Bosco Lab

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Daryl A. Bosco, PhD (Principal Investigator)
Associate Professor

Daryl Bosco received her Ph.D. (bio-organic chemistry) in 2003 from Brandeis University, where she used NMR spectroscopy to study enzyme dynamics. From 2003-2005, Dr. Bosco was a post-doctoral fellow in the lab of Jeffery W. Kelly at the Scripps Research Institute, where she studied the effect of oxidative cholesterol metabolites on the misfolding of alpha-synuclein, a Parkinson’s disease-associated protein. Prior to joining the faculty at UMMS in October of 2008, Dr. Bosco was an Instructor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and worked on various aspects of ALS in the Cecile B. Day lab directed by Dr. Robert H. Brown, Jr. at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Desiree M. Baron, PhD
Research Associate

Desiree Baron received her Ph.D. (Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics) in 2007 from UCLA, where she identified and characterized the proteins important for flagellar motility in the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma brucei.  After graduating, she completed her post-doctoral work with Steve Doxsey at UMASS Medical School, studying the relationship between midbody inheritance, cancer, and stem cell characteristics.  In 2011, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Bosco studying the gain of toxic functions of mutant FUS in relation to ALS.

Jeanne McKeon, PhD
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Jeanne McKeon obtained her Ph.D. (Neuroscience) from Emory University in 2014, where she studied the role of ubiquitin signaling dysregulation in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. She joined the Bosco lab in March 2015 where she is now studying disease mechanisms associated with profilin and fused in sarcoma (FUS) mutations in ALS pathogenesis in cell culture models including motor neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells.

Heather Yonutas, PhD 
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Heather Yonutas received her Ph.D. in 2016 from the University of Kentucky where she investigated the role of mitoNEET in pioglitazone mediated neuroprotection following Traumatic Brain Injury. Upon the completion of her Ph.D., she joined the laboratory of Dr. Daryl Bosco to pursue a research career studying ALS. Although she is new to the lab, she is very familiar with the ALS after watching two of her loved ones wither away under the strain of this horrible disease. This experience, although tragic, gave her a unique passion which drives her as she investigates the stress response in ALS-relevant mutant FUS models.

Maeve Tischbein
PhD Candidate

After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall College in 2012, Maeve Tischbein headed straight to UMMS to pursue a PhD in the biomedical sciences. Shortly after arriving at UMMS, Maeve joined Dr. Bosco’s lab in 2013. Currently, Maeve is investigating the role of the ALS-linked protein FUS in disease, as well as exploring its normal, cellular functions in the context of excitotoxic stress.

Eric Schmidt
MD/PhD Candidate


Eric graduated from the University of Kansas with a BS in biology and briefly studied Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease as a research assistant at OHSU before entering the MD/PhD program at the University of Massachusetts in 2012.  He joined the Bosco lab in fall 2014 and is pursuing projects related to ALS-linked PFNI stability and interactions.

Yen-Chen (Nora) Lin
PhD Candidate

I graduated from National Yang-Ming University from Taiwan in 2013 and headed straight into the PhD program at UMMS in 2014, joining the Bosco lab in 2015. I am enthusiastic about uncovering the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases. In my time outside of lab, I love to stay at home, doing nothing. 

Meenakshi Sundaram Kumar (Sundar)
PhD Candidate

I obtained my bachelor’s and master’s degree in biology from the Indian Institute of Science in 2016. I am investigating misfolding of SOD1.

Salome Funes

PhD Candidate

Salome graduated from the Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas - ESPE (Ecuador) with a BS in Biotechnology and shortly studied infectious diseases as a research assistant at INSPI-IEE before entering the PhD program at the University of Massachusetts in 2016.  She joined the Bosco lab in 2017 and is currently pursuing projects related to the effect of ALS mutations on  PFN1 function.

Former Bosco Lab Members

Graduate Students
  • Dr. Reddy Ranjith Kumar Sama - Currently working as Sr. Clinical Trial Manager at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, MA
  • Dr. Catherine (Ward) Douthwright - obtained her PhD in 2014.   Currently involved in ALS clinical trails at UMMS as a Clinical Research                          Coordinator and Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP).          
  • Dr. Melissa Rotunno - obtained her PhD in 2015. Currently working as a post-doctoral fellow in Translational Neuroscience at Sanofi in                          Framingham, MA.
  • Laura Kaushansky - obtained her master's degree in 2015. Currently a Quality Control Manager at Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, MA.
  • Dr. Sivakumar Boopathy  - obtained his PhD in 2017. Currently working as a post-doctoral fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital,                            Department of Molecular Biology,  MA.

Post-Doctoral Fellows
  • Dr. Kristin Boggio - Former post-doctoral fellow, currently a Senior Scientist in Protein Mass Spectrometry at Pfizer, Inc. 

  • Katherine Gall - Former laboratory technician, currently employed as a Research Associate at Homology Medicines, Inc., MA.
  • Nathan Lemay - Former laboratory technician, currently employed as an EMT.

Summer/Undergraduate Students
  • Frank Trujillo -  Former summer student researcher, currently attending Florida International University
  • Jesus Frias - Former summer student researcher, currently attending University at Albany - SUNY, NY.
  • Victoria Botelho -   Former undergraduate researcher, currently attending nursing school. 
  • Kiera Sapp -  Former summer student, currently a graduate student at MIT, MA.