March Lab Spotlight: Taverna Lab

The Taverna lab, located in the Center for Epigenetics.

The Taverna lab, located in the Center for Epigenetics.  From left to right – Top Row: Ana Raman, Annie Cieniewcz, Kimberly Cox, Sean Taverna.  Middle Row:  Blair Dancy, Kousik Sundararajan.  Bottom Row:  Romeo Papazyan, Tonya Gilbert

Lab Stats

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.

Lab Personnel:

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! 

Tonya, summer research student Phillip Thomas, and Romeo at the Leadership Alliance SR-EIP Summer Internship poster session.  Phillip is a student at North Carolina A&T State University.

Tonya, summer research student Phillip Thomas, and Romeo at the Leadership Alliance SR-EIP Summer Internship poster session. Phillip is a student at North Carolina A&T State University.

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!]

The Taverna lab at a recent chili cook off.  Sean's chili won first place!

The Taverna lab at a recent chili cook off. Sean’s chili won first place!

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.

One thought on “March Lab Spotlight: Taverna Lab

  1. Pingback: March Issue | BCMB News

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