PI Name: Sean Taverna
Number of Years in BCMB: 5
Model System(s): Yeast (S. cerevisiae), rats, C. elegans, mouse, Tetrahymena
Research Area: Understanding how the epigenome is regulated at a molecular level with a particular focus on histones and histone modifications.
PI: Sean Taverna, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellows and Staff:
Blair Dancy, PhD
Ana Raman, Research Associate
Graduate Students: Tonya Gilbert (BCMB), Kousik Sundararajan (BCMB), Annie Cieniewcz (Pharmacology), Romeo Papazyan (Pharmacology).
Visiting Students: Kimberly Cox, MD/PHD exchange student, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
What is your favorite thing about BCMB?
Sean Taverna (ST): I think Tonya’s [favorite thing] is organizing the visit of 70 students for recruiting.
Tonya Gilbert (TG): Ah, actually I really like the new seminar series. I like how you get to interact with all the departments at events and happy hours and classes.
ST: [My favorite part] is getting all these great students!
What does your lab do for fun?
TG: We do a lot of stuff
Romeo Papazyan (RP): Anything that involves food or beer
Annie Cieniewcz (AC): We’re going to a chili cook-off in a couple weeks. Sean’s going to enter his chili!
[Editor’s Note: Between the time the lab was interviewed and the publication of this article, Sean’s chili WON the cook-off!]
Ana Raman (AR): Secret Santa
ST: We give goofy gifts to each other. You have to guess who made them.
AC: All science-related.
TG: Game nights, board games. I think we hang out a lot.
Where do you see your research going in the next 5 years?
ST: You kind of go where the research takes you. I think a lot of the research in [our] field has been done on understanding how a single small protein domain interacts with a single histone modification, and in the future, we’re going to try and understand (based on the work that’s going on right now from Tonya and Annie) how complexes of proteins interact with chromatin. That’s going to help us understand some new drug targets for various diseases of the epigenome.