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Nick Peterson, MD, PhD Candidate and Read Pukkila-Worley talk about the scientific and training environment at UMASS Medical School.

Pukkila-Worley laboratory

The major goal of the Pukkila-Worley laboratory is to characterize mechanisms of immune homeostasis in intestinal epithelial cells. We aim to use these discoveries to identify innate immune pathways that can be exploited to develop new therapies, which can modulate host immune activity.

Our laboratory uses C. elegans as a discovery platform to define evolutionarily ancient mechanisms of pathogen sensing and immune activation. A photograph of a nematode that has been infected with the important human bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aerginosa, is shown. Individual bacteria can be visualized within the markedly distended intestinal lumen of the animals.  Also shown is a socially-distanced celebration for Kyle Foster, who successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis in September 2020.

Pukkila-Worley lab photo

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Exciting news from the Pukkila-Worley Lab

  • 10/8/20: Sarah's review was published in PLOS Pathogens
  • 9/21/20: Claire Tocheny, M.D/Ph.D student, joined the lab for her thesis research!
  • 9/11/20: Kyle defended his Ph.D. thesis!!
  • 4/7/20: Kyle published his thesis work in Cell Reports!!  Such an exciting day.
  • 4/6/20: We got a Notice of Allowance for a U.S. Patent on a new antihelminthic drug target
  • 12/20/19: Nick got an F30 grant funded! Super competetive... this is huge!!
  • 10/22/19: Competitive renewal success!  Thank you Kenneth Rainin Foundation!
  • 10/15/19: New pub from our lab in PNASCongrats Sarah and Hilary!
  • 10/9/19: Welcome to the lab Sammy Tse, an MD/PhD student!
  • 8/9/18: Kyle, Sarah and Nick all got spots on institutional training grants!
  • 7/1/18: Kyle Foster won a Poster Award at 2018 SPAMS C. elegans Meeting
  • 5/1/18: Check out Nick's review in Current Opinion in Immunology 
  • 6/17/19: Sarah's paper was published in PLOS Pathogens
  • 4/5/19: Nick was awarded a career development award from IDSA! 
  • 1/22/19: Nick and Hilary published a paper in PLOS Genetics.
  • 12/19/18: Elizabeth got into med school!
  • 10/1/18: Pleased that our grant from the Rainin Foundation was competitively renewed (press release)
  • 8/24/17: Awarded an Innovator Award from the Ranin Foundation to fund our IBD work (Ranin press releaseUMass announcent)
  • 8/3/17: A nice write-up about our work on UMassMed Now
  • 6/21/17: Our R01 was funded by NIH/NIAID
  • 9/28/16: A review from our lab in PLOS Pathogens
  • 3/1/16: Our paper was published in G3: Genes, Genomes and Genetics .
  • 11/17/16: Excited to receive a grant from the Charles H. Hood Foundation

Post doctoral fellowship positions available!

Click here for more details about the position.

Email Read with questions or to apply.

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