News and events

April 18th, 2018– Becky was inducted into the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society based on her work in the lab. She joins other fellow lab mates, including Noori, Danny, Pallavi and others in this society.

Becky is inducted into Sigma Xi

April 18th, 2018-  The Undergraduate Research Conference, sponsored by NHS, was well represented by the LaRocque Lab. Hanan, Noori, and Becky and Carolyn all presented posters. Noori was awarded Excellence in Poster Presentation for the second year in a row!

Hanan presents his findings at Undergraduate Research Conference.

Noori’s poster presentation earned her an award for Excellence in Poster Presentation at the 2018 URC.

Carolyn and Becky co-presented their work on the conservation of RecQ helicases.

April 11-15, 2018- The LaRocque Lab was represented well at the 59th Drosophila Research Conference in Philadelphia. Hanan, Becky and Noori all presented posters and Noori’s was chosen to give a talk at the Spotlight on Undergraduate Research Workshop.


















April 5th, 2018- Noori successfully defended her Honors Thesis “The Role of DmBlm in DNA Double-strand Break Repair and Gene conversion”. I was most impressed by her command of the recombination pathways that many have a hard time wrapping their heads around.

March 21st, 2018– Hanan has accepted an IRTA Fellowship position in the Larochelle lab in the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the NIH where he’ll work on projects focusing on hematopoietic stem cells and their potential in regeneration. We’re excited to hear more about this new experience and happy to hear he’ll be “local” for another two years.

February 28th, 2018– Noori was selected to give a talk at the 59th Annual Drosophila Research Conference in Philadelphia! She’ll present during the Showcase of Undergraduate Research on Friday, April 13th. Hanan and Becky will be joining Noori at the conference in the Exhibition Hall, as all three will be presenting posters of their work as well.

September 10th, 2017- Our paper on the Blm helicase in homologous recombination and gene conversion has been accepted at Genetics! Well done to our team of students: Noori, Danny, Thu, and Joe as well as Henry for spear heading this endeavor!

June 5th, 2017– Carolyn and Nishtha were both accepted to Georgetown University School of Medicine as part of the Early Assurance Program! These are our first two Sweeney Scholars in the lab and they are now poised to be a double Hoya.

May 20th, 2017- Congratulations, Class of 2017! Several former and current lab members walked on Saturday and I couldn’t be prouder!

Thu Dao, BS in Global Health

Thu Dao, BS in Global Health

Danny Russo, BS in Health Care Management and Policy. He also won the HCMP Departmental Award.

Danny Russo, BS in Health Care Management and Policy. He also won the HCMP Departmental Award.

Neil Sarna, BS in Human Science

Neil Sarna, BS in Human Science

May 8th, 2017- Danny’s last day in lab. It’s bittersweet to wish Danny farewell as he venture on to Medical School. Danny’s last day in lab was caught on film. We can’t wait to celebrate with you at graduation and wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavors.

Danny's last experiment!

Danny’s last experiment!


April 20th, 2017– Another successful Undergraduate Research Conference. Danny, Carolyn, and Noori all presented posters and did amazing jobs. Noori won an award for Excellence in Poster Presentation! Our own Nishtha Raval was part of the URC Planning Committee.

Carolyn and her poster.

Carolyn and her poster.

Danny presents his poster.

Danny presents his poster.


Noori presents her award winning poster. She was one of 7 recipients of Excellence in Poster Presentation awards.

April 17th, 2017– Noori earned a GUROP summer fellowship! We looking forward to working more on her project on BLM.

April 2017– Henry has decided to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan! We know he’ll do amazing things there.

December 2016 Another end to another semester!  It was marked with good data, papers accepted, acceptance into medical school, and another semester of orgo under our belts 🙂



Happy holidays from the LaRocque Lab! L to R: Henry, Carolyn, Nishtha, Noori (not pictured, Danny)


November 14th, 2016– Our manuscript “Aging impairs double-strand break repair by homologous recombination in Drosophila germ cells” was officially accepted at Aging Cell!

September 2016 Thu is awarded a scholarship from Vietnamese American Uniformed Services Association to support her in her final year of study at GU. Congrats, Thu!

Summer 2016- This marks the end of another fruitful summer!  Four students participated in summer research projects, each obtaining great results!

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L to R: Noori Srivastava, Henry Ertl, Jan LaRocque, Carolyn Hofley, Danny Russo. Not pictured: Madison Suh


May 21st, 2016 Congrats to Pallavi and Nina on their graduation! We’ll miss you in the lab and on campus, but excited for the new adventures to come.

Pallavi and Jan.commencement 2016 Nina and Jan.commencement 2016

May 2016- Nina and Pallavi accept offers to medical school!  Nina will attend Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA and Pallavi will join the class of 2020 at Stoney Brook Medical School in Long Island, NY.

April 22, 2016– Danny is awarded a competitive GUROP Summer Research Fellowship to explore the role of Drosophila melanogaster DNA2 in DNA double-strand break repair and end resection.

April 14th, 2016– Pallavi, Danny, and Noori all present posters at the 2016 Undergraduate Research Conference.

Danny and Noori URC 2016

January 21, 2016– Pallavi is featured on the NHS website, highlighting her academic and scientific success.

