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April 2022   Spring meetings, II., in-person conference attendance: Kristen and Poornima will attend the annual Spring Meeting of the British Society for Developmental Biology, held locally on the Warwick campus, with Poornima presenting a poster on her investigations to date on extraembryonic tissue polyploidy.
March 2022  
Paper accepted: On the first day of spring, our study on the mechanism of parental RNAi in Tribolium debuts in the new journal Advanced Genetics. This tripartite study shows that long dsRNA originally injected into the mother is directly transmitted into eggs, and yet -- without dsRNA amplification -- strain-specific knockdown can last for months. Furthermore, phylogenomic profiling reveals multiple losses of the dsRNA importer SID-1 from arthropod genomes, notably including the true bugs (Heteroptera).  
    Spring meetings, I., armchair conference travel: the lab attends the virtual meeting "Mind the Gap: From Genotype to Phenotype and the role of Modelling, Genomic Prediction and Development", organized by the Developmental Biology Section of the German Zoological Society, with presentations on an inspiring range of research organisms and developmental traits.
    Seminar reboot: After a two-year hiatus, we relaunch the local "Animal Cell Biology and Gene Expression" data seminar series across the School of Life Sciences and Warwick Medical School, bringing together the Bowman, Hebenstreit, Nelson, Panfilio, and Pires da Silva labs for shared research interests that span our widely disparate research systems.
February 2022   Paper accepted: Having gone on quite an intellectual journey for this, Kristen's review together with Susana Chuva de Sousa Lopes is accepted for publication in the forthcoming "Extraembryonic Tissues" theme issue in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Planned for summer 2022, we take a first comparative look at the surprising parallels between the independently evolved extraembryonic tissues of amniote vertebrates and insects.
December 2021   During a brief ebb in the pandemic, the lab manages to enjoy a Christmas pub lunch together, followed by a secret Santa exchange. Only some of the gifts were insect- or cell biology-themed!
November 2021   Preprint posted: The lab's study on dsRNA transmission, and everything we still don't know about parental RNAi in insects, is posted on bioRxiv.
October 2021   Welcome to Eden Coetzer and Olivia Boucher, who join the lab for their MBio master's research projects this year.
August 2021   Farewell to Kalin Narov, thanks for all the intensive live imaging and phenotype scoring, and best wishes for developing your biological art portfolio!
    Welcome to Will Larner, our new senior research technician who brings extensive insectary experience to bear for our beetles and bugs, while also advancing our diverse molecular biology projects.
July 2021   Welcome to Poornima Roy, who joins the lab as a postdoc for our new polyploidy project, bringing cell culture and CRISPR experience as well as a shared interest in apoptosis regulation.
June 2021   Kristen hosts Ashley Bruce for a thoroughly enjoyable virtual visit and seminar in the Warwick Developmental Biology and Stem Cells seminar series -- Toronto never felt so close, and front-row seats for beautiful movies of zebrafish development are hard to beat!
May 2021   Welcome to this year's bachelor's mini-project research students, who now dive deeply into the main analysis period of their projects: Maroulina Georgiadi, Swathi Krishnakumar, Katie Mann, Dimitra Mouzourou, and Lwam Yowhannes.
    A full-time Senior Research Technician position in our lab is available for an immediate start, for up to three years. Please see the full job announcement for further details and to apply. The closing date is 16th June!
    Kristen is promoted from Associate Professor to Reader, with effect from 1st August this year.
April 2021   The annual spring meeting of the British Society for Developmental Biology returns in a virtual format, with the usual excellent quality of talks and surprisingly lively possibilities for on-line interaction.
March 2021   Kristen makes a virtual trip to Josh Benoit's department, the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Cincinnati, for an invited talk in their Spring Seminar Series. A great visit across time zones, especially in meeting the whole Benoit lab, including some erstwhile co-authors!

Closer to home, Kristen also gives a talk on imaging strategies for the Warwick Centre for Early Life, in an inaugural workshop meeting on "Organoids and Assembloids: Challenges and Solutions", hosted by Jan Brosens.
January 2021   Welcome to Sotiria Boutsi, who joins the lab for a PhD rotation project to elucidate missing elements of the digestive metabolic repertoire in the milkweed bug.
December 2020  
Positions available: A postdoc position is available to join our new BBSRC-funded project on the dynamics of polyploidy in protective epithelial tissues. Enquiries and expressions of interest directly to Kristen are welcome, with the application link going live soon (post number 103508).

PhD projects are available through the Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership, for projects on: The application deadline is 10th January 2021 through the on-line system.
November 2020   Kristen gives an invited (virtual) talk in the Ecology, Evolution & Behavior departmental seminar series at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, hosted by Judy Wexler.
October 2020   Paper accepted: Akanksha Jain's state-of-the-art use of advanced live imaging and mathematical modeling help to clarify tissue-scale geometric challenges for epithelial morphogenesis, revealing how this is underpinned by cytoskeletal dynamics within individual cells. Published in Nature Communications. Great to see this long-running Tribolium collaboration come to fruition!
September 2020   Kristen gives an invited talk in the Biology Department at Colby College, hosted by Dave Angelini within an extensive Zoom-based virtual visit to Maine.
