Welcome to the Baskin Lab website!
We are a young laboratory in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and the Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology at Cornell University. Our research centers on pioneering innovative chemical approaches to probe the cell biology of diverse classes of lipids, with a major focus on developing new molecular imaging methods.
Lipids are a diverse group of metabolites that function as energy stores, components of membranes, and signaling molecules, and dysregulation of lipid metabolism occurs in many diseases. Whereas lipids have been traditionally studied using in vitro or genetic techniques, chemical biology approaches can enable the rapid and precise interrogation of lipid and membrane biology within living systems. The Baskin Laboratory deploys a unique blend of chemical biology, biochemistry, and cell biology approaches to develop innovative methods for imaging and probing various classes of lipids in vivo. Collectively, our studies elucidate mechanisms of fundamental biological processes and also contribute to the understanding of diseases caused by perturbations in lipid metabolism, including cancer and neurological diseases affecting the myelin sheath such as multiple sclerosis.
Group Meetings are via Zoom and at the indicated times below.
Schedule for Summer 2020 (literature)
Mon 6/29, 3 pm: Alex
Sat 7/11, 10:30 am: Dylan
Tues 7/21, 3 pm: Weizhi
Mon 8/3, 3 pm: Xiaofu
Sat 8/15, 10:30 am: Reika
- June 24, 2020: Tim and Harry’s methods article on IMPACT has been published in Methods in Enzymology. Read it to learn all the ins and outs of which flavor of IMPACT is best for your PLD activity-detecting needs!
- June 23, 2020: Brittany’s tutorial review on lipid chemical biology, co-written with Neal Devaraj at UCSD and members of his lab, is published in Chemical Society Reviews: “Lipids: chemical tools for their synthesis, modification, and analysis.”
- June 11, 2020: After a hiatus of almost three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are beginning a careful return to the lab, with health measures, physical distancing, and de-densification/limited lab occupancy, in accordance with Cornell University guidelines and safety procedures.
- April 14, 2020: After Harry’s successful talk at the ASBMB Lipid Seminar series last Friday, please join for Reika’s presentation this Friday at 2 PM EST via Zoom. See the ASBMB link for details for how to sign up.
- Apr 9, 2020: Congratulations to Reika for her collaborative paper on a new role for ESCRT-III and ER-plasma membrane contact sites in the maintenance of cellular lipid homeostasis, work led by Jeff Jorgensen and Scott Emr, published today in Mol Biol Cell!
- Mar. 25, 2020: Along with many other labs in Weill Hall and across Cornell’s campus, we have donated our nitrile gloves and N95 masks to the Cayuga Medical Center to help the amazing health care workers there keep our community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Mar. 18, 2020: With a heavy heart, we are winding down our research activities and shutting down the lab, temporarily, due to COVID-19, along with the rest of Cornell and colleagues across the world. We’ll get through this, and we’ll be back!
- Mar. 6, 2020: Reika’s paper on optogenetic phospholipase D, officially in print as of Mar. 2, received a glowing recommendation on F1000 from Tamas Balla: “extremely exciting,” “an impressive repertoire of novel genetic and chemical tools,” and “a tour de force, combining chemical, genetic, and cell biology approaches to learn new biology about lipid control of signaling cascades.” OptoPLD has been sent to several research labs around the world and will soon be available on Addgene.
- Feb. 21, 2020: Check out the beautiful cover image in ACS Chemical Biology for Jessica’s paper!
- Feb. 6, 2020: A big welcome to two new lab members: Dr. Hongyan Sun, a postdoctoral scholar, and Neal Vasireddi, an undergraduate researcher!!
- Jan. 30, 2020: Congratulations to Reika, whose paper on development of an optogenetic PLD for spatiotemporal control of phosphatidic acid signaling is published today in J Cell Biol!
- Jan. 24, 2020: Congratulations to Jessica, whose paper on clickable galactose analogs is published in ACS Chem Biol!
- Dec. 13, 2019: We wish “bon voyage” to Dr. Jessica Daughtry, our first PhD graduate. Today, Friday the 13th, is her last day in the lab. Watch this space for exciting news about Jessica: her paper on clickable galactose analogs for imaging glycosylation in zebrafish. It is currently a preprint on ChemRxiv, and look for it to be published shortly!
- Nov. 12, 2019: Congratulations to Dr. Jessica Daughtry, our lab’s first PhD graduate, for passing her B exam (thesis defense)!
- Oct. 29, 2019: A big welcome to our newest lab member, Dylan Chiu, from the Chemistry & Chemical Biology graduate field!
- Oct. 18, 2019: Welcome to Jacob Odell, our newest rotation student from the Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology graduate field!
- Sept. 24, 2019: Congratulations to Weizhi for passing his A exam!
- Sept. 4, 2019: Congratulations to Xiaofu for passing her A exam!
- Aug. 27, 2019: Congratulations to Jeremy for being selected as a 2019 American Chemical Society Division of Organic Chemistry Young Academic Investigator!
- Aug. 24, 2019: Congratulations to Brittany for being awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F32) postdoctoral fellowship from the NIH/NIGMS!