November 2015- Anthony’s paper on mismatch repair and suppression of recombination is accepted into Scientific Reports! 

June 26th, 2015- Faraz’s last day as a LaRocque Lab research assistant. It’s a bittersweet day, as while we’re excited for his new adventures in Chicago attending medical school, he’ll be missed in the lab.

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Lab lunch

Our rainbow themed attire was coincidentally donned on the same day the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that same sex marriages were legal! Posing with John Carroll (top) and at the top of the Exorcism stairs (bottom).

April 25th, 2015- Pallavi Tatapudy (NHS ’16) was awarded a competitive GUROP Summer Research Fellowship! This will allow her to expand on her work from this semester, which focuses on the functional conservation of RecQ helicases between human and Drosophila.

April 24th, 2015– Anthony successfully defended his Honors Thesis and his committee and participating faculty awarded him “with distinction!”. We hope to submit a manuscript reflecting his work on “Determining the contribution of mismatch repair in suppressing recombination between diverged sequences”.

April 16th-17th, 2015– The LaRocque Lab represented well at the 13th Annual NHS Undergraduate Research Conference. Nina, Pallavi, Anthony, and Joe all presented posters reflecting their individual projects.

Nina and Pallavi URC 2015 photo

Nina and Pallavi present their poster at the 2015 Undergraduate Research Conference.

March 2015- Jan gave a talk at the 56th International Drosophila Conference in Chicago Illinois titled “The Effects of Aging on Homologous Recombination Repair”.

August 22nd, 2014– The LaRocque lab was awarded a Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA; R15) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) in the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This 3-year grant will fund current work in the lab that is focusing on the basic mechanisms of how DNA double-strand breaks are repaired and how recombination between diverged sequences is suppressed. It also allows opportunities for more undergraduate student training. For the story, click here.

June 2nd-4th, 2014– Jan presented data on the “Effects of Aging on Double-strand Break Repair” at the American Foundation on Aging Research in Santa Barbara, CA. Faraz co-authored this work. For a link to the conference, visit here.

April 24th, 2014– It’s been a busy week in the LaRocque Lab, with Anthony Do (NHS ’15) being awarded a 2014 GUROP Summer Fellowship! Anthony will continue with his work that he initiated last year, studying the role of Msh6 in suppressing recombination between diverged sequences.

April 23rd, 2014 – Nina Eng (NHS ’16) has been selected by the San Antonio Ambassador Program to participate in research in Dr. Tim Anderson’s genetics lab at Texas Biomedical Research Institute. She will be focusing on understanding the mechanisms of drug resistance in schistosomes, which cause Schistosomiasis.

April 21st, 2014– Joe Brooks (NHS ’15) has been selected to participate in the NIH Summer Internship Program. He will be working in Judith Rapoport’s lab studying the genetics of childhood-onset schizophrenia (National Institute of Mental Health). 

March 21st, 2014– Our manuscript is in press at G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics!

December 24th, 2013– The LaRocque lab published the first manuscript that included HSCI co-authors. The manuscript was published ahead of print and is available at the journal G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics. The paper describes two novel double-strand break repair assays and how they measure repair events in Drosophila melanogaster.

July 1st, 2013– The LaRocque lab was awarded a grant from the American Federation on Aging Research (AFAR). This two-year grant will focus on the effects of aging on repair of double-strand breaks. The news story describing the grant can be found here.

April 11th, 2013– Joe Brooks (NHS ’15) was awarded a GUROP Summer Fellowship based on his proposal. He will be expanding on experiments initiated in Spring ’13 throughout the summer.

April 3-7th, 2013– Margot Le Neveu (NHS ’14) and Anthony Do’s (NHS ’15) research was presented by Jan at the 54th Annual Drosophila Research Conference in Washington DC. The work is highlighted here.

December 2012 Margot Le Neveu (NHS ’15) was accepted into the Georgetown Chapter of Alpha Sigma Nu based on her excellent academic record and commitment to service in the community. She will be officially inducted in February.

September-December 2012– Margot Le Neveu (NHS ’14) and Anthony Do (NHS ’15) completed a semester of Georgetown Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (GUROP) research. Margot continued with her studies focusing on the role of WRNexo is double-strand break repair and Anthony initiated his work which will address how cells suppress recombination between diverged sequences.

June-August 2012- Margot Le Neveu (NHS ’14) participated in a summer internship at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). She will work with both the Medical Expenditure Panel (MEP) which examines the level and distribution of health care use and expenditures as well as with the Medical Academic Performance Services (MedAPS), which refines and develops tools to assist medical schools in assessing their achievement of education and accreditation standards.

April 18th, 2012- Margot Le Neveu (NHS ’14) participated in the Georgetown University 2012 Undergraduate Research Conference (organized by the Human Science Department) and presented her work in a poster titles “DR-white assay measures DSB Repair in Drosophila melanogaster.” Margot was one of only 3 sophomores to present her research out of over 48 posters in total. She received great feedback and her poster was selected to represent the Human Science Department at an alumni development meeting in Chicago later this month.

October 7th, 2011- An introductory article on the work in the LaRocque Lab:
New Professor Focuses on DNA Damage, Repair