Armbruster Lab at Georgetown University

News from the Lab

1/17: Zach Batz has received a research grant from the Cosmos Club  Foundation.  Congratulations Zach!

8/16:  Congratulations to Dr. Xin Huang who presented his dissertation seminar and received his Ph.D. (with distinction!).  Xin will be moving to the National Human Genome Research Institue for a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Julie Segre.

6/16:  Peter has received promotion from Associate to Full Professor.  Many thanks to the friends, colleagues and collaborators who have helped along the way!

12/15:  Austin Garner has joined the lab as a research technician II.  Austin completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia where he did a senior thesis with Adrea Sweigart on the genetic basis of hybrid seed lethality in Mimulus.  Austin's thesis was recently accepted for publication in New Phytologist!

10/15:  The Aedes albopictus genome sequence paper has been published and can be found here.  Thanks to Xiaoguang Chen and Tony James for their leadership on this project!

6/15:  We've updated the website with a transcriptome that includes sequences from blood fed and non-blood fed adult females as well as the previous pre-adult stages (see 3/13 below).  The new merged transcriptome now contains 189,946 contigs with a mean contig length of 1,339 bp representing 14,077 non-redundant gene models with a median gene model coverage of 73%.

3/15: Peter traveled to Guangzhou, China to participate in the 2nd International Workshop on Aedes albopictus. This was an excellent meeting hosted by Xiaoguang Chen and colleagues at the Southern Medical University of China.

2/15: Xin Huang, a fourth year graduate student in the lab, has received the Outstanding Graduate Student in Biology Award. Congratulations Xin!

8/14: Peter has received an R15 award (AREA grant) from NIH to investigate the genetic basis of diapause in Ae. albopictus using QTL and RNAseq approaches.

1/14: David Denlinger and Peter have recently published paper entitled "Mosquito diapause" in the Annual Review of Entomology.

5/13: Graduate student Xin Huang has received a travel grant to attend the 2013 Arthropod Genomics Symposium at the University of Notre Dame. Congratulations Xin!

5/13: Georgetown undergraduate Sarah Dermody has received a GUROP fellowship to peform full-time research in the lab during the summer of 2013.

3/13: Peter presents an invited talk at the International Workshop on Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito. The meeting was held in Pavia, Italy.

3/13: We've updated the website with a composite transcriptome that now includes data from oocytes, early- and late-stage embryos and pharate larvae. The transcriptome database now contains 118,163 contigs (mean contig length = 1426bp) covering 13,355 gene models as well as 666 potential 5' UTRs and 918 potential 3' UTRs. Details can be found in the 2013 Physiological Entomology paper by Poelchau et al. (see publications page).

2/13: Peter receives the Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award from the graduate students in the Department of Biology at GU.

1/13: Monica Poelchau gave birth to Zoe Alice Cornman on January 27th, 2013. Congratulations to Monica and her husband Scott!

8/12: Peter presents two invited talks at the 2012 International Congress of Entomology in Daegu, South Korea.

8/12: Monica Poelchau has updated the site with data from our recent sequencing of early- and late-stage embryos. These data include a merged 454-Illumina transcriptome assembly that comprises 50,725 contigs covering 12,345 gene models with high % identity (average: 88.27%) and reference gene coverage (average: 66.65%). For more information or to access the data, visit Analyses of these data will will be described in a forthcoming publication.

7/12: Peter presents a contributed talk at the 2012 Evolution meetings in Ottowa, Canada.

6/12: Monica Poelchau presents at the 2012 Arthropod Genomics meeting in Kansas City.

5/12: Peter recieves a GU Graduate School grant to begin RNAi experiments on embryos is Ae. albopictus.

5/12: Xin Huang receives a Sigma-Xi grant for his work on the molecular basis of diapause in Aedes albopictus. Congratulations Xin!

4/12: Armbruster lab research is featured in "Today's Science", an online science news service for high school students.