- Aug. 5, 2019: Check out this feature article in the Cornell Chronicle that highlights our recent advances!
- July 23, 2019: Congratulations to Jeremy for winning the 2020 Walter A. Shaw Young Investigator Award in Lipid Research from the ASBMB!
- July 18, 2019: Congratulations to Reika for winning the award for the best talk by a graduate student at the 2019 Molecular Membrane Biology Gordon Research Seminar & Conference!
- July 16, 2019: Our latest advance for imaging PLD activity and phospholipid trafficking is published today in Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. Congratulations to Harry, Kane, Reika, Tim, and Johnny!
- July 8, 2019: Welcome to Cristina DeOliveira, a student in the Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology graduate field, for a summer rotation in the lab!
- June 3, 2019: Welcome back to undergraduate Chris Diaz, winner this year of the Frank L. and Lynnet Douglas Fellowship for Summer Research!
- May 26, 2019: Congratulations to the lab’s two graduating seniors, Felice Liang (Chemistry and Biology, with honors) and Amith Punyala (Biology, with honors)! We will miss you tremendously. Best of luck in your new adventures as research technicians, at Caltech in the Hoelz Lab (Felice) and at the NCI/Emory in the Keserwala lab (Amith)!
- May 26, 2019: Congratulations to Jessica Daughtry, who “walked” and received her Ph.D. hooding in the commencement festivities and will soon become the lab’s first Ph.D. graduate! Stay tuned for updates here in the coming weeks and months.
- May 14, 2019: A major study, led by Adnan and with important contributions from several other lab members and collaborators at Cornell, is published today in Cell Reports. The main findings are that PLEKHA4/kramer is a novel phosphoinositide-binding protein that controls Dishevelled ubiquitination and modulates the strength of Wnt signaling pathways. Congratulations!
- May 14, 2019: A big day for the lab indeed: a collaborative study with Lew Cantley’s group at Weill Cornell Medicine on new roles for phosphatidylinositol 5-phosphate 4-kinases is also published in the same issue of Cell Reports… and we bid adieu to not one but two outstanding undergraduates, Felice Liang and Amith Punyala. Both will pursue exciting research opportunities at Caltech and Emory, respectively, following their graduation.
- Apr. 23, 2019: Tim’s “Technology of the Month” feature in Trends in Biochemical Sciences is published. Read here to learn about “Getting a Grip on Greasy Molecules.”
- Apr. 22, 2019: Congratulations to Jessica for winning the Bauer Scholarship Award from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, for outstanding academic and research performance and scholarly activity. The Bauer Award funds supported Jessica’s recent trip to give a seminar at her alma mater, Penn State.
- Mar. 16, 2019: Congratulations to Kane for winning 2nd prize for best poster presentation at the Second Annual Chemistry Undergraduate Research Symposium!
- Feb. 19, 2019: Our lab’s work has been recognized by a Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to Jeremy! See the story in the Cornell Chronicle.
- Feb. 16, 2019: Welcome to our lab’s newest member, Amanda Conwell, an undergraduate major in Human Biology, Health and Society!
- Jan. 2, 2019: Welcome to our lab’s newest member and first postdoctoral scholar, Dr. Brittany White! Brittany comes to our lab from the University of Oregon, where she just completed a PhD in Organic Chemistry, focusing on synthetic methods and biological imaging applications of carbon nanohoops.
- Nov. 30, 2018: Our work on phosphoinositide signaling, recently funded by the NIH, is featured on the Cornell Research website!
- Nov. 17, 2018: Trends in Biochemical Sciences published an interview with Jeremy titled A Life at the Interface Between Chemical and Cell Biology.
- Oct. 27, 2018: Tim’s review, “Greasing the wheels of lipid biology with chemical tools”, is published in Trends in Biochemical Sciences!
- Oct. 25, 2018: Our work on phosphatidic acid signaling is featured on the Cornell Research website!
- Oct. 23, 2018: Our work on phosphoinositide signaling, and its potential to yield exciting new scientific discoveries, has been recognized with an NIH R01 grant. Thank you to the NIGMS for supporting our work and to all Baskin Lab members for their hard work and dedication!
- Aug. 27, 2018: Welcome to our newest member, Paris Ghazi, an undergraduate Chemistry major!
- Aug. 19, 2018: Tim delivers a fantastic seminar at the ACS National Meeting in Boston, MA, as part of his recognition for being awarded the 2018 Gordon Hammes Scholar Award jointly from Biochemistry and the ACS Division of Biological Chemistry.
- July 27, 2018: Congratulations to Reika for passing her A exam!
- July 5, 2018: Congratulations to Kane for being named a Hunter R. Rawlings III Cornell Presidential Research Scholar!
- June 25, 2018: Congratulations to Harry for passing his A exam!
- June 8, 2018: Welcome to our newest member, Chris Diaz, an undergraduate from the HHMI CHAMPS program!
- June 7, 2018: Our work on phosphatidic acid signaling has been recognized with an NSF CAREER award. Thank you to the NSF for the support and to all the Baskin Lab members for their hard work and dedication!