    Paper accepted: Extensive efforts by the i5K community, spearheaded by Dorith Rotenberg, lead to the publication of the Frankliniella occidentalis (Western flower thrips) genome in BMC Biology. This represents one of the first genomic characterizations for thrips (Thysanoptera), insects with unique features such as asymmetric mouthparts and neometaboly metamorphosis, as well as being vectors of viral plant diseases.
    As a satellite to the German Zoological Society's annual meeting, the "Protostome functional genetics - Tribolium and friends" day-long session was a wonderful international gathering for arthropod evo devo and the wider community. Kudos to Gregor Bucher for scheduling across time zone gradations and for fostering really effective coffee break and break-out session discussions!
August 2020   Grant funded: Our project "Functional significance and remodeling challenges of polyploidy across the lifetime of epithelial tissues" is awarded a responsive mode grant from the BBSRC.
    Paper accepted: Danka's beautifully detailed investigation of functional divergence of the Tribolium zen paralogues is accepted for publication in Communications Biology (currently available on bioRxiv). By integrating diverse gene expression and functional data, we demonstrate that the evolutionary acquisition of reciprocal paralogue regulation promotes developmental progression and may have underpinned multiple ancestral subfunctionalization events. Long-term expression profiling also informs the transcriptional landscape of late beetle embryogenesis and characterizes physiological processes in the serosal epithelium.
July 2020  
Virtual Arthropod Genomics Symposium: Kristen serves on the organizing committee for a virtual take on the annual AGS, with >45 talks, >70 posters, and lively interactions among >1000 participants from >45 countries! All seven talk sessions -- on themes from chromosomal to eco-evo genomics -- were recorded on Zoom and are freely available on the i5K YouTube Channel.

The AGS Slack Workspace continues as a community hub for posting papers, preprints, job and meeting announcements, and ongoing discussions on key genomics techniques. Feel free to contact the organizers if you would like to join.
    Paper accepted: Peter Heger's magnum opus on "The genetic factors of bilaterian evolution" is accepted for publication in eLife, with a wide-ranging look at genes associated with key evolutionary nodes and their network connectivity, and how these genes contribute to unique features of bilaterian animal biology.
    Farewell and congratulations to our group's first cohort of graduating tutees in the School of Life Sciences at Warwick -- it's been a great three years together.
    Congratulations also to Nicole Brough on graduating with an excellent MBio degree, based upon thesis work in our lab on genetic regulation of tissue morphogenesis in Tribolium. Your statistical approaches and appreciation of temporal dynamics provided powerful and quantitative insights for phenotype characterization.
June 2020   Paper accepted: Collaborative work with the lab of Gustavo Rezende, providing an eco-evo-devo perspective on desiccation resistance in springtail embryos, is accepted for publication in the Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution, in the forthcoming special issue on "The Evolution of Eggs".
May 2020   Ph.D. projects available: The Midlands Integrative Biosciences Ph.D. program (MIBTP) at Warwick has just opened a call for applications for the 2020 academic year. The Panfilio Lab has projects available on (1) the biological significance of polyploidy across the lifespan of epithelial tissues, and (2) functional investigation of novel essential genes in pest species arising from evolutionary genomics comparisons. Application deadline is 7th June. Feel free to get in touch with Kristen to discuss a specific project.
    Welcome to Jade Scott and Masha Zabrovskaya, who join the lab for final year bachelor's research projects this spring with virtual "wet bench" projects to further our work on early tissue specification and morphogenesis in beetles.
March 2020   Paper accepted: Genomic analysis of the invasive, polyphagous brown marmorated stink bug is published in BMC Genomics.
    Public outreach: Kristen serves as the evening's emcee for the latest Science on the Hill event from the combined forces of the School of Life Sciences and Warwick Medical School, focusing on "The Wonders of Stem Cells" and technical and practical issues in genome engineering. Thanks to all for a great evening with over 100 attendees!
February 2020   We help host the local visit and seminars of excellent developmental biologists doing beautiful live imaging: Rob Wilkinson from the University of Nottingham and Tanya Whitfield from the University of Sheffield. Even if our first love is insects, zebrafish are indeed pretty amazing!
January 2020  
Paper accepted: The major comparative genomics paper arising from the i5K pilot project is now published in Genome Biology, with evolutionary dynamics and trends inferred from analyses on 76 diverse arthropod species. Recommended in Faculty 1000 (F1000Prime). Our press release, including an animation set to music: . Image credits: created by Robert M. Waterhouse (CC BY 4.0), including milkweed bug by Chiaki Ueda and long-horned beetle by Robert Mitchell.
    Paper accepted: At long last the official documentation and characterization of the improved Tribolium genome assembly and official gene set (Tcas5.2, OGS3) has arrived, published in BMC Genomics, with Panfilio Lab contributions on OGS evaluation.
December 2019   Welcome to Leon Osinski, a master's student in Cologne in the winter semester "Modern Techniques in Developmental Biology" course. He will be working with Matze on high throughput live imaging phenotyping of novel genes in the beetle.
    Farewell to Gustavo after a great 13-month research sabbatical. Your contributions to our UK lab have been immense, and we're looking forward to all of the follow-up work we now have to do based on our fruitful results under your sabbatical project grant from the Brazilian government (CAPES).
