GPGG Trivia Night

GPGG hosted a post-lab day wind down round of trivia for our students Wednesday night. Megan was a wonderful host and game master. She put together six rounds of six questions complete with audio and visual rounds! Of course, some were STEM, medicine, and BUSM themed. It was a tight race through all the random knowledge with Taylor coming out on top as the winner with a whooping 37 points out of 50! Dr. Dasgupta was close behind Taylor in second place. Fun times were had by all!

Anti-Racism Interview with Third Year GPGG Student, Taylor!

Check out this 10-minute interview with our very own, Taylor Matte, as he talks about his work with Boston University's School of Medicine's Anti-Racism Task Force. Taylor represents all of the PhD students on the panel. Taylor talks about a major project that the task force is working on, in which he is spearheading,  instructing the upcoming BUSM-MedSci Program (MSP) - a program that intends to give underrepresented high school students an opportunity to be exposed to various clinical and basic science topics.  This is also closely associated with the work Taylor did with the Boston Area Health Education Center (BAHEC), whose goal is similar. Taylor also gives some great advice to other genetics professionals (or anyone really!) about some steps to take to be anti-racist in your everyday work. Here is the most recent update from the task force as well.

GPGG Cookie Bake-Off and Social

Our students competed in a science cookie bake-off at the end of December 2020. Students were provided cookie cutters from the program and instructed to document their baking journey in a lab journal format. Emily Sparago was voted our winner with her beautiful sugar cookies. Congratulations Emily! Enjoy the entries below and see attached document for our GPGG Holiday Recipe book!



Congratulations, Megan!

Please join us in congratulating Megan Snyder on passing her Doctoral Qualifying Exam on November 25th. The exam is to evaluate the student's ability to apply and synthesize the skills and knowledge acquired during graduate study. It is an important benchmark in a PhD student's progress towards candidacy. She fielded many rigorous questions from her examining committee, and she remained cool as a cucumber the entire time. Congrats, Megan! GPGG is proud of you and all your hard work!

Virtual Student Social

Our students Megan, Dylan, David, Gian Paolo, and Stefanie got together on Zoom to play the game Among Us, a strategy game where players have to work together to figure out who is the impostor. We are grateful for technology to allow us to still build memories while being 6 feet (or more) apart!

loading slideshow...

  • Future GPGG student?

Pumpkin Carving Student Social

GPGG students David, Taylor, and Megan carved pumpkins on the BUSM lawn to get into the Halloween spirit and to appreciate one of our last warm days. Our students' skills go beyond the lab, check out those carving designs! We love finding this time to be together!

loading slideshow...

Recent Student Defense

Stefanie Chan successfully defended her thesis titled “Targeting Triple Negative Breast Cancer  (TNBC) Subpopulations to Elucidate Novel Targeted Therapies” on September 11, 2020. While it was over Zoom, Stefanie did a great job and talked about the community BU has been for her. Congratulations, Stefanie!

Trip to BodyWorlds!

On Nov 25th, 2019, all current GPGG students were able to make it out for a day trip to explore the human body at Boston's own Museum of Science BodyWorlds Exhibit. The students got to see a variety of systems up close and personal while enjoying the science in an interactive space. This was a great opportunity for students to observe how genetics and genomics affect the body in a 'big picture' setting while also getting a refresher of how the human body works outside of their focused area of research.

Recent Student Defenses Nov 2019

The Graduate Program in Genetics & Genomics is proud to have 2 students successfully defend their thesis in the month of November 2019! A huge congratulations goes to both of them and the GPGG wishes them the best of luck on their job hunt!


Barry K. Horne Jr successfully defended his dissertation thesis “The Roles of Interferon Regulatory Factor 5 and Interleukin-1 Receptor-Associated Kinase 4 in Lupus Pathogenesis” on Nov 18, 2019. Barry was a member of the Bonegio laboratory at the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), and during his third and fourth years at BUSM he also completed a two year academic “Immunology Training Program” (ITP) Predoctoral Fellowship. Barry’s doctoral research focused on the contributions of two suspect genes to the pathogenesis of the autoimmune disease Lupus.


Barry is passionate about science in general, and he greatly enjoys teaching, advocacy, and policy. His long-term goal is to take the scientific knowledge, critical thinking abilities, and multiple communication skills that he acquired while working on his PhD and translate them into a career in either education, politics / science policy, scientific public outreach, or science advocacy.

Check out his defense here!


BU Profile:


ORCID ID: 0000-0003-2770-6719

Dr. Barry Jr. Horne on the far right





Jiayi Wu Cox presented on “Genetic and Environmental Prediction of Opioid Cessation Using Machine Learning, GWAS, and a Mouse Model” on Nov 22, 2019.

Jiayi Cox defended her thesis titled “Genetic and Environmental Prediction of Opioid Cessation Using Machine Learning, GWAS, and a Mouse Model” on Nov 22, 2019, after 4 years of her Ph. D research.  Jiayi was a founder of BU MED Campus Biomedical Machine Learning Community and the student representative of the section of Biomedical Genetics at Boston University. She received a full scholarship from Transformative Training Program in Addiction Science (TTPAS), this program prepares doctoral students to apply diverse approaches to addiction research using both population genetics and animal model. Jiayi did two internships doing her doctoral research, one at Biogen as a statistical geneticist intern and one at an MIT startup as a machine learning engineer intern.

Jiayi loves exploring different machine learning approaches and analyzing various data to tell stories. She currently works at Kintai Therapeutics as a machine learning scientist.

Check out her defense here!

Dr. Jiayi Wu Cox with her thesis defense council

CluedUpp Detective Day

Have you participated in a Clued Upp Detective Day before? On October 19th, 2019 a handful of the GPGG students were able to make to participate in a day of investigation and had the opportunity to put their critical thinking skills to use! The group got to explore downtown Boston and take a stroll through history as part of this fun, explorative activity. Using facts that they acquired from various landmarks, and clues given from a variety of witnesses, they were eventually able to crack the case. There was some trial and error but eventually they solved the murder!

Keep your eyes peeled for our next student social activity - you'll never know where you'll find us next!