We are excited to welcome Abigail Goldman, a rising junior at Drew University, to the Sammons Lab for the summer. Abigail is part of the RNA Institute Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) program .

Abigail will be working with Gaby on using RNA-based CRISPR inhibition tools to identify genomic regions that might be transcriptional regulatory elements!

Morgan presented work from the lab at the 19th International p53 Meeting in Trieste, Italy!

A hearty congratulations to Michael Bratslavsky and Mya Moriconi who just graduated from the University at Albany with degrees in Biological Sciences and Human Biology. We are absolutely thrilled that both Michael and Mya have wrapped up their undergraduate careers, and look forward to their continued success.

A hearty congratulations to Michael Bratslavsky, who was awarded the 2024 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. This is the top award given to SUNY students for excellence and achievement in scholarship. We are so incredibly proud of Michael for his accomplishments (and are happy to have played a tiny role in that!)

Undergraduate Honors Alumnus Lauren Merchant, just wrapped up her White Coat Ceremony at the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine at Campbell University. We’re also excited to hear she’s going to be continuing in research down the line! Congrats again to Lauren and we wish her continued success in medical training and life!

Undergraduate Alumnus Kate Sazon, now a 1st year Medical Student at Albany Medical College, presented her Honors Thesis research from the Sammons Lab at the Medical Student Investigations Day.

We are incredibly proud of Kate, her work, and all of her accomplishments here in the lab and in the broader community. Best of luck to Kate in her endeavors in medical training!

We are happy to welcome a new cohort of trainees into the Sammons lab. Welcome to Undergraduate Honors Trainee Michael Bratslavsky, MS in Forensic Science student Andrew Ropheal, and MS in Biological Sciences student Devere Knight.

Congratulations are in order for Serene Durham who successfully defended her dissertation on July 26th, 2022! This was incredibly exciting as it was the first in-person defense for the Sammons Lab!

Morgan, Gaby, and Dana presented work from the lab and rode scooters at the 2022 ASBMB Evolution and Core Processes in Gene Expression meeting at the Stowers Institute in Kansas City from July 21-24, 2022. Morgan gave a short talk and Gaby and Dana presented their work at the poster session.

Thank you to the RNA Institute for Travel Awards to Dana and Gaby!

The Sammons Lab onboarding documents were featured in a recent article published in eLife.

Congratulations to Kate and Dan, both Honors College students who performed their thesis research in the Sammons lab, who graduated with their BS in Biological Sciences degrees in the Spring of 2022!

Congratulations to Serene and Jhos who presented their work on the regulation of the gene networks controlled by cell stress-dependent transcription factors at the 2022 RNA Institute Symposium on March 17th, 2022 at the Campus Center at the University at Albany.

We are excited that our review (along with Dr. Martin Fischer) on the interplay between the paralogs p53 and p63 has been published in Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology.

We are excited that Dr. Gabriele Baniulyte has joined the Sammons Lab as a postdoctoral fellow. Gaby comes to us from the lab of Dr. Joseph Wade at the Wadsworth Center.

We are incredibly grateful to the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for funding our R35 MIRA (Maximizing Investigators Research Award) grant for the next 5 years. The project investigates key genetic and biochemical features of the transcriptional response to cell stress, with a specific focus on how the stress response is encoded in the genome and epigenome.

We are thrilled to announce that Dana has been appointed to the the RNA Science and Technology in Health and Disease Training Grant which is funded by the NIH.

This award will be used to fund Dana’s work on understanding the link between genome structure, transcription factors, and RNA synthesis.

Congratulations are in order for Ally Catizone who successfully defended her dissertation on April 20th, 2021!

While in the lab, Ally did foundational work on p53 regulated enhancers which culminated in two recent papers. Catizone et al 2019 and Catizone et al 2020

Ally is now a support scientist at Genscript!

We are thrilled that part of Ally’s dissertation was published this week in Nucleic Acids Research.

You can learn more about her work on local DNA sequence variation and p53 activity here.

Congratulations are in order for former Sammons Lab undergraduates Sylvia Kuang and Chelsi Riley who will be attending medical school starting in 2020.

Sylvia will be at SUNY Downstate Medical School and Chelsi is headed to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Thank you both for all the hard work and best of luck!!!

We are very excited to report that Serene was runner-up for the Best Oral Presentation at the 2019 UAlbany Life Sciences Symposium for her talk on the regulatory logic of parallel stress response pathways. Picture soon to follow!

Morgan presented work from Ally and Gizem at the International p53/p63/p73 Isoform Workshop in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Morgan presented work from Gizem and Ally at the 2019 ASBMB Evolution and Core Processes in Gene Expression meeting at Michigan State University.

Congratulations to Sylvia, a senior Honors College student, who won the Glenn L. Bumpus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research! Sylvia presented her Honors thesis work at the 2019 Undergraduate Research Symposium and was selected as the award winner based off her presentation, academic achievment, and potential for future contributions to research. Sylvia received an award certificate, a nice cash prize, and will be added to the Glenn L. Bumpus Award plaque located in the Biology building.

Congratulations to Sylvia and Kate on their presentations at the University at Albany Undergraduate Research Symposium, hosted by the Department of Biological Sciences.

Kate presented her poster on evolutionary conservation of enhancer function across metazoa. Sylvia gave a presentation of her Honors Thesis work in the lab, which focused on how p63-bound enhancers function and what genes are under p63-dependent enhancer control.

Congratulations to Ally on her poster presentation at the [6th Annual RNA Symposium] (https://www.rna.albany.edu/6th-annual-rna-symposium/) here at the University at Albany.

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).

Kansas City, MO Stowers Institute July 13th-16th, 2017

Morgan will be presenting work from Gizem and Ally on Friday, July 14th at the ASBMB Evolution and Core Processes in Gene Expression meeting.

Bergen, NO June 18-21, 2017

Morgan will be at the 3rd International p53 Isoforms Conference in Bergen, Norway.

Sammons Lab representatives Morgan and Kegan were at the Albany March for Science at the New York State Capitol on April 21st, 2017. March for Science Picture Albany MFS Logo

We are very excited to show off our new website. We are indebted to website how-to guides and design from Trevor Bedford and Premal Shah.