Lab News

Morgan Represents at the Minnesota Modulation Symposium

Ph.D. candidate Morgan Newhoff made the lab proud again earlier this week, when her poster presentation (“An Investigation into the Cellular Mechanisms Underlying Ultrasonic Neuromodulation”) won third place at this year’s Minnesota Neuromodulation Symposium, which was co-sponsored by the Institute for Engineering in Medicine (IEM) and the MnDRIVE Initiative here at the U. Mazel tov, Morgan!

Morgan @ MN Neuromodulation Symposium

Award winners

Publish Date: 
Saturday, April 15, 2017 - 6:45pm

Here be Scorpions....

Things just got a whole lot more fun in the Mesce lab… or a whole lot scarier (depending on your point of view)! We recently received a shipment of 50 Arizona bark scorpions (Centruroides sculpturatus), and are looking forward to doing some really cool science with them! The scorpions will be used for part of Ph.D. candidate Anthony Auletta’s dissertation research. We’re still in the early phases of planning those experiments, but for now, enjoy these pictures of our new scorpion enclosure:


Scorpion! Scorpion!

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 4:45pm

Morgan Receives Prestigious MnDRIVE Fellowship

Morgan NewhoffCongratulations once again to Ph.D. candidate Morgan Newhoff! Morgan has just received a very prestigious MnDRIVE Graduate Fellowship in Neuromodulation! This highly competitive award, which is offered through the Minnesota Discovery, Research, and Innovation Economy (MnDRIVE) Initiative, is a one year, $43K fellowship that includes funds for research supplies and travel, in addition to a stipend. We in the lab are extremely proud of Morgan for this incredible accomplishment. Way to go!!

Publish Date: 
Sunday, March 19, 2017 - 7:00pm

Another Candidate Enters the Race!

A lab celebration is in order this weekend, because Ph.D. student Morgan Newhoff successfully passed her oral examination earlier in the week and advanced to Ph.D. candidate status! Congratulations, Morgan!

Publish Date: 
Friday, November 25, 2016 - 2:30pm

The Mesce Lab at SfN 2016

SfN 2016Who else is pumped for the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in San Diego this year (November 12th-16th)? Because we sure are! PI Dr. Karen Mesce, postdoctoral researcher Joshua Puhl, and Ph.D. student Morgan Newhoff will all be in attendance this year, and we are very excited to share the latest and greatest findings from our lab with you!

We will have two posters at this year’s meeting— come find us at them and say “hi!:”

Puhl JG, Newhoff MM, Rue MCP, Bigelow AW, Mesce KA. The contribution of central and sensory information in locomotor recovery after injury to the CNS. Poster #536, Tuesday (November 15th) 8am-12pm

Newhoff M, Mueller J, Legon W, Mesce KA. 2016. Ultrasonic modulation of a single identified neuron in an intact invertebrate system. Poster #626, Tuesday (November 15th) 1pm-5pm 

Hope to see you there!

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 4:15pm

Halloween Hijinks

The research world can be a very stressful place sometimes, and that’s why it’s important to sometimes take a step back and have a little fun. And that’s why we wrapped up our experiments early yesterday, and headed over to the new Bee Research Facility for the Bee Lab’s Annual Halloween Party! A spooktacular time was had by all, as you can see by this wonderful photo that JOsh snapped at the party:

Two zombies and “Bugsy”
From left to right: Ph.D. student Morgan Newhoff, Ph.D. candidate Anthony Auletta, lab manager Tony Bigelow

We hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween yesterday!

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - 12:45pm

Anthony Returns to "Saturday with a Scientist"

Need something fun to do this Saturday (October 15th)? Then come by the Bell Museum and hear Ph.D. candidate Anthony Auletta talk about his research on spider neurobiology, as part of the museum’s Best of “Saturday with a Scientist” Showcase!

Saturday with a Scientist

Anthony’s display, “Spiders: Small Brains, Big Behaviors,” will be up in the main hallway of the museum from 11:30am-1:00pm, and Anthony will be there to show off some cool live arachnids and answer all of your spider questions. Then, from 1:00-1:30, he will be giving a special talk in room 175, entitled “Why I Love Spiders (and You Should Too).” We hope to see you there! This event is free, open to the public, and great for kids and adults alike.

Publish Date: 
Monday, October 10, 2016 - 10:15am

Morgan Takes Home the Gold

Morgan NewhoffA hearty huzzah is in order for Ph.D. student Morgan Newhoff! Her poster presentation, Ultrasonic modulation of a single identified neuron in an intact invertebrate system, won first place in the Neuroengineering Section at this year’s Institute for Engineering in Medicine Annual Retreat, which was held here at the University of Minnesota this past Monday. Congratulations on taking home the gold, Morgan!

Publish Date: 
Monday, September 26, 2016 - 3:00pm

Anthony Passes Oral Exam!

Congratulations to Ph.D. student Anthony Auletta, who just yesterday passed his oral examination, allowing him to advance to Ph.D. candidacy. Way to go, Anthony!

Publish Date: 
Saturday, August 20, 2016 - 1:45pm

The Times, They are A-Changin’

…or, at least, that’s what Bob Dylan would say, because as summer draws to a close, it’s time for us to extend bittersweet goodbyes to several people in our lab family.

