Current Research Projects
The Bosco lab has two general areas of research:
Behavior, Learning, Memory:
The ability to perceive or acquire information from our environment is critical for survival, and the ability to store information so that it can be recalled later can be equally important. How is it stored,maintained in the brain, exactly how memory works, where is it stored, how it is recalled, is information actually “lost” or just rendered inaccessible… these and many other questions are not just inherently interesting, but they are also highly relevant to a variety of human conditions, including age dependent memory loss, dementia, autism spectrum disorders and many other behaviors. The lab uses mostly fruit flies, Drosophila, and more recently has started mouse projects in collaboration with neighboring mouse neurobiology labs, such as Bryan Luikart, Allan Gulledge and Hermes Yeh. To get a more detailed perspective on our interests and work, please visit our publications page to find our most recent publications.
Condensins, Chromosomes, 3D Genome Organization:
We are interested in understanding the genetic and epigenetic determinants of how chromosome structures are established and maintained in different tissues and at different times during development. Although most of us are familiar with the classic butterfly morphology of mitotic chromosomes, the fact is that chromosomes adopt a myriad array of conformations, and organizational states within the 3-dimensional space of the nucleus. Most of us are also familiar with chromosome movements during mitotic segregation, but now we are starting to appreciate how chromosome movements in interphase cells (not mitosis) are also highly regulated and functionally important. We are interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that build specific chromosome structures (e.g. polytenes vs. just polyploid; Rabl vs. territories), why chromosomes can be so different in different tissue types and what consequences different organizational states have on gene expression. This is an important aspect of chromosome biology not just because of the effects on gene expression, but also because of the intrinsic epigenetic information specific 3D states have and transmit from one cell to the next or one generation to the next. Even in populations of genetically identical cells, inheritance of specific 3D chromosome organizational states can lead to transcriptional states that are unique to those 3D conformations. The ensuing phenotypic heterogeneity caused by different chromosomal states can be important for proper development and advantageous for tumor cells competing for limited resources. To get a more detailed perspective on our interests and work, please visit our publications page to find our most recent publications.