November 2019   Lab retreat #3: Our quarterly all-lab research exchange gatherings continue, this time nicely dovetailing with project transition and handover across team members.
October 2019   The lab joins a local research seminar series in Warwick on "Animal Cell Biology and Gene Expression", with a great range of topics spanning groups in the School of Life Sciences and Warwick Medical School.
    Farewell to Fabian Pridöhl after three years and two countries' worth of time in the Panfilio Lab! Thanks for all of the support through our lab move, and best of luck for the new biology consultancy role with Agap2.
    Welcome to Kalin Narov, who joins the lab as a senior research technician, and to Nicole Brough, who will be doing her MBio master's research project in the lab this year.
September 2019   Paper accepted: Spanning several generations of lab members, Siegfried Roth's lab's paper presenting diverse morphogenetic roles by Fog signaling is accepted in eLife. Congratulations to all contributors on this major work!
    Kristen attends and speaks at the Frontiers in Molecular Zoology Symposium in Göttingen, organized by Gregor Bucher: great small meeting atmosphere with a surprising diversity of talks for organismal system, methods, and research focus, spanning evo-devo to applications in invertebrate pest control.
    Preprint deposited: Eco-evo-devo comparative work on springtails from Gustavo Rezende's lab highlights the diverse ways that hexapod eggs are protected from desiccation.
August 2019   Paper accepted: Jeanne Wilbrandt's careful scrutiny of the quality and implications of automatic gene models for comparative genomics research is accepted for publication in BMC Genomics. This study provides a key benchmark that will help inform ongoing work with de novo genome data, especially for insects sequenced through the i5K initiative. This was also an occasion for Kristen to reflect on manual gene annotation and curation, one of her particular hobbies!
    Preprint deposited: Akanksha Jain's major work in the Tomancak Lab on the mechanical challenges of early tissue morphogenesis in Tribolium is now available as a preprint at bioRxiv, with Kristen as a co-author.
    Commentary: Kristen authors a News and Views piece in Nature, highlighting exciting new insights into tissue-scale morphogenesis and a previously overlooked mechanical role of the insect eggshell. See also the original research papers and their many associated movies from the Lecuit and Tomancak labs.
    Lab retreat #2: Building on the success of our intensive discussions in May, we again hold an everyone-presents two-day lab retreat, of course including a merry dinner in the pub.
July 2019   Welcome to Callan Porter, an undergraduate summer research student supported by a university research bursary, who is the first to tackle the role of some novel, lineage-specific genes in our milkweed bugs.
June 2019   Following on from the SpiderWeb arthropod meeting in London, Gustavo gives an invited talk at the University of Nottingham, hosted by the group of Sara Goodacre.
May 2019   Kristen gives an invited talk on insect comparative genomics at the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig in Bonn, Germany, hosted by Bernhard Misof and Erich Bornberg-Bauer.
    Lab retreat: We import Matthias from Cologne to Warwick for all lab members to indulge in two days of intense scientific discussions on all of our various current research projects.
    Welcome to Victoria Moorcroft, an undergraduate student who will be doing a research mini-project with Gustavo on early gene regulatory networks for physiological maturation of the Tribolium serosa.
April 2019   Interview: Kristen is interviewed on German National Radio (Deutschlandfunk) in the daily research news program "Forschung Aktuell", which has been running for over 30 years, on how diverse insects' feeding ecologies are reflected in their genomes, based our milkweed bug genome paper. Lead story in the broadcast on 29 April 2019. (In German -- I've never been dubbed before, but it's still really me laughing at the end!)
    Preprint deposited: A detailed investigation on the diverse morphogenetic roles of Fog signaling during early insect development, from the lab of Siegfried Roth and with Kristen as a co-author, is deposited on bioRxiv.
    Gustavo and Kristen attend and present at the 4th International SpiderWeb meeting, hosted by Angelika Stollewerk and Magdalena Ines Schacht at Queen Mary University London -- great, small meeting arthropod evo-devo!
Paper accepted: The Oncopeltus genome paper, a large comparative study on molecular evolution and feeding ecology in the Hemiptera, is published in Genome Biology.
   University press releases: Warwick (EN):
Cologne (DE):

The Scientist's
"Image of the Day": News:
DNA Science Blog:
March 2019   Welcome to Peter Gallagher, an undergraduate doing a research project with Fabian on early regulation of morphogenesis in Tribolium.
    Congratulations to Matthias for successfully defending his Ph.D. thesis on his work in Erlangen on cell cycle control and tissue integrity during beetle oogenesis. Link to his thesis, "Regulation of early follicle cell populations in telotrophic Tribolium castaneum oogenesis":
February 2019   Meeting report: A wide ranging account of how the autumn meeting on Embryonic-Extraembryonic Interactions represents scientific and methodological integration at the cutting edge of developmental biology is published by Anna Ajduk and Liz Duncan in Development, Genes and Evolution.
Dataset published: The draft hybrid assembly of the Oncopeltus genome with Illumina and PacBio data is deposited at Ag Data Commons from the National Agricultural Library, USDA.
