October 9, 2019

Congrats Indi!

Congratulations to Indi, whose Cystic Fibrosis Foundation postdoctoral research fellowship on AKT-dependent regulation of airway epithelial barrier functions in CF was approved for funding!  That's a great accomplishment for her, and we are very grateful to CFF for supporting her work. 

September 27, 2019

New preprint on T2Rs in macrophages

We have a new preprint up online at BioRxiv looking at bitter taste receptor signal transduction in human macrophages and impact on phagocytosis.  We also look at how airway epithelial cells can "talk" to macrophages via nitric oxide.    

August 28, 2019

New airway T2R review online


A new review on taste receptors in upper airway immunity, written with Penn ENT resident Ryan Carey, is online at the journal Nutrients.  This is part of a special issue on bitter taste receptors and the microbiome.  This is an open access article, which means it is available free to read or download.    

August 13, 2019

FASEB Cilia Conference

We had a great time presenting our work at the 2019 FASEB Biology of Cilia and Flagella Conference in Snowmass Village Colorado.  There's tons of exciting work going on in the cilia world.  


January 13, 2019

Congratulations, Indi!

Congratulations to Indi for being awarded a 2019 Postdoctoral Travel Award from ASBMB to attend the ASBMB 2019 meeting held in conjunction with the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting in Orlando.  This award will not only help to sponsor her travel to the meeting to present her results on Akt signaling in airway cells, but will also give her access to special career networking events.  Great work!  

October 22, 2018

Welcome Li Eon!

We're delighted to welcome Li Eon Kuek to the lab, who is starting a postdoc position.  Li Eon comes to us from the University of Melbourne, where he worked with Dr. Graham Mackay in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics.  Li Eon has a strong background in in cilia biology that will help him explore the chemosensory functions of airway motile cilia during his time in the lab.  We're excited to have him join our team and look forward to working with him.    

September 27, 2018

CORSICA meeting

I really enjoyed learning about the ColeReagins Registry for Sinonasal Cancer (CORSICA) program, which was the topic of a small conference/discussion group here at Penn this past weekend, hosted by Drs. Jim Palmer and Nithin Adappa from the Division of Rhinology in our department.  CORSICA is a prospective, longitudinal, observational registry based on a secure cloudbased computing platform designed to prospectively capture data of sinonasal malignancies, including patient characteristics, treatment, quality of life, and oncologic outcomes.  This is a very promising initiative to combine observations and learn more about rare types of sinonasal cancer to generate better empirical data and determine more effective therapies.  It was a very interesting seminar and there were some great discussions not only about CORSICA itself but also about harnessing patient data to identify biomarkers and therapeutic targets.




     

June 27, 2018

This week's JBC issue

This week's JBC issue has Jenna's paper in it.  Check out the full text online.





June 15, 2018

Farewell Jenna

It’s bittersweet that Jenna is leaving our lab to join the Biomed PhD program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.  She will be focusing on neuroscience, and she was awarded a Tishman Scholarship as one of their top applicants.  

We are sad to see her go but wish her well on this next step of her career and appreciate her many contributions to the lab over the last 2 years.  Einstein is a great PhD program, and we look forward to hearing about the great research she does there.  Congrats and farewell, Jenna.    

June 12, 2018

Welcome Indi

We are happy to welcome Indiwari (Indi) Gopallawa as our new postdoc starting this week.  Indi did her undergraduate work at North Dakota State University.  She comes to us from Michigan State University, where she earned a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology working with Dr. Bruce Uhal in the Department of Physiology and also completed some postdoctoral work in the lab of Dr. Richard Neubig in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.  She has a strong background in using biochemical approaches to study cell signaling and cell physiology.  We're very excited to have her join our team and look forward to working with her.  Welcome!

May 10, 2018

Bacterial quinolones and bitter receptors

Thanks to everyone involved in our newly accepted J Biol Chem paper.  It has lots of live cell imaging of calcium indicators and fluorescent protein biosensors to look at signaling in response to T2R activation by a class of bacterial quorum-sensing ligands, quinolones, going from heterologous expression to primary differentiated air-liquid interface cultures.  Jenna is off to grad school at Einstein for neuroscience this summer, so it’s nice to get this one accepted before she leaves the lab.   



March 9, 2018

Postdoc position opening

Funding is now available to have another postdoc join our team.  Bitter and sweet taste receptors are expressed all over the body, yet we know very little about what they do or what ligands they recognize.  Come help us figure out what these and other G-protein coupled receptors do in airway physiology.  Our lab (started in 2015) is a collaborative, enthusiastic, and supportive environment. Training and mentorship will be provided.  Salary/benefits are in line with NIH/NRSA levels. There will be opportunities to work with primary human airway cells in tissue-type air-liquid interface culture models, learn live cell calcium and FRET biosensor imaging and other microscopy techniques.  Topics of interest in our lab include airway physiology and innate immunity, calcium and cAMP signaling, NO signaling, and host-pathogen interactions  

Penn is a fantastic place to work with great colleagues, good postdoc support systems, and good scientific core resources, located in a fun and livable city.  Interact with both world class scientists in the Department of Physiology and world class rhinologists in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology who can help put our science into clinical perspective.

See our official posting here.  A PhD in a biological or related science field is required.  Experience in imaging, cell culture, biochemistry, and/or molecular biology is desirable but not required.

Email Rob (rjl [at] pennmedicine.upenn.edu) a cover letter and CV with the names of 3 references or get in touch if you are interested and have questions.      

December 8, 2017

Penn Med News Blog Featuring Ben's Work

Ben's PLOS One paper on flavones and effects on Pseudomonas was featured on the Penn Medicine News blog.  Thanks to Steve Graff for a great write-up.    

December 5, 2017

Jenna @ ASCB/EMBO 2017

Jenna did a great job representing the lab by presenting a poster yesterday at the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)/European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) 2017 joint meeting here in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.  There was lots of great science on hand and she fielded lots of great questions from the crowd.  Congrats, Jenna!    

September 20, 2017

Ben's PLOS One Paper Online

Ben's final first-author paper from the lab went online today at PLOS One.  In it, he showed that plant flavones enhance the efficacy of antibiotics as well as secretions from respiratory epithelial cells against Pseudomonas.  Flavones are also agonists of the bitter taste receptor T2R14, which is expressed in airway cell cilia and activates bactericidal NO responses.  Flavones have two potential therapeutic mechanisms as potential therapeutics for respiratory infections: activation of NO-mediated pathways as well as enhancement of antimicrobial peptide function.  More work is needed to determine if and how to leverage these compounds to stimulate and/or enhance airway cell innate immunity.

Congrats to Ben on a great paper that caps of a very productive time in the lab.  A lot of hard work with into developing/adapting and carrying out off these anti-bacterial assays.  A link to the PDF is here.  

The full citation is

Hariri, B.M., McMahon, D.B., Chen, B., Adappa, N.D., Palmer, J.N., Kennedy, D.W., and Lee, R.J.  "Plant flavones enhance antimicrobial activity of respiratory epithelial cell secretions against Pseudomonas aeruginosa."  PLOS One. 12: e0185203
.