3/12: Jenn Urbanski’s paper entitled “Rapid adaptive evolution of photoperiodic response during invasion and range expansion across a climatic gradient” is featured in Nature's Research Highlights ( March 1, 2012)

2/12: Monica Poelchau’s paper entitled “A de novo transcriptome of the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, to identify candidate transcripts for diapause preparation” is selected by FACULTY OF 1000.

2/12: Peter presents a seminar to the Department of Entomology at the University of Maryland, College Park.

12/11: Peter presents a seminar to the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Georgetown University Medical Center.

11/11: Monica Poelchau presents an invited talk in a symposium on “Cost-effective alternatives to traditional sequencing: Applying next generation molecular technologies to medical and veterinary entomology” and Peter presents and contributed talk at the 2012 Entomological Society of America meeting in Reno, NV.

8/11: Xin Huang joins the lab as a Ph.D. student from China Agricultural University in Beijing. Xin is starting to work on RNAi “knockdown” experiments of transcripts involved in the diapause response of Ae. albopcitus.

7/11: Monica Poelchau and Peter present research at 2011 Gordon conference on Ecological Genomics.

6/11 - Jen Urbanksi presents her dissertation research at Evolution meetings in Norman Oklahoma.

6/11 - Our Aedes albopictus transcriptome data base is launched— Initial posting includes approx. 70,000 contigs (ESTs) representing approx. 10,000 gene models annotated based on the Ae. aegypti genome sequence and other databases. We recently completed another round of sequencing from embyo tissue and aim to post another update by August 2011.

6/11 - Peter presents talk at "Vector Encounter".

5/11 - Jen Urbanski completes thesis defense, and passes with distinction! Congratulations Dr. Urbanski!

10/10 - Peter served on an NSF grant review panel this month—wow, a lot of proposal to read!

6/10 - Jen Urbanski presents her dissertation research at the Evolution Meetings.

6/10 - Peter is co-PI on NSF "ULTRAex" grant awarded to Ali Whitmer (GU) and Morgan Grove (USFS). Our lab will be examining how interactions between socio-economic variables and abiotic factors affect mosquito vector abundance throughout the Washington DC metropolitan area.

11/09 - Deborah O'Donnell completes her dissertation defense. Congratulations Dr. O'Donnell!

7/09 - Peter presents poster and is invited participant at NSF-, HHMI- and AAAS- sponsored meeting: Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education. Washington, DC.

6/09 - Peter Presents talk at "Vector Encounter".

5/09 - Zara Rahman receives award for best senior thesis presentation in section. Congratulations Zara!

5/09 - Peter, Chris Elsik and Dave Denliger received NIH award to conduct transcriptome sequencing in Ae. Albopictus.

2/09 - Peter presents invited talk at International Symposium on the Asian Tiger Mosquito- Ecology, Evolution, Epidemiology and Control. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.

11/08 - Amalia Aruda is accepted to graduate program at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Amalia has also received a prestigious NSF pre-doctoral fellowship to support her graduate work.

10/08 - Jen award Outstanding Graduate Student Award, GU Dept. of Biology.

6/08 - Peter is spending a week in Madison Wisconsin as a National Academies of Sciences "Education Mentor" at the National Academies Summer Institutes on Undergraduate Education in Biology.

07/08 - Jen Urbanski is invited to give talk at "Genomics of Environmental Change Meeting" at the annual meeting of the American Genetics Association.

6/08 - Peter Presents talk at "Vector Encounter".

12/07 - Peter presents invited talk at ESA symposium on "frontiers of molecular vector biology".

12/07 - Jen wins President's Prize for best student presentation at the Entomological Society of America 2007 annual meeting, Section B2, Physiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology.

6/07 - Deborah O'Donnell Awarded NSF DDIG award to examine interactions inbreeding depression and pathogen susceptibility.

5/07 - Keith Summa is accepted to Northwestern to continue work on Circadian Clocks.