Kristen attends a light sheet microscopy workshop hosted at the Crick Institute in London.
January 2019   Kristen delivers new teaching on tissue structure and function and tissue engineering for the masters' module on Regenerative Medicine at Warwick.
December 2018   Farewell to Barbora Konopová. Thanks for all of the beautiful TEM work and new observational insights, and best wishes for your physiology projects!
November 2018   Ph.D. projects available: The Midlands Integrative Biosciences Ph.D. program (MIBTP) at Warwick has just opened the call for applications for the 2019 academic year. The Panfilio Lab has projects available on (1) live imaging of tissue dynamics, (2) epithelial polyploidy, and (3) novel genes arising from evolutionary genomics comparisons. Application deadline is 6th January. Feel free to get in touch with Kristen to discuss a specific project.
Welcome to Gustavo Lazzaro Rezende, who will be spending a year with us on sabbatical, investigating the dynamics of serosal cuticle regulation in a project supported by an International Visiting Professorship from the Brazilian Ministry of Education.
September 2018   Preprint deposited: Danka (Daniela's) thesis work within the Cologne molecular evolution consortium (SFB 680) is now live on bioRxiv, examining transcription factor regulation and evolution in the case of the beetle zen paralogues.
The lab attends the international workshop meeting "Embryonic-Extraembryonic Interactions: from Genetics to Environment", in Oxford, UK, with posters by Fabian and Matthias and a talk and co-organizer duties by Kristen. Congratulations to Matthias on winning first prize for his poster in a strong and very vertebrate-heavy field!  EEI meeting logo
August 2018   Preprint deposited: The i5k community's major comparative analysis across the genomes of insects and other arthropods has now been deposited on bioRxiv.
July 2018   SPIM tour, II: Matthias, Fabian, Kristen, and all the beetles now head to Dresden to continue test comparisons of light sheet systems, hosted by Akanksha Jain in the lab of Pavel Tomancak.
June 2018   Welcome to Yean Ming Chew, a doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research program (MRC DTP), who will be doing a summer rotation in the lab on the genetic control of quantitative cell dynamics during epithelial morphogenesis.
    SPIM tour, I: Matthias, Fabian, and Kristen all head to Heidelberg to trial light sheet microscopy systems, hosted by the lab of Steffen Lemke (Univ. Heidelberg) and at Luxendo's headquarters (EMBL). Now to computationally process all of the raw data...!
May 2018   The meeting website is now live and registration is open for "Embryonic-Extraembryonic Interactions: from Genetics to Environment", 10-13 September, Oxford, UK. This is the third in a series of international workshops on the extraembryonic-embryonic interface, bringing together researchers that address this topic through a wide array of approaches in diverse research organisms: from epigenetics to morphogenesis, and from mice and marsupials to beetles and bugs. Do join us and spread the word!
    Welcome to Lucy Speight and Anya Jacobs, final-year undergraduates who will be conducting their mini-projects in the lab this term, focusing on the genetic control of early development in Tribolium.
April 2018   Fabian and Matthias present recent work from the lab with two posters at the annual spring meeting of the British Society for Developmental Biology, held in Warwick, UK.
March 2018   Resource available: The OncfaCyc database of metabolism genes in the milkweed bug is now live, incorporated into the growing ArthropodaCyc collection. Special thanks to Patrice Baa-Puyoulet and Stefano Colella for making available this resource from the Oncopeltus genome project.
February 2018  
Paper accepted: Kristen and Dave Angelini co-author a state-of-the-art review on genomics initiatives in the Hemiptera (aphids, cicadas, and true bugs), invited for the annual themed issue on insect genomics in Current Opinion in Insect Science. In addition to reviewing resources for pest species, the review explores ecological and cytogenetic features across this large and diverse insect order.  soapberry bug and genome browser
January 2018  
Paper accepted: The genome paper for the Colorado potato beetle has been accepted for publication in Scientific Reports, with Kristen and Iris as co-authors. This species represents a key model for rapid molecular evolutionary change in pest species.  CPB logo
    Preprint deposited: The manuscript characterizing the genome of the water strider Gerris buenoi has now been deposited on bioRxiv, with contributions from Kristen and Iris centered on Hox genes and Wnt signaling.
December 2017   Congratulations to Danka on successfully defending her Ph.D. thesis, "The changing roles of Hox3 genes in insect evolution: characterizing the zen paralogues in the beetle Tribolium castaneum". Well done, Doctor!
    Farewell to Stefan after six years' expertise and diligence on insect developmental genetics and molecular biology! We're glad you became a beetle person and wish you all the best for your next position!
November 2017   Grant funded: The lab is awarded a Seed Grant from the Wellcome-Warwick Quantitative Biomedicine Programme (QBP) to further develop our live imaging microscopy resources in Warwick under a project entitled, "Defining stochasticity and tolerance in morphogenetically active tissues".
    Fabian moves from Cologne to Coventry, and our new lab set up gains momentum!
October 2017  
Preprint deposited: The Oncopeltus genome manuscript has finally gone public! "Molecular evolutionary trends and feeding ecology diversification in the Hemiptera, anchored by the milkweed bug genome" is now live on bioRxiv.
