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Lab Philosophy

We work together as a small, collaborative, highly interactive team. Such an environment has proven conducive for doing interesting science, positive for lab culture and good for individual lab members' professional development. I also think it is a fun way to do science. 


A strength of working in insects is that these systems allow us to test many hypotheses quickly using multiple orthogonal approaches. This helps us continually adjust to exploit new insights and opportunities. Current experimental approaches range from electrophysiology, behavior and molecular genetics in flies and mosquitoes to ion channel physiology in frog oocytes to molecular phylogeny, and we incorporate additional approaches as opportunities arise.  This multi-pronged approach ideally helps us identify poor projects and ideas quickly, hastening the arrival of better projects and ideas.  


Flies have long been our bread and butter, but many of the molecules and processes we study are conserved from flies to mosquitoes to humans. The advent of technologies like CRISPR has prompted us to extend our work into vector mosquitoes, and probing the mechanisms of host-seeking, blood-feeding and egg laying are a focus of much of the lab.


We work closely with several labs of complementary interests and expertise. 


Our collaborators include:

> the lab of Aravi Samuel in the Physics Dept. at Harvard University: quantitative analysis of behavior and connectomics

> the lab of Flaminia Catteruccia in the Dept. of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard School of Public Health: mosquito molecular biology

> the lab of Rachelle Gaudet in the Dept. of Cellular and Molecular Biology at Harvard University: structural biology of ion channels

> the lab of Ray Huey, at the University of Washington: thermal ecology.  (It also worth reading Ray's great piece "On Becoming a Better Scientist" .)

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