March 28, 2022 - New Lab Member: Samantha "S" Fallacaro


S returned to our lab for their PhD after rotating with us last summer. They will be working on questions related to the mechanotransduction of gene regulation

January 25, 2022 - New Lab Member: Ernesto Gamauf

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Ernesto is a sophomore majoring in Biology at UPenn and has a keen interest in embryonic development!

January 11, 2022 - Cornerstone Blog News Story

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November 23rd, 2021 - New microinjection system!

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We received and installed our new Femtojet microinjection system and our new Lecia DMi8 inverted microscope. Lots of poking embryos coming up!

November 19th, 2021 - New grant from Margaret Q. Landenberger Foundation!

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November 5th, 2021 - Microscope enclosure installed

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As our light-sheet microscope is near ready for prime time we had an all hands on deck effort to install a enclosure to protect the optics and shield the instrument form air currents in the room!

November 4th, 2021 - Microscope main hardware construction done!

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Al l the major components of our MOSAIC microscope are finally in place and now its time for fine-tuning!

November 1st, 2021 - New lab member: Sarah O' Konski


Sarah is a freshman majoring in Biochemistry at UPenn. She comes to our lab through the Penn Freshmen Exposure to Research in Biological Science (PennFERBS) and we are very happy to have her start her scientific career with us!

October 31st, 2021 - Happy Halloween!


We celebrated Halloween with a "meet and treat" with the whole CHOP CCGM! Fun and silly festivities ensued. 

October 8th, 2021 - DP2 Celebration with Wan Lab!

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We celebrated getting the NIH New Innovator award with our close collaborators and fellow awardee Liling Wan and her lab. Our co-mentored student Kaeli Mathias is guaranteed/mandated to have a super innovative thesis project! 

October 5th, 2021 - NIH Directors New Innovator Award!

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The lab was awarded a NIH Directors New Innovator Award (DP2). This $2.4 million award will fund our efforts to develop new approaches to quantify the molecular dynamics of gene expression and nuclear organization during early embryonic development.
NIH Press Release | Awardees | CHOP Press Release | Penn Press Release

October 4th, 2021 - Puttachai Ratchasanmuang AKA Net joins the lab as a Research Associate


We are very happy to have Net on board. Net brings with him tons of experience working with flies and lots of enthusiasm. He has previously worked as a Research Technician with Shawn Little at Penn and Thomas Gregor at Princeton. 

September 20th, 2021 - Gabriella Hayward Lara joins for her 1st rotations


Gabriella Hayward Lara who is in the DSRB program and recently graduated from Princeton joins the lab for her first rotation. Welcome!

August 20th, 2021 - Lab Happy Hour

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We celebrated the end of summer rotations and welcomed some new folks on a beautiful Philly day!

August12th, 2021 -First image processing workshop

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We kicked off our image processing workshop series. We discuss how to write code to analyze imaging data quantitatively while minimizing manual intervention. This workshop is led by Alan Boka and Tomer Lapidot (Ophir Shalem's lab).

June 30th, 2021 - Kaeli gets selected for Genetics T32 training grant


Congratulations to Kaeli Mathias for being selected for the Genetics T32 grant. lots of exciting discoveries ahead!

June 28th, 2021 - Cody Eskandarian joins the lab as an undergraduate researcher

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Cody Eskandarian  is an undergraduate in biochemistry and biophysics at UPenn.

June 24th, 2021 - New Optical Table!

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We received our second optical table (thanks Melike Lakadamyali's lab), nothing like the feeling of putting the first piece on a blank optical table. We will be using this one for prototypic new optical setups.  

June 22nd, 2021 - Lab Happy Hour

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We celebrated the end of Kaeli Mathias's and Adam Jabak's rotations and welcome Guzel and Patrick with libations and games at "The Commons" 

June 4, 2021 - Guzel Naik joins as a Research Intern

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Guzel Naik is joining us for 6 months as a research intern. He has a BSc in Biology and previous research experience in epigenetics at the Lahore University of Management Sciences

June 3rd, 2021 - Patrick Samaha joins as a Research Intern


Patrick Samaha joins us for the summer. He is currently an undergraduate student in Bioengineering at the University of Toronto.

June 2nd, 2021 - S Fallacaro joins as a Rotation Student


S Fallacaro joins the lab for their first rotation. They are a student in The Developmental, Stem Cell, and Regenerative Biology division within the Cell and Molecular Biology graduate group. 

May 26th, 2021 - Its taller than Appy now!

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I think he may need a ladder soon

May 26, 2021 - Kaeli  Mathias joins the lab for her PhD, co-mentored with Liling Wan's lab in Cancer Biologu


Kaeli Mathias decides to be co-mentored by Mustafa and Dr. Liling Wan. She has boundless enthusiasm, energy, and deep curiosity! 

May 24, 2021 - Birthday celebration

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The lab surprised Mustafa with a birthday cake. What a great group of people! :)

May 21st, 2021 - The microscope is rising

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Its growing!

May 14th, 2021 - Alan Boka joins the lab for his PhD!


Super excited that Alan Boka has decided to join the lab for his PhD work. He is a fantastic young scientist with a fearless attitude. Looking forward to lots of creating and exciting science.

May 11th, 2021 - Ultrafast laser is installed

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Good progress for one day! After receiving our room we have our optical table, two photon laser, and server rack setup!

May 10th, 2021 - We have our microscope room!

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The renovation of our microscope room is  complete. After 5 months of anticipation we can finally start on our microscope. Thanks to CHOP for facilitating this large rennovation

May 2021 - Mustafa featured in the CAMB Newsletter


April 19th, 2021 - New rotation students

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Kaeli Mathias and Adam Jabak from the BMB graduate group joined the lab for their third rotations.  The flies still outnumber us significantly.

April 10th 2021 - First lab party

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Weather was warm, vaccines were in arms and our first rotation student Alan Boka's time was up. We had a cookout and some libations to celebrate!

March 16th 2021-First lasers are on

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Its so pretty!

March 9th 2021-We received our Chameleon laser

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Looking forward to lots of photons

March 2nd 2021-Nick Gattone produces our first data

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We ran a gel and learned something. Science!

January 29th 2021-First group meeting

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And we are off! first group meeting.

January 25th 2021-New lab members


Today we welcome our first postdoc Apratim Mukherjee who is a mechanical engineering PhD from Virginia Tech where he studied how cells sense their extracellular matrix using synthetic nanofiber networks. We also welcome Alan Boka a rotation student from BMB Graduate Group. The lab is growing!

January 20th 2021-Our flies have a home!

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Today our environmental chambers to house our flies from Darwin Chambers were installed. Now they have a nice cozy place to grow!

Watch a video of the installation here:

January 11th 2021-New lab member.

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We are a "we" now. Our first lab member Nick Gattone has joined us as the labs first Technician! Nick has just finished his Masters working with Nir Yakoby at Rutgers where he worked on the role of tRNA fragments in regulating gene expression. Welcome Nick!

January 5th 2021- Lab is officially open.

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The lab is officially open!