Many thanks to the entire research community for contributions to this large comparative project. The supplement alone weighs in at 112 pages with 38 separate reports, 49 tables (30 of which are in a separate Excel workbook), and 33 figures, plus 274 references.
  milkweed bug i5K logo
[Logo by Chiaki Ueda]
    Welcome to Matthias Teuscher, a new postdoc in the group.
September 2017   Preprint deposited: Iris and Kristen are co-authors on a new i5k genomics manuscript, "A model species for agricultural pest genomics: the genome of the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)", now live on bioRxiv.
    Kristen joins the "Symposium on Animal Development and its Evolutionary Variation" in Cambridge, UK, in honor of Michael Akam's career and the scientific diaspora it's produced.
    Kristen and Fabian present recent work from the lab with a talk and poster at the newly resurrected One-Day UK Evo-Devo Meeting, held at the Natural History Museum in London.
August 2017   Back in Cologne, current and future members of the group joined in our annual Betriebsausflug with the Roth lab, this time for climbing in the trees and dinner together with local wines in Ahrweiler.
July 2017   Lab in transit: Kristen and Fabian oversee the first wave of lab equipment installation in Warwick, including our shiny new ApoTome microscope system.
    Grant funded: Kristen is a co-PI on a new equipment grant from the Wellcome Trust, "Probing intra-cellular dynamics with lattice light sheet microscopy", in a project headed by Andrew McAinsh at the Warwick Medical School.
June 2017   Farewell to Thorsten after 5+ years of contributions to shaping the lab, and particularly for the breadth of commitment to beetle embryos and their genes! Best wishes for the next career stage.
    Barbora attends the EMBO practical course "Advanced Electron Microscopy for Cell Biology" in Heidelberg.
    Thorsten visits Akanksha Jain in Pavel Tomancak's lab in Dresden, in the context of collaborative projects on early tissue morphogenesis in Tribolium.
May 2017   Kristen gives an invited seminar on insect genomics and molecular evolution in the Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity at the University of Münster, hosted by Erich Bornberg-Bauer.
Welcome to Barbora Konopová, a postdoctoral research associate who
will be undertaking ultrastructural studies of Tribolium extraembryonic development.
Barbora Konopova
April 2017   The Panfilio Lab is in transition! From 1st April Kristen takes up an Assistant Professorship in the School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, UK. With projects and people continuing in Cologne, we now begin a year of dual affiliation and travel.
    Kristen's inaugural week in Warwick begins with local attendance at the annual spring meeting of the British Society for Developmental Biology, featuring an evo-devo session hosted by her Ph.D. supervisor (Michael Akam) and with an invited talk by her first research supervisor (Linda Holland).
March 2017   Fabian and Kristen attend the Joint Meeting of the German and Japanese Societies for Developmental Biology in Kiel, with a poster presentation on some of the lab's latest work.
February 2017   Farewell to Waldemar as he takes up a position as Compliance Manager at Miltenyi Biotec GmbH. Thanks for all of the Lego puzzling and molecular voodoo of cloning!
January 2017   Congratulations to Jan on successfully defending his Ph.D. thesis, "Characterizing multiple roles of pannier during embryogenesis, as revealed with an augmented fluorescent live imaging toolkit, in the beetle Tribolium castaneum". Well done, Doctor!
December 2016   Farewell to Iris after 3.5 years of boosting our lab's bioinformatics expertise and contributions to the i5k international consortium for comparative arthropod genomics. Best of luck with future scripting!
November 2016   Congratulations to Danka on a successful evaluation at her annual Ph.D. thesis committee meeting from the Graduate School for Biological Sciences.
Paper accepted: Iris and Kristen are co-authors on the publication of the Asian longhorned beetle genome in Genome Biology. ALB logo
    Congratulations to Fabian for successfully defending his Ph.D. thesis back in Erlangen. Well done, Doctor!
    Kristen gives two invited talks: on the live imaging of morphogenesis for the "Biolunch" series at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP) in Cambridge, hosted by Stephanie Höhn, and on comparative genomics for the Evolution Colloquium at the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig in Bonn, hosted by Oliver Niehuis.
October 2016   Welcome to Fabian Pridöhl, a new postdoc in the group.
September 2016   Grant funded: The lab is awarded an Exploration Grant from the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation to pursue new avenues of extraembryonic tissue biology within a project entitled, "The role of polyploidy in epithelial tissue development".
    The meeting season continues. Kristen gives talks on the lab's work at:
  • "New Horizons in Molecular Zoology 2016", the concluding meeting of the iBeetle Research Unit after six years!, in Kiel, Germany
  • Genome, Cell, and Developmental Biology seminar series, Department of Biology at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
  • "Ecological and developmental insights from comparative hemipteroid genomics" symposium (also chaired by Kristen), International Congress of Entomology quadrennial meeting, Orlando, Florida, USA
August 2016   The lab presents recent work at the 3rd Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy International Conference, in Sheffield, UK, with a poster and contributed talk by Kristen.
July 2016   Evo-devo in Sweden: Kristen co-organizes the biennial "Tribolium and Friends" satellite meeting, with talks by Maarten and Thorsten, followed by posters from Danka, Thorsten, and Kristen at the main Euro Evo-Devo meeting in Uppsala.
