Discover. Develop. Apply.
The Bosco Lab has two major research interests:
One part of the lab studies learning and memory and inheritance of behavior. We want to understand how social information is different from other information during the learning process. How is information learned via social interactions stored and maintained as memory? Is this type of memory affected during the aging process differently than other types of memory? We are also interested in understanding how neural inputs interface with germline cells: Specifically, we want to know if social experiences alter epigenetic information in the egg and sperm so that social experiences of parents can influence the behavior of their offspring. Do we inherit memory? Do we inherit behavioral predispositions from our parents or grandparents?
Part of the lab studies how chromosomes and chromatin are organized in 3-dimensional space, and we want to understand (1) the biological function of how different chromosomal arrangements affect gene regulation and epigenetic inheritance, and (2) how tiny molecular machines move, stretch and condense chromosomes in order to regulate different 3D organizational states. We also want to understand how chromosome organization changes as a consequence of biological aging and whether these changes contribute to the aging process.
For more details click on the RESEARCH tab above.
Why use fruit flies for research?
Drosophila is a fruit fly that has been used as an experimental system for over 100-years. Multiple Nobel Prizes have been awarded (as recently as 2017!) to scientists who used Drosophila as their experimental system of choice to discover some of the most important secrets of life. How inheritance works, how our body-plan is specified in our DNA, and important molecules of the immune system have all been discovered by scientists using fruit flies as their experimental model system. What we learn from the humble fruit fly very often can be developed into new tools, new therapies and new ways to apply these tools to grand challenges of human health. Want to know more about the awesome power of fruit fly genetics and its real contributions to human health? We suggest you take a look at Stephanie Mohr's new book "First in Fly," or take your pick of over 1,200 review articles on "Drosophila and Human Disease."
It just makes economic sense! Imagine trying to solve some really complex problems: Why do humans age and become frail or have problems with memory as they age? How does the human brain work? Why is it that 44-years after the "war on cancer" was declared in the US we still have people dying of cancer? Obviously we can't do experiments on people, and so we start with experimental systems like rats, mice, fish, worms, fruit flies and yeast. What we learn from these models gives us important clues as to how human biology might work. Fruit flies reproduce every 10-days, and compared to mice, fruit flies cost a tiny fraction to breed and maintain in the lab. So, it makes good economic sense to first do experiments on flies that cost 100's of dollars and take weeks to complete. These same exploratory experiments in more complex systems, like a mouse or human cells, cost thousands or tens-of-thousands of dollars and years to complete. Working with fruit flies not only is scientifically more efficient, but it also makes our valuable research funds go further. It is the economically responsible way to conduct biomedical research.
USE THE TABS AT THE TOP TO LEARN MORE ABOUT:
- Chromosomes and chromatin
- Genome Organization
- Learning and memory
- Biology of Aging
- July 19, 2018: Balint Kacsoh's paper published in PLoS Genetics already makes a splash in the popular press. "Drosophila species learn dialects through communal living." To see the full story click here. To see a journal highlight click here. Congratulations Balint!
- November, 2017: Lita Bozler's paper accepted for publication in PLOS ONE. "Nematocytes: Discovery and characterization of a novel anculeate hemocyte in Drosophila falleni and Drosophila phalerata." Congratulations Lita!
- October, 2017: Lita Bozler's paper just accepted for publication in PLoS Genetics. "A systems level approach to temporal expression dynamics in Drosophila reveals clusters of long term memory genes." Congratulations Lita!
- September, 2017: Lita Bozler is chosen as one of two John H. Copenhaver, Jr. and William H. Thomas, MD 1952 Fellow at Dartmouth. Congratulations Lita!
- September, 2017: In collaboration with Dr. Casey Greene at UPENN, Balint Kacsoh uses machine learning to identify new genes that are required for memory. Balint's paper just accepted in G3 : Genes, Genomes, Genetics Journal. Congratulations Balint!
- December, 2016: Vibhuti Rana's review article "Condensin Regulation of Genome Architecture" is accepted for publication in the Journal of Cellular Physiology.