Research Projects

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Maine INBRE supports the interrelated research projects of between six to nine INBRE faculty each year, enabling these more junior scientists to seek independent funding during the grant period. The INBRE program also supports pilot research projects for teaching-focused faculty and their students. Each project applies the strategies of comparative functional genomics—where scientists study the role and function of genes in a variety of different organisms—to biomedical issues in physiology, toxicology, and molecular and cellular developmental biology. Current project leaders are listed below.

Maine INBRE also participates in the NorthEast Cyberinfrastructure Consortium, which is a regional effort to facilitate cyber-enabled collaborative research among the Northeast Regional IDeA States: Delaware, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The NEBC has worked collaboratively to characterize the genome of the little skate, Leucoraja erinacea, in the Skate Genome Project.

Current Investigator Research

Endogenous neural stem cell reprograming for neuronal regeneration

Endogenous neural stem cell reprograming for neuronal regeneration

Investigator: Romain Madelaine, Ph.D., MDI Biological Laboratory Project Summary Contrary to humans, some animals have the powerful capacity to fully regenerate damaged tissue and organs, including the nervous system. Our research focuses on...
Identification of genes involved in the crosstalk between a social host and facultative symbionts that can form long-term persistent association

Identification of genes involved in the crosstalk between a social host and facultative symbionts that can form long-term persistent association

Investigator: Suegene Noh, Ph.D., Colby College Project Summary Our goal is to better understand how and why fitness outcomes differ among hosts when they encounter the same microbial symbiont in social groups. The amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum...
Identification of neural and epigenetic biomarkers for affective dysfunction following early adversity

Identification of neural and epigenetic biomarkers for affective dysfunction following early adversity

Project Summary An individual’s early life environment plays a central role in shaping developmental trajectories, and therefore confers substantial influence on later-life physical and mental health outcomes. As such, early life adversity (ELA), i...
Identification, elucidation, and characterization of small molecules produced by common skin commensals and their role in microbe: microbe interactions and host health

Identification, elucidation, and characterization of small molecules produced by common skin commensals and their role in microbe: microbe interactions and host health

Investigator: Coleen O'Loughlin, Ph.D. Project Summary The human body is covered in trillions of microbes that carry out important chemistry and biology that keeps us alive. Deep sequencing of these microbial roommates revealed thousands of biosynthetic...
Investigating the mechanism by which prophage alter mycobacterial antibiotic resistance

Investigating the mechanism by which prophage alter mycobacterial antibiotic resistance

Project Summary Mycobacterium abscessus is an emerging pathogen in cystic fibrosis patients with a treatment success rate of only 45%, and is considered one of the most drug-resistant bacteria. Resistant isolates commonly display increased...
Sequence requirements of viroporin ion channel activity

Sequence requirements of viroporin ion channel activity

Project Summary The Banks Lab studies biochemical features of viroporin proteins from pathogenic viruses like rotavirus, that disrupt membrane structures inside of our cells. Some of these viral proteins target common sites within the cell, or use related...

Current Teaching Faculty Research

Evolution of gene regulation within and between species of Drosophila

Evolution of gene regulation within and between species of Drosophila

Project Summary Our lab studies natural variation in gene expression. In particular, we are examining the extent to which gene regulation varies within and among species of fruit flies by quantifying variation in the usage of enhancers, which are stretches...
Influence of colonization regime, time since establishment, and site-specific variation on patterns of selection, genes under selection, and rapid evolution in distinct swift fox (Vulpes velox) populations

Influence of colonization regime, time since establishment, and site-specific variation on patterns of selection, genes under selection, and rapid evolution in distinct swift fox (Vulpes velox) populations

  Project Summary The process of colonization and recolonization is central to species persistence, in particular during periods of intense environmental change. Myriad factors influence the probability of successful colonization, ...

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