- May 25, 2018: As the semester winds to a close, we bid au revoir to Wendy and Jonathan and wish them the best in their future endeavors. Congratulations to Wendy, who is graduating from Cornell this weekend and earning the highest latin honors and an honors degree in chemistry. We wish her all the best as she transforms from being a Cornell Big Red Bear to a Cal Golden Bear and will begin her graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley this fall!
- May 4, 2018: Congratulations to Tim, for winning the 2018 Gordon Hammes Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society Division of Biological Chemistry and Biochemistry! Read more about Tim’s award and an interview with him on the ACS website and a highlight on the Cornell C&CB website. Tim will present his work at an award symposium at the upcoming ACS National Meeting in Boston this coming August.
- Apr. 4, 2018: The group is featured on the Cornell Research website: The Body’s Greasy Molecules—and Cancer.
- Apr. 3, 2018: Congratulations to Wendy for being awarded an NSF graduate research fellowship!
- Mar. 5, 2018: Congratulations to Felice for earning 3rd prize for her poster at the Cornell Undergraduate Chemistry Research Symposium!
- Dec. 1, 2017: Tim’s recent IMPACT paper in ACS Central Science is highlighted in F1000 Prime!
- Nov. 2, 2017: Tim and Felice’s paper “Ex Uno Plura” (from one, many) is published in Biochemistry. We look forward to it being part of the Future of Biochemistry special issue in Jan. 2018!
- Oct. 27, 2017: Congratulations to Jessica for winning the Proctor & Gamble Ph.D. Fund award!
- Oct. 26, 2017: Welcome to our two newest lab members, Xiaofu Cao and Weizhi Yu, from the Chemistry & Chemical Biology graduate field!
- Oct. 25, 2017: Tim’s IMPACT paper is featured on the cover of the October 2017 issue of ACS Central Science!
- Oct. 4, 2017: Tim’s paper on IMPACT is published in ACS Central Science. Congratulations! And many thanks to the Cornell Chronicle for highlighting our work: “Advance in lipid imaging could impact cancer treatment.”
- Sept. 19, 2017: Welcome to Jonathan Lee and Kane Wu, two new Chemistry and Chemical Biology undergraduate students!
- June 21, 2017: Congratulations to Amith for being named a Hunter R. Rawlings III Cornell Presidential Research Scholar!
- June 19, 2017: Welcome to Jade Pace, an undergraduate from the HHMI CHAMPS program!
- June 14, 2017: Jeremy’s Beckman Young Investigator Award is highlighted in the Cornell Chronicle.
- June 12, 2017: Congratulations to Alex for passing his A exam! Our inaugural class of second-year students is batting 1.000.
- May 20, 2017: Congratulations to Tim for receiving an NSF graduate fellowship!
- May 19, 2017: Congratulations to Jeremy for receiving a Beckman Young Investigator Award from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation!
- May 19, 2017: Congratulations to Tim for passing his A exam!
- May 12, 2017: Congratulations to Adnan for passing his A exam!
- Jan. 28, 2017: Felice Liang, a Chemistry and Chemical Biology undergraduate students, has joined the group!
- Dec. 21, 2016: Congratulations to Johnny Ye, Chemistry Class of 2017, on graduating from Cornell!
- Oct. 28, 2016: Welcome to our two newest lab members, Dongjun Liang and Reika Tei, from the Chemistry & Chemical Biology graduate field!
- Sept. 27, 2016: Tim’s paper is highlighted in the Cornell Chronicle: “New imaging method developed for lipid with many functions.”
- Sept. 16, 2016: Tim’s paper is published in Angewandte Chemie. Congratulations!
- July 11, 2016: Our research was highlighted in the Cornell Chronicle and the College of Arts & Sciences (and, briefly, the Cornell homepage)!
- June 1, 2016: Amith Punyala, a Biology undergraduate student, has joined the group!
- May 16, 2016: Alex Batrouni, a graduate student from the BMCB program, has joined the lab. Bienvenue!
- Mar. 1, 2016: Jeremy is named a Nancy and Peter Meinig Family Investigator in the Life Sciences.
- Jan. 13, 2016: Welcome to Alex Batrouni, a graduate student from the Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology field, who is rotating in the lab for the next couple months.
- Nov. 16, 2015: Jeremy’s work from his postdoc connecting plasma membrane phosphoinositides to a brain white matter disease is published in Nature Cell Biology and highlighted in the Yale News and the Yale Daily News.
- Nov. 5, 2015: Jessica’s work on the total synthesis of surugatoxin alkaloids from Chad Lewis’s group is published in the Journal of Organic Chemistry. Congratulations!
- Sept. 14, 2015: Wendy Cao, a Chemistry and Chemical Biology undergraduate student, has joined the group!
- Sept. 8, 2015: Johnny Ye, a Chemistry and Chemical Biology undergraduate student, has joined the group!
- Aug. 1, 2015: A hearty welcome to Jessica Daughtry, a Chemistry and Chemical Biology graduate student who has joined the group!
- July 2015: The website is up! The lab will open its doors in early August 2015.