Birthdays and Rotons and Meetings, Oh My!

It’s been a busy Fall for the Mosca Lab!

At the beginning of September, we welcomed Layla Ghaffari as our new rotation student. Layla is a first-year Neuroscience graduate student and she comes to us from the Barrow Institute where she worked in the lab of Rita Sattler on ALS. She is keenly interested in imaging, neurodevelopment, and understanding synaptic biology and will be working on modes of synapse formation in the CNS. Welcome, Layla!

We also celebrated our very first birthday! On September 24th, 2017, we moved into our newly renovated space and one year later, we’re roaring ahead! We’ve got lab members, active projects, and a great space to continue pushing back the frontiers of knowledge. We celebrated with white board art, great science, and pizza. We can’t wait to see what the next year will bring.

Finally, at the end of September, Tim traveled to the 2018 Cold Spring Harbor Molecular Mechanisms of Neuronal Connectivity meeting. It was an amazing meeting for synapse formation, axon guidance, and plasticity. Also, we were honored to have the chance to present our new story on proteases involved in synaptic maturation. This is a completely new story that started in our lab and we hope to share it with the whole world very soon.

Layla Ghaffari, our new Rotation Student.

Layla Ghaffari, our new Rotation Student.

The Mosca Lab’s first birthday! We’re on our way to being a toddler!

The Mosca Lab’s first birthday! We’re on our way to being a toddler!

Tim speaks at the 2018 Cold Spring Harbor: Molecular Mechanisms of Neuronal Connectivity meeting on a brand new project (completely from our lab) on synaptic maturation!

Tim speaks at the 2018 Cold Spring Harbor: Molecular Mechanisms of Neuronal Connectivity meeting on a brand new project (completely from our lab) on synaptic maturation!

The 59th Drosophila Research Conference

Nearly 1500 Drosophilosophers descended upon the great city of Philadelphia last week to attend the 59th Annual Drosophila Research Conference, sponsored by the Genetics Society of America. A great time was had by all: our lab attended as observers and admirers of science. Many wonderful stories were told and scientific facts were shared. Thanks to the GSA for such a great meeting and a hearty to hello to all of our old and new friends met at the meeting!

Mike and Alison couldn't resist getting a photo with the life-size vials from Genesee! No word yet on whether humans prefer molasses-media or dextrose-based media. Stay tuned!

Mike and Alison couldn't resist getting a photo with the life-size vials from Genesee! No word yet on whether humans prefer molasses-media or dextrose-based media. Stay tuned!

New Rotons and New MEMBERS!

March was an exciting month for the Mosca Lab! Shortly after a delectable Pi Day, our two rotation students, Alison DePew (left) and Mike Aimino (right) officially joined the lab as graduate students! What made them finally decide? Could it have been the pies? Perhaps the Snuggies? Either way, we're excited to have them and can't wait to show you what frontiers of knowledge their theses will push back!

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At the beginning of April, we had two NEW rotation students join the lab. Mike Warkala from GGCB and Nicholas Pizzi from CBRM are spending Spring II with us. They're a wonderful addition to our growing lab and will be studying critically fascinating questions about synaptic development. Welcome Nic and Mike!


Tim is a 2018 Alfred P. Sloan Fellow!

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This week, Tim was named as one of the 2018 Alfred P. Sloan fellows in Neuroscience. 126 fellows were chosen (including 16 neuroscientists) from over 800+ applicants. The Sloan Foundation identifies early-career scientists who are distinguished among the best in their field currently and supports them with two years of funding for their research. We are deeply, deeply honored by this award and will do our absolute best to live up to it! This money will be funding our efforts to understand how neurons in a circuit integrate information and coordinate their synaptic organization. Congratulations to Tim and to Jefferson for this honor!

Welcome to Our New Members!

Happy New Year, world! The lab is kicking it into high gear for 2018 with our THREE (!) new members! It's a pleasure to welcome David, our new postdoc, along with Alison and Mike, our two new neuroscience rotation students. They're going to be pushing back the frontiers of synaptic knowledge and making our BLSB neighbors have to wear shades thanks to all the shiny science. We're ecstatic to have them join the lab and look forward to their successes.

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The *New and Improved* Mosca Lab

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We've been very busy here in the Mosca Lab. At the end of September, after much construction, many months of waiting, and a few delays, the Mosca Lab officially moved into its new wet lab and personnel space in the Bluemle Life Sciences Building here at Jefferson University! When all is said and done, we will have over 1600 feet of space in which to push back the frontiers of knowledge! Our wet lab consists of 5 benches, two protein and DNA gel running stations, and a wall of supplies and equipment!

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We also have a dedicated room for our personnel! Gorgeous new desks (all hand assembled by Tim and Lucas), shelving for any and all of your storage needs, and plenty of places for you to think about science and watch cat videos on Twitter. We also have a fridge, a microwave, and an impending snack drawer. We're also set to grow with space for more desks, more equipment, and more snacks. Now doesn't this look like a fantastic place to do science? Wouldn't you like to come join us! Click on the button above to find out how!

You didn't think we'd leave without a shameless plug to entice new lab members to join, did you? COME VISIT US!

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The Mosca Lab at the CSHL Neurobiology of Drosophila Meeting

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Recently, Tim represented the lab at the 2017 Neurobiology of Drosophila meeting at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. It was a wonderful celebration of the state-of-the-art from all realms of Drosophila neurobiology and an equally wonderful celebration of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine presented to Jeff Hall, Mike Young, and Mike Rosbash for their discoveries relating to the biological clock and Circadian rhythms.

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Tim presented the lab's new story on postsynaptic development at the fly NMJ which we're all very excited about. As any visitor to this meeting will tell you, there is little to worry on about the future of fly neurobiology! 

Scientists Help TX Colleagues Affected by Hurricane Harvey

This has been a busy week! Following the devastation in Texas following Hurricane Harvey, Tim and many other labs across the country pledged their support to their Texas colleagues affected by the storms. What started as a tweet has turned into over 250 labs across the world volunteering support, space, storage, and general assistance to any scientists whose work has been impeded by Harvey. The generosity and kindness of the science community has been absolutely awe-inspiring and amazing. Our Twitter community has also been marvelous about spreading the word about the effort. 

The database can be found here:

If you're a lab in Texas who has been affected by the storm, you can find an appropriate lab to your particular field of research on this list who is willing to help and their contact info.

If you'd like to pledge your labs' support, please email, contact Tim (@drosophilosophy) or the March for Science-Houston (@MarchForSciHou) on Twitter, or use the hashtag #SciHelpTX. Your kindness is much appreciated!

The media has been amazingly kind to help us get the word out. Thanks to the PR office and Social Media people at Jefferson University for putting us in contact with the right folks. Below are links to written articles in (among others) The Washington Post and The Scientist. Also included are links to interviews with Tim on NBC10 Philadelphia and on NewsWorks Tonight from WHYY / NPR about the efforts.

Thank you to all of those who have been so generous with their science and their time! Together, we can make sure that our Texas colleagues know that they have our support and our help!

NBC10 Philadelphia: Link to Interview 

The Washington Post: Link to Article 

NewsWorks TonightFull Interview or Entire Program (Tim starts at 5:02)

The Scientist: Link to Article 

Popular Science: Link to Article

GenomeWeb: Link to Article Philly: Link to Article