Recent Research Findings Published

  • Work done by INBRE students from UMaine at Fort Kent and Presque Isle during an INBRE short course has contributed to a paper published in the journal Genetics in February 2021. The article describes several new tools for rapid CRISPR-mediated labeling of proteins that may substantially increase the speed, efficiency, and ease of in vivo microscopy studies in C. elegans. The undergraduate student work was done in the laboratory of Dustin Updike, Ph.D., the short course director and Maine INBRE Program Coordinator.The Updike Lab collaborated with Google’s Calico Life Sciences and the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub and describe the results in: ‘Split-wrmScarlet and split-sfGFP: tools for faster, easier fluorescent labeling of endogenous proteins in C. elegans.’

     Students from UMaine Fort Kent and UMaine Presque Isle in the Updike Laboratory 

  • The results of a study recently published in The Journal of Neuroscience (January 2021) will inform the development of new epigenetic-based therapies for diseases associated with memory loss and for disorders marked by intellectual disability. Maine INBRE Project Leader Dr. Andrew Kennedy, his colleagues, and students in his lab at Bates College found that Tet1 is expressed as two separate isoforms in the adult mouse brain and that each differentially regulates gene expression, synaptic transmission and memory formation. These findings demonstrate that each Tet1 isoform serves a distinct role in the CNS. Read article here: Tet1 isoforms differentially regulate gene expression, synaptic transmission and memory in the mammalian brain.’


  • Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) contribute to a significant public health issue, with ~2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections responsible for over 35,000 deaths annually in the United States. A recent publication out of the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) – ‘Draft Genome Sequences of 27 Northern Maine Clinical Isolates’ – contributes to the identification of biogeographical patterns of antibiotic gene distribution, which is needed to combat antibiotic resistance. The work was done in the lab of Maine INBRE Project Leader Larry Feinstein, Ph.D., in collaboration with The Jackson Laboratory for sequencing and computational analysis, and with contributions by former UMPI undergraduate Lydia Tilley, now working as a research assistant in the lab of COBRE Project Leader Dr. Prayag Murawala at the MDI Biological Laboratory.


  • Former INBRE undergraduate research fellow and College of the Atlantic graduate Nishad Jayasundara, Ph.D., currently an assistant professor at Duke University, co-authored a paper that was recently published by the journal Environment International, titled: ‘Kidney developmental effects of metal-herbicide mixtures: Implications for chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology.’ The study showed that metals in drinking water, even at what are considered safe levels, can impede kidney development at an early age, potentiating increased susceptibility to other agrochemicals such as glyphosate. Drinking water contaminant effects on mitochondria can further contribute to progression of kidney dysfunction. Tools from this study may help identify regions in the world at risk of chronic kidney disease. Dr. Iain Drummond, PI of the COBRE Center for the Comparative Biology of Tissue Repair, Regeneration, and Aging at the MDI Biological Laboratory, also contributed to the study.