Paper accepted: Thorsten's morphogenetic and regulatory dissection of the roles of Dorsocross throughout extraembryonic development is accepted for publication in Development. Dorsocross RNAi
    Kristen provides a comment on two recent papers from the Moczek lab on evolutionary innovations and gene co-option in dung beetles, featured in an article in Entomology Today.
    Welcome to Waldemar Wojciech, a new postdoc in the group.
June 2016   This summer's "Betriebsausflug" work outing with the Roth Lab was a great day canoeing on the river Erft, including passing through a nature reserve.
    Welcome to Konstantin Bunte, a master's student joining us for a research module during the summer semester as part of the "Modern Techniques of Developmental Biology" course.
May 2016   Kristen visits the School of Biology at the University of Leeds, UK, and gives a seminar hosted jointly by the groups of Andrew Peel and Liz Duncan.
April 2016   Congratulations to Dennis Nowakowski on successfully defending his master's thesis, "A strange place to be" - characterization of a Tribolium enhancer trap line and analysis of its genomic region.
    Master's teaching: Kristen and Maarten again lecture and lead students in a practical module on light sheet fluorescence microscopy and associated image data analysis, on the occasion of the second time the "Advanced Light Microscopy" course is offered (MN-B-SM (BG 2)).
March 2016   Publication update: Our new morphogenesis paper in eLife made the journal's home page "cover" image (screenshot), and was featured in a press release from the University of Cologne (in English and German: see screenshots).
serosal tissue morphology serosal tissue morphology serosal tissue morphology
February 2016   Danka helps co-organize and host the sixth biennial Crossroads in Biology meeting, with an excellent program of international speakers brought together by students in the university's Graduate School for Biological Sciences.
January 2016   Kristen gives a talk via virtual link-up for the University of Cambridge Careers Service event on "Making it in Academia" for life sciences Ph.D. students and postdocs.
Paper accepted: The lab's characterization of epithelial tissue structure and morphogenesis during extraembryonic rupture (pictured -->), including light sheet microscopy analyses with new enhancer trap lines, is accepted for publication in eLife. serosal tissue morphology
    Casper Breuker visits from Oxford Brookes University and speaks in the SFB 680 Evolution Colloquium Series about the eco-evo-devo of butterflies, hosted by Maarten.
December 2015   The year ends with the lab's annual outing through the Cologne Christmas markets (once again on a beautifully sunny afternoon!).
    Kristen's proposed symposium on "Ecological and Developmental Insights from Comparative Hemipteroid Genomics" has been accepted and scheduled for the section "Bioinformatics, and Comparative Genomics of Arthropods", at the quadrennial International Congress of Entomology, in September 2016.
    Maarten attends the 1st Bioimage Analysis Workshop from the German Network for Bioinformatics Infrastructure ("de.NBI") and debriefs the group on using the KNIME analysis and workflow platform and ilastik interface for image and large dataset processing.
November 2015   The lab's progress to date is very positively evaluated in peer review of our Emmy Noether grant interim report (Zwischenbericht) to the DFG.
    Paper accepted: Sequencing and analysis of the bed bug genome, for which Iris and Kristen are contributing authors, is accepted for publication in Nature Communications.
October 2015   Iris and Kristen attend the university's biennial Department of Biology Symposium retreat in Prüm, and present a poster and talk, respectively.
    Congratulations to Danka on a successful evaluation at her annual Ph.D. thesis committee meeting from the Graduate School for Biological Sciences.
    Kristen gives an invited talk at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, in conjunction with the master's course "From DNA to Diversity", hosted by Martin Beye.
September 2015   Paper accepted: The lab's perspective article on the evolution of epithelial morphogenesis is accepted for publication in the Research Topic "Evolution of organismal form: from regulatory interactions to developmental processes and biological patterns" in Frontiers in Genetics.
    Maarten presents a poster at the annual DutchBiophysics meeting on molecular and cellular biophysics, in Veldhoven.
    Danka attends the annual Summer School in Evolutionary Developmental Biology: Conceptual and Methodological Foundations, in Venice.
    Farewell to Max Pentzien, who completed his bachelor's thesis in the lab and continued with us as a student assistant during the summer. Best of luck for starting the master's degree in Bonn!
    Industrial and educational: our annual "Betriebsausflug" work outing with the Roth Lab was a visit and tour of the RWE electrical company's coal-fired power station to the west of Cologne, followed by an evening in the pub.
August 2015   May's EMBO workshop on "Embryonic-Extraembryonic Interfaces" is reviewed in a meeting report by Claudio Stern, including mention of the "unusual but particularly lucid analysis" of how insect extraembryonic tissues compare with amniotes', from Kristen's talk.
    Kristen and Thorsten attend the inaugural meeting of the Pan-American Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology and the satellite International Tribolium meeting in Berkeley, California, USA, with two talks and a poster presentation on recent comparative work on morphogenesis.
June 2015   Kristen and Iris attend the 9th Annual Arthropod Genomics Symposium in Manhattan, Kansas, USA, with a talk and poster presentation, respectively, on progress with the Oncopeltus genome project.
