Ray Lab Blog

Ray Lab Attends Experimental Biology 2022

The Molecular Neurobiology Group (find us at @MolecularNeuro on Twitter) killed it at Experimental Biology 2022! The last Experimental Biology was a special one. Savannah, Chris, Yuan, and Dipak had a great time. Highlights included three outstanding posters by Chris, Savannah, and Yuan, Trainee breakfast flash talk by Savannah, and a great Featured Topic Seminar co-chaired by Savannah. Almost equally important was the food! Cheesesteaks, Roast Pork, Scrapple, and Pretzels to name a few. Tied everything off with a great…

Dr. Ray Presents at the COBAD Seminar Series

It was a pleasure and honor to present with Dr. Blessing for our shared vision for a SIDS/SUID/SUDC Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine. Great feedback and enthusiasm from the CoBAD community!

Another work hard play hard Friday

Enjoying burgers at the aptly named “The Burger Joint” after a week where nothing blew up in our faces. But there’s always next week!

Welcome John Le As Our New Lab Manager

As the lab continues to grow, we’re grateful to have John coming on board to help keep the train on the tracks and our research programs moving forward! His expertise in mouse EEG implants and recordings will also be a great addition to lab as we expand our work into the interface of breathing control, state, and emotional regulation.

New Lab Publication

It’s official! Our intersectional genetic mouse engineering paper is finally out at BMC biology! All reagents and mouse lines described in the paper are freely available through Addgene and the MMRRC repository. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35086530/

Lab Taco Tuesday… on a Friday!

Enjoying velvet tacos in Rice Village after a great, productive week in the lab.

Ray Lab Holiday Party

Tying off a great year in the lab with a holiday party and white elephant gift exchange. Thankful for everyone’s hard work throughout the year. Stage is set for an amazing 2022!

SIDS Screening Grant Awarded

It's a go for launch! Our mutant screen in neonate mice for genes critical to protective respiratory reflexes is fully funded (#R01HL161142). Great work by everyone in the lab, especially Chris Ward and Eunice Aissi for their efforts in building our neonate phenotyping platform, making this exciting new direction in the lab possible.

Savannah receives 2021 Trainee Professional Development Award

Congratulations to Savannah on receiving a 2021 Trainee Professional Development Award! Savannah will be presenting a poster at SfN 2021 on a new respiratory analysis software platform for neural control of breathing studies.

Jarret Lowe joins the lab

I am pleased to welcome Jarrett Lowe to the lab! Jarrett comes from the Knock Out Mouse Project (KOMP) at Baylor College of Medicine.  At KOMP he was involved in the high throughput production of mouse mutants for phenotyping as well as different phenotyping assays. In our lab, Jarrett will be involved in colony maintenance, starting up the breeding and handling for our upcoming SIDS genetic screen, and mouse phenotyping.

Dr. Ray announced as a recipient of the 2022 Norton Rose Fulbright Faculty Excellence Award

Dr. Russell Ray, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at BCM, was just announced as a recipient of the 2022 Norton Rose Fulbright Faculty Excellence Award in the category of Teaching and Evaluation! Learn more about the award by clicking here.

Eunice Lands Prestigious GE Internship/Scholarship

In other fantastic news, undergraduate Ray Lab alum Eunice Aissi, has been offered a highly prestigious position at General Electric in their renewables division. Eunice won the position after presenting her work in the lab on the Automated Closed Loop Neonate Respiratory Measurement System. The position will allow her to gain valuable work experience while covering tuition for a Master’s degree. Congratulations!

Dr. Ray gives talk at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

Dr. Ray was invited by the Mind Brain and Behavior Collaborative and the Center for Pediatric Neuroscience Seminar Series at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to present his research. The title of Dr. Ray’s talk was “Genetic Mapping of Central Noradrenergic Neurons Reveals Distinct Subpopulations Involved in Respiratory Homeostasis with Implications for SIDS and Rett Syndrome”.

Dr. Ray presents at workshop hosted by NHLBI

Dr. Ray contributed a section of this workshop hosted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: The Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Infection on Ventilatory Control. You can watch the presentation by clicking here.

Lab scores an R01 in the third percentile!

The lab recently submitted an RO1 grant with the aim of utilizing a recently developed automated closed loop neonate respiratory assessment platform to screen mouse mutants from the BCM KOMP effort. KOMP, or the Knockout Mouse Project is an international effort to mutate and broadly phenotype every gene in the mouse genome. The grant will leverage an array of our newly developed platforms to screen KOMP mutants for phenotypes in protective neonate respiratory reflexes that may be disrupted in Sudden…

Dipak Patel joins the lab

We are excited to welcome Dipak Patel to the lab as a new Graduate student in the lab. Dipak is a first year student in the Genetics and Genomics Program. Prior to coming to BCM Dipak did his Bachelor’s at Illinois State University. He also worked as Research Assistant at MD Anderson in yeast. Somehow, the immeasurably longer generation time of mice as compared to yeast or flies has not scared Dipak off.

Dr. Ray selected to serve on NIH Study Section

Dr. Russell Ray has been selected to serve on the Respiratory Integrative Biology and Translational Research Study Section at NIH! This is a unique opportunity to contribute to the national biomedical research effort and a testament to his achievements in his field.  

Savannah Lusk Receives Diversity Supplement

Congratulations Savannah! She just received an NIH Diversity Supplement to our recently renewed NIH Grant on mapping noradrenergic neurons in respiratory control. Savannah’s work will focus on the potential interplay between the noradrenergic and serotonergic systems in protective neonate respiratory reflexes and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It is well known that serotonergic deficiencies are linked to SIDS and when modeled in animals, disrupt breathing and chemosensory reflexes. Preliminary data in our lab suggests that noradrenergic system manipulations may be…

Ray lab successfully renews their first R01

The lab successfully renewed their first R01 (on the first submission!) and was recently awarded a $3 Million NIH Grant to  continue their study of the central noradrenergic system in breathing and its potential roles in SIDS and Rett Syndrome for another five years. The first grant has a been a resounding success by establishing a foundational map of central noradrenergic circuit organization in breathing control, identifying noradrenergic neural correlates as potential therapeutic targets in Rett Syndrome, and establishing a novel role of…

Avery Twitchell-Heyne joins the lab

We are excited to have Avery Twitchell-Heyne join the lab. Avery is a graduate of Rice University with a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Under the current circumstances, she will be working from home to assist us in developing a comprehensive software suite for the analysis of cardio-respiratory waveforms (gotta do something in this shutdown!). Avery will be working with Savannah and Chris ward, who have built the foundation of the software. Avery will head the effort to build…

Dr. Ray receives American Physiological Society award

Dr. Russell Ray received the American Physiological Society’s Respiratory Section New Investigator Award, a national award and the only one in his field!

New post-doc joining the lab (Savannah)!

We are excited to have our first post-doc, Savannah Barnett, joining the lab! Savannah did her Ph.D. work in the lab of Aihua Li at Dartmouth Medical School. Her thesis work was on the neurogenic role of high blood pressure in SH Rats, showing how a small subset of postnatally born hypothalamic neurons play a role in hypertension. She has extensive experience in rodent cardio-respiratory measurements, genetics, and neural circuit mapping that will no doubt ensure her success in the…

Ask Me About My Research

Assistant professor of neuroscience Russell Ray, Ph.D., is joined by a special guest to demonstrate the importance of scientists and researchers talking with others about their work.