2016 lab crew
Mesce Lab group photo, Summer 2016

From left to right:
Standing: Zoe Matticks, Anthony Auletta, Karen Mesce, Joshua Puhl, Morgan Newhoff, Tony Bigelow
Kneeling: Michael Baltzley, Mara CP Rue

We recently bid a fond farewell to lab manager Mara CP Rue, who has shipped up to Boston to begin her studies as a Ph.D. student in Brandeis University’s Graduate Program in Neuroscience. Mara joined the lab in early 2015; since then, she has been instrumental in the functioning of the lab, and has contributed to many different projects that we have been working on. Her presence in the lab will be greatly missed, but we wish her well in this next step of her career!

Taking over Mara’s lab manager duties is former undergraduate researcher Tony Bigelow, who has just returned from his summer stint at the Neural Systems & Behavior course at Woods Hole. We’re confident that Tony will do a stellar job building upon the work that Mara has started, and we are all looking forward to having him in the lab full time.

We must also soon say adieu to our two wonderful summer visitors, Dr. Mike Baltzley and Zoe Matticks. Mike will be returning to his faculty position at Western Oregon University, and we look forward to collaborating with him in the future on the projects that we began together this summer. Zoe will be heading back to Massachussetts, to complete her studies at Wellesley College and, ultimately, apply to medical school. We will miss having both Mike and Zoe in the lab, and hope that they enjoyed their time with us. And who knows… maybe we’ll even see them again next summer? One can hope….

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - 7:45pm

Everything’s Hotsy-Totsy in the Mesce Lab…

In the fast-paced world of academia, it’s important to step back sometimes and have some fun. And that’s why the Mesce Lab turned Hodson Hall into a 1920s Speakeasy for the latest Bugs ‘n Brews (Entomology Department Social Hour) on Friday! A good time was had by all….

lab group
From left to right: Morgan Newhoff (PhD Student), Zoë Harvey (Spider Care Specialist), Anthony Auletta
(PhD Student), Karen Mesce (Professor & PI), Mara CP Rue (Lab Manager), and Michael Baltzley (Visiting Scholar)



Publish Date: 
Saturday, August 6, 2016 - 12:45pm

Anthony wins ICA Poster Competition

Congratulations to Ph.D. student Anthony Auletta for winning 1st place in the “Morphology, Physiology, & Silk” section of the Graduate Student Poster Competition at the 20th International Congress of Arachnology in Golden, CO!

Ph.D. student Anthony Auletta with undergraduate mentors Dr. Linda Rayor & Dr. Cole Gilbert at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science), following the ICA Student Awards ceremony
Ph.D. student Anthony Auletta with undergraduate mentors Dr. Linda Rayor & Dr. Cole Gilbert
at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, following the ICA Student Awards ceremony

The award, presented during the ICA banquet at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, includes a $200 cash prize and a signed copy of Common Spiders of North America by Richard Bradley.

Way to go, Anthony!

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 12:45pm

Welcome, Welcome Summer Visitors!

Welcome Summer!Summer is here, and we here at the Mesce lab are very excited to welcome two outstanding summer visitors who have joined our research team!

Zoe Matticks joined us from Wellesley College in June, where she is currently enrolled in the undergraduate neuroscience program. Zoe will be working as an undergraduate researcher in the lab for the summer, and will assist us with many of the exciting projects that we have in the works.

And in early July, Dr. Michael Baltzley joined us as a visiting scholar. Dr. Baltzley is currently Assistant Professor of Biology at Western Oregon University, and he will be conducting some very exciting physiology and molecular biology experiments with us this summer.

Welcome, welcome Zoe and Michael!

Publish Date: 
Thursday, July 7, 2016 - 12:45pm

Colorado Bound

Ph.D. student Anthony Auletta is heading to Golden, Colorado to represent the lab and present his spider research at the 20th International Congress of Arachnology (jointly organized by the American Arachnological Society and the International Society of Arachnology).

20th International Congress of Arachnology logo

The full citation for his poster is:

Auletta A, Rue MCP, Harley CM, Mesce KA. 2016. The organization of the spider nervous system as revealed by dopamine immunolabeling and confocal microscopy.

The poster will be on display from Sunday, July 3rd until Friday, July 8th in the main hall of the Green Center (Poster #100). Anthony will be there in person on Tuesday, July 5th, from 7:00-9:00pm, so make sure to stop by if you’ll be in attendance!

Hope to see you in Golden!

Publish Date: 
Monday, June 27, 2016 - 12:30pm

Oh hi, Uruguay!

ICN Uruguay logoIt’s almost time for the 12th Congress of the International Society for Neuroethology in Montevideo, Uruguay! PI Dr. Karen Mesce and postdoctoral researcher Dr. Joshua Puhl will be there from March 30th – April 3rd to represent the lab and showcase the latest results of our leech recovery research.

For all of our friends and colleagues who will also be in attendance, please be sure to stop by our poster (#PI-58), entitled Locomotion and coordination: mechanisms underlying homeostatic plasticity following injury to the CNSThe poster will highlight some of the exciting research being conducted in the lab by Karen, Joshua, Ph.D student Morgan Newhoff, lab technician Mara CP Rue, and undergraduate researcher Tony Bigelow.

We hope to see you there!

Publish Date: 
Saturday, March 26, 2016 - 12:30pm