Paper accepted: Kristen is a co-author on the main screening paper from the large-scale "iBeetle" RNAi screen in Tribolium, in a DFG-funded Research Unit project headed by Gregor Bucher. Published in Nature Communications. iBeetle logo
    Welcome to Minh-Hai Nguyen and Diandra Bui, high school students at the Ville-Gymnasium in Erftstadt, who are visiting for a two-week practical placement to learn about biology research.
    Welcome to Agathi Karaolidou, a master's student joining us for a research module during the summer semester as part of the "Modern Techniques of Developmental Biology" course.
May 2015   Kristen attends and gives a comparative talk at the EMBO workshop on "Embryonic-Extraembryonic Interfaces" in Göttingen.
April 2015   The Oncopeltus genome project is featured as a "highlighted dataset" in the launch of the new Ag Data Commons from the National Agricultural Library of the USDA.
    Paper accepted: Kristen is a co-author on a new investigation on the dorsal-ventral patterning system in Oncopeltus and how DV patterning has evolved in insects, from collaborative work with the Roth lab and other SFB 680 colleagues. Published in eLife.
    New master's course: Kristen and Maarten lecture and lead students in a practical module on light sheet fluorescence microscopy and associated image data analysis, as part of a new course on "Advanced Light Microscopy" (MN-B-SM (BG 2)).
March 2015   Congratulations to Max Pentzien on successfully defending his bachelor's thesis, "Investigating the role of U-shaped group genes during embryogenesis in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum".
    The lab attends the biennial meeting of the German Society for Developmental Biology (GfE) in Nuremberg: five posters from Danka, Jan, Thorsten, Maarten, and Kristen!
    Thorsten and Kristen visit Akanksha Jain and Pavel Tomancak in Dresden in the context of collaborative projects and discussions on early morphogenesis and light sheet microscopy in Tribolium.
January 2015   Welcome to Dennis Nowakowski, who will be doing his master's thesis in the lab.
December 2014   Welcome to Janis Neumann, a master's student joining us for a research module during the winter semester as part of the "Modern Techniques of Developmental Biology" course.
November 2014   Congratulations to Maarten on the publication of his paper on natural variation in the Drosophila retinal mosaic, from his previous research in Oxford with Alistair McGregor.
October 2014  
Movie featured: A time-lapse movie from the lab's recent paper on tissue-specific visualization of Tribolium embryogenesis is featured on the Zeiss Microscopy YouTube channel. serosal tissue GFP movie still
    Oncopeltus genome sequencing update #5: Manual gene annotation is complete, providing curated models for nearly 1200 genes of diverse classes. Generation of the official gene set is under way.
September 2014   Kristen gives an invited talk on comparative genomics and Maarten presents a poster on light sheet microscopy at the second international SpiderWeb meeting in Jena.
    Welcome to Fabian Pridöhl, a PhD student in the lab of Michael Schoppmeier, Erlangen, who is visiting briefly for Tribolium live imaging training.
    Welcome to Max Pentzien, who will be doing his bachelor's thesis in the lab.
    Congratulations to Jan on a successful evaluation at his annual Ph.D. thesis committee meeting from the Graduate School for Biological Sciences.
August 2014   Kristen gives an invited talk at an "Evolution of Development" meeting at the Max-Planck-Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Cologne.
    Congratulations to Danka on a successful evaluation at her first Ph.D. thesis committee meeting from the Graduate School for Biological Sciences.
    Maarten attends an EMBO practical course on "Light sheet microscopy" in Dresden.
    Congratulations to Maarten on co-authoring the new transcriptome resource paper for the house spider, from his previous research in Cologne with Wim Damen.
    Welcome to Yu Matsuura, a JSPS Research Fellow from Hokkaido University, Japan, who will be visiting our lab and that of Siegfried Roth for Oncopeltus research collaboration over the next three months.
July 2014  
Paper accepted: The lab's primary characterization of beetle embryogenesis, via long-term live imaging with tissue-specific visualization, is accepted for publication in PLoS One. serosal tissue morphology
    Biennial attendance at the Euro Evo-Devo and International Tribolium Satellite Meetings in Vienna: contributed talks by Kristen and Thorsten, and poster presentations by Thorsten, Jan, and Danka on aspects of comparative extraembryonic development and evolution.
    Congratulations to Danka on the publication of her first first-author paper: a study on cell proliferation in box jellyfish, from her previous research in Copenhagen with Anders Garm.
    Kristen gives an invited talk to the insect comparative genomics section of the Centre for Molecular Biodiversity Research, Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn, hosted by Oliver Niehuis.
June 2014   Welcome to Maarten Hilbrant, a new postdoc in the group.
May 2014   Welcome to Burulça Uluvar, a master's student joining us for a research module during the summer semester as part of the "Modern Techniques of Developmental Biology" course.
    Welcome to Daniela Gurská, a new Ph.D. student in the group.
April 2014   Kristen attends and gives talks at two meetings in Göttingen: "Size and Shape" symposium on morpho- metrics/phology/genesis, and an iBeetle Research Unit progress meeting.
March 2014   Oncopeltus genome sequencing update #4: Community-based manual annotation is now underway! See our joint i5k hemipteroid wiki page for full details and updates.
