Congratulations to Sarah, Taylor, and Matt on their graduation from the Department of Biological Sciences here at the University at Albany. Thank you all for your hard work while working in the lab over the past 2 years.

We're incredibly excited for your futures and can't wait to see what you do next!

We are happy to announce that Serene has been appointed an RNA Fellow for the 2018-2019 academic year.

This award focuses on training 2nd year PhD students in theoretical and practical aspects of RNA biology. As part of this fellowship, Serene will take multiple RNA-centric courses, participate in the Hudson Valley RNA Club, and interact with other members of the RNA Institute.

Serene will will receive full funding for the 2018-2019 academic year. We are extremely proud of Serene, and of course, we are grateful to the RNA Institute and the College of Arts and Sciences for their support of this innovative training program.

We are incredibly excited that our 3 year National Institutes of Health AREA grant has officially been funded!

This award focuses on using genomic approaches to dissect the mechanisms underlying the development and activity of epithelial cell types. Specifically, we're going to figure out how the transcription factor p63 controls epithelial enhancer networks to properly regulate gene expression required for cell identity.

For an idea of the direction we are going, please see our submission to bioRxiv where Gizem, Faraz, and I analyze cell type-dependent p53 and p63 target genes.

Sarah and Matt presented posters at the 2018 Department of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Sarah presented her work on the Drosophila p53 network. She demonstrated that functional p53 enhancers from Drosophila do not function in human cell lines, even when human p53 can bind. These data suggest additional trans-factors are necessary for activity of p53 enhancers.

Matt presented his work on identifying functional human p53 enhancers. He identified three enhancers regulating two human genes (GDNF and GDF15) that are bound and regulated by p53. Interestingly, GDF15 is regulated by two enhancers with differential regulation in the abscence of p53.

We are very excited that Ally has successfully completed part 2 of her PhD qualifying exam. Congrats Ally!

The Sammons Lab traveled to the Cold Spring Harbor meeting Systems Biology: Global Regulation of Gene Expression from March 20th-23rd.

Ally presented her poster on discovering transcription factor and sequence determinants of p53-dependent enhancer activity.


Gizem presented her work on the mechanisms that drive differential p53 transcriptional responses across cell types.


Morgan presented the second half of Gizem's project demonstrating that p63 acts as a true pioneer factor and establishes/maintains epithelial-specific enhancer structure.


Sammons Lab representatives Gizem and Ally presented their work at the Life Sciences Research Symposium on Friday, November 3rd, 2017 at the University at Albany, SUNY. Gizem

Gizem presented her work on cell lineage-dependent transcriptional responses and Ally discussed a new way to study transcription factor collectives at enhancers. Team Picture

Ally was runner-up for Best Oral Presentation in her session at the UAlbany Life Sciences Research Symposium.

Besides a gift card to the University bookstore (Go Great Danes!), Ally has won a trip to Starbucks (courtesy of her proud mentor Morgan).