The lab welcomed Mike Vasek, a post-doctoral researcher, to the now-very-large lab family last week. Mike did his PhD work at Wash U as well with Robyn Klein, M.D, Ph.D, modeling clinical observations on post-West-Nile-encephalitis syndromes in mice. West Nile and other flaviviruses, and their interactions with the CNS, are an especially important field in human health right now, with the explosive spread of Chikungunya virus over the past couple of years, and Zika virus, which has been shown responsible for microcephaly in children of infected mothers.

Mike has brought his skills in mouse behavior, functional and pathologic anatomy, and virology here to work on the “Calling Cards” system. The goal of this system is to place permanent genomic tags on transiently transcribed genes to underline their activity in development.

Mike also evidently brought his skills in writing and experimental design, as he was awarded the W.M. Keck Postdoctoral Fellowship in Molecular Medicine today!

Congrats Mike–we all look forward to working with you!