February 2014   Oncopeltus genome sequencing update #3: Automatic assembly and annotation are complete. Community-based manual annotation will likely begin early next month once the Web Apollo workspace is live (hosted by the USDA). E-mail Kristen to join the mailing list and to participate.
January 2014   Welcome to Akanksha Jain, a Ph.D. student from the labs of Pavel Tomancak and Stephan Grill, Dresden, who is visiting us for the next four weeks for a crash course in Tribolium developmental genetics research, in the context of a collaborative project on early morphogenesis.
December 2013   Kristen co-authors a dispatch piece in Current Biology with Siegfried Roth to accompany a new study on developmental robustness and canalization in Drosophila.
    Welcome to Max Kornilov, a master's student who will be joining us for a research module during the winter semester as part of the "Modern Techniques of Developmental Biology" course.
November 2013  
Grant funded: Our lab has now joined the Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 680, "The Molecular Basis of Evolutionary Innovations", within a new four-year funding period, 2014-2017, with our project, "The changing roles
of Hox3 genes in insect evolution".
SFB 680 logo
    Movie featured: A time-lapse movie from the lab's recent paper on Tribolium dorsal closure is selected by the publisher, The Company of Biologists, to be featured on their YouTube channel.
    Welcome to Jonas Schwirz, a Ph.D. student from the lab of Ernst Wimmer, Göttingen, who will be visiting us for conducting live imaging analyses in the context of the iBeetle Research Unit collaboration.
    Welcome to Gianluca Sharbaf Azari, who will be joining us for a bachelor's internship practical this month.
October 2013   Iris attends an NGS training course at the CRG in Barcelona, "High Throughput Sequencing: Lab methods and computational challenges".
    Oncopeltus genome sequencing update #2: All Illumina libraries have been sequenced, and initial automated assembly is currently underway at Baylor. In the lab we are preparing additional template for gap-filling with PacBio long read data.
    Kristen and Thorsten attend the university's biennial Department of Biology Symposium retreat in Prüm, and present a talk and poster, respectively.
September 2013   Jan attends the third annual Evo-Devo summer school in Venice, "From Gene Networks to Organismal Systems".
August 2013   Paper accepted: The lab's comparative work on insect dorsal closure is accepted for publication in Biology Open, providing a modern primary account of late extraembryonic development in a holometabolous insect (Tribolium) and the first functional account of dorsal closure outside of Drosophila.
June 2013   Welcome to Iris Vargas Jentzsch, a new postdoc in the group who will be doing bioinformatic analyses part-time.
May 2013   Kristen is interviewed on scientific discoveries and the nature of evo-devo morphogenesis research for the webcast series Significant Details, hosted on its own dedicated site, at, and on YouTube.
March 2013   Kristen attends and presents at two meetings: the Joint German Cell and Developmental Biology Societies' Meeting in Heidelberg (poster presentation), and a symposium on "New horizons in molecular zoology" organized by the iBeetle Research Group in Göttingen (invited talk).
January 2013   Congratulations to Jan on a successful evaluation at his first Ph.D. thesis committee meeting from the Graduate School for Biological Sciences.
December 2012   Kristen is nominated for inclusion in the AcademiaNet database of "Leading Women Scientists" [profile CV].
    Welcome to Yvonne Kölsch, a master's student who will be joining us for a research module during the winter semester as part of the "Modern Techniques of Developmental Biology" course.
October 2012   Oncopeltus genome sequencing update #1: Template material prepped by Stefan and Kristen has now passed quality control at Baylor's Human Genome Sequencing Center, and Oncopeltus has officially joined the queue for sequencing.
September 2012   Thorsten and Jan attend and give poster presentations at the 13th Young Scientist Meeting of the German Society for Cell Biology (DGZ): "Cell biology shapes the embryo", in Jena.
August 2012  
The Oncopeltus genome has been selected for sequencing! With five international co-authors (Ariel Chipman, Cassandra Extavour, Abdou Khila, Aleksandar Popadic, and Yui Suzuki), Kristen has successfully drafted a Hemipteran genome sequencing white paper, calling for the sequencing of the Oncopeltus fasciatus and Gerris buenoi genomes. Please do get in touch to support this project-- by e-mail (kristen.panfilio [at]
or on the Arthropod Genomes i5k project site.
i5k logo
    Welcome to Jan Seibert, a new Ph.D. student in the group.
July 2012   Biennial attendance at the Euro Evo-Devo and International Tribolium Satellite Meetings in Lisbon: two contributed talks by Kristen and a poster presentation by Thorsten on aspects of comparative extraembryonic development.
May 2012   Welcome to Matthias Roth, a bachelor's student intern who will be joining us for the next month.
    Welcome to Thorsten Horn, a new postdoc in the group.
April 2012   Kristen Panfilio co-authors a perspective piece in Science with Siegfried Roth to accompany the new live imaging study of segmentation in Tribolium.
The lab is awarded an equipment grant through the University of Cologne's
2nd Women Scientists Support Program.
University of Cologne logo
January 2012  New year, new lab: the Panfilio lab opens for research on
Extraembryonic Development (EED)!

Page last updated 24 March 2022, K. Panfilio

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