Two thesis defenses

Jeff Hansen and Siqi Zhao both successfully defended their thesis this month!

Jeff’s thesis is titled “A Test of the Pioneer Factor Hypothesis for Silencer Gene Activation”. You can view a recording of his defense here. Note that the first ~5 minutes (Barak’s introduction) do not have audio because Zoom was on mute. Jeff is an MSTP student in the CSB program and will be returning to medical school.Jeff and Barak after Jeff's thesis defense. They're both smiling, and Jeff has his arm around Barak's shoulder. In the background are the words "Dr. Hansen" on a whiteboard.

Siqi’s thesis is titled “Single Cell Massively Parallel Reporter Assays”. You can view a recording of his defense here. Siqi was a PhD student in the CSB program and will be starting a job at Ginkgo Bioworks in Boston.Siqi and Barak after Siqi's thesis defense. They are both smiling and have their arms around each other. Barak is holding a large book about birds that Siqi got as a gift.

We gathered with our families at Barak’s house to wish Jeff and Siqi well as they depart the lab. A great time was had by all! We will miss both Jeff and Siqi’s presence in the lab and wish them well in all their future endeavors.A group photo of the Cohen lab and family. There are 25 people standing in the grass and smiling. In the background is a short brick wall and several trees and bushes.

Papers from the lab

Ryan, Max, Clarice and Jeff all had papers published recently! You can find the links to the papers in the Publications section.

Here’s a cool illustration that describes Clarice’s work:

Here’s another cool illustration that describes Jeff’s work:

Can you spot the molecular players in these?

Insulator – Lab meeting 04/01/2021

It hides in black and dark genomic space

Though with enhancers it must intervene

And once called junk by many in old days

It found fame in the chicken globin gene.

The saw cHS4 had magic game

The researchers who found it thus cried out

O insulator thou art not the same

Now with you loops will never be in doubt.

But then one day a graduate student thought

I wonder how you’ll fare in landing pads

Alas her efforts always came to naught

Much time was wasted chasing it in labs.

But stay, be patient, one day you will see

It will be fucking understood by me.


Credit – Clarice Hong

Spot – Lab meeting 02/11/2021

See Spot run

See Spot scan

See Spot wait for exposing sites

See Spot bind

See Spot take

See Spot outcompete nucleosomes

See Spot spread

See Spot’s friends

See Spot create accessibility

See Spot wave

See Spot call

See Spot recruit transcriptional machinery

See Spot smile

See Spot cheer

See Spot reprogram to a happy lineage

Is Spot weird?

Is Spot cool?

No, Spot is just like all of the other transcription factors!


Credit – Jeff Hansen