded a Promoting Research Opportunities for Latin American Biochemists program, or PROLAB, fellowship through the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), the Pan-American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the International Union for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (12 young scientists win PROLAB awards). He plans to advance the research of Dr. Riquelme's Lab regarding the biochemistry and structure of the exocyst complex from the fungus Neurospora crassa during his time here (https://usuario.cicese.mx/~riquelme/) . Congratulations Alfredo and welcome to the lab!  

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August 2019:  Congratulations and best wishes dinner for Alex and Stephen

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August 2019:  Congrats to Camille and Alex on their summer research presentations!

Intern Presentations

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July 2019:  Fabulous to have Ayo, Camille and Jacky in lab this summer!

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June 2019:  Dante (and his beard) presents the latest exocyst research at the joint UMass Med-UMass Amherst Biochemistry Retreat. Congrats to all for a terrific day of science and networking.

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May 2019: Congratulations to Jacqueline Forson who was recently granted an NIH Diversity Supplement from NIGMS based on a Munson Lab currently funded R01 project!

Kristyn NorrisMay 2019: Congratulations to Kristyn Norris who has been selected to receive a student community service award to be presented at the 2019 Student Awards Ceremony!

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April 2019:  Congratulations to Alex Czuchra and Stephen Foley on their excellent MQPs and posters of their research!

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March 2019:  Woo Hoo to Mike Feyder for passing his qualifying exam! Congrats! Looking forward to some cool exocyst data soon!

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Dec 2018: Welcome to our new postdoc, Jen Forcina, and happy holidays!

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Sept 2018: Excited to have Crystal Shan rotating with us now!

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Sept 2018: An enthusiastic welcome to Mike Feyder, who officially joined the lab as a graduate student!

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Sept 2018:  Very pleased to announce that we received official notice of award for our exocyst NIH R01 grant renewal!! Four more years! Keep rockin' on, Munson lab!

August 2018—Congrats to Kristyn, who has just been appointed a pre-doctoral fellow position on the NIH Innate Immunity T32 training grant!

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August 3, 2018: Congratulations to Alex, for a terrific presentation of his summer research!

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Mary co-organized the "Molecular Mechanisms of Membrane Trafficking" conference in Seoul, South Korea, on May 17-19. Mary and Dante had a fabulous trip and learned a lot! 

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May 7, 2018: Congratulations to our newest PhD candidate, Kristyn Norris, on passing her qualifying exam! Looking forward to many exciting successes to come!

Mary presented the 2018 Division of Biosciences Patricia Clarke Lecture at University College London in January 2018.

Mary had the honor of serving as a Visiting Scholar at Duquesne University in September, and it was a lot of fun and good science!