Cohen Lab

AI Art Gallery in Barak's Office

When the PI is away, the grad students play!

Every year when Barak goes out of town for a long time, we prank his office as a welcome back surprise. Barak has recently taken a strong interest in Paul Cezanne, so this year we turned his office into an art gallery. We used the AI DALL-E 2 to generate fake art and hung it next to real art. We used another AI called ChatGPT to generate fake museum labels to accompany the fake art.

In addition, James used 24 photos of Barak from over the years and the "Dreambooth" technique to teach another AI, Stable Diffusion, what Barak looks like. Then, James asked Stable Diffusion to generate portraits of Barak in the style of several different artists. The collection of portraits is truly stunning -- there's even a museum label from ChatGPT emphasizing the mystery of the portraits' recurring subject!

Here are some pictures of the decor. Can you tell which pieces are real works of art?

Below is what ChatGPT had to say about the portrait collection:

"The Many Faces of _______: A Portrait Collection"

This collection features a series of portrait paintings, all depicting the same individual. The artwork on display was created by a diverse group of artists, each bringing their own unique style and perspective to the portrayed subject.

Who was this person, and why were they painted by so many different artists? These paintings offer a glimpse into the life and personality of the subject, but leave much to the imagination.

From the traditional techniques of the Old Masters, to the bold brushstrokes and vibrant colors of modern art, this collection showcases the versatility and enduring appeal of portraiture. The subjects depicted range from formal poses in elegant attire, to more relaxed and casual depictions.

Despite the varied styles and approaches, each of these paintings captures the essence of the subject and conveys a sense of their personality. This collection serves as a testament to the enduring power of portraiture as a means of preserving the human spirit on canvas, and leaves us wondering about the mystery of the person depicted.

Congratulations Clarice!

Congratulations to Clarice Hong for successfully defending her thesis, "Understanding gene regulation with high-throughput genome-integrated reporter assays"! Watch a recording of her defense here.

Third Cohen Research Conference

The third annual Cohen Research Conference was held October 17-19, 2022 in Cadiz, KY. Everyone presented a talk about big questions or ideas they have. We also enjoyed communal cooking, a campfire near the water, a hike through the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, moonshine tasting, puzzles and board games, guitar performances by Barak and rotation student AJ, and more! We also stopped in Metropolis, IL to see a 15-foot statue of Superman. A great time was had by all. The CRC has certainly been cemented as a lab tradition!

Photo credit: James

New Paper from the Lab

Kai's paper about how transcription factor activation domains regulate gene expression noise is out in Cell Reports. Congrats Kai!

Cohen Lab attends ASBMB meeting

Mike, Clarice, Ryan, Kai, and Yawei recently traveled to the Stowers Institute in Kansas City to attend the ASBMB conference "Evolution and Core Processes in Gene Expresson". Clarice gave a talk and everyone else presented a poster. Congratulations to Yawei, who was awarded a Best Poster Award for a graduate student!

We had a great time learning about the latest research in cis-regulatory grammar, enhancer evolution, and predictive models of gene regulation. We also enjoyed eating some delicious Kansas City BBQ and connecting with our peers and colleagues in the field.

Congratulations Siqi!

Congratulations to Siqi Zhao for a successful defense of his thesis, “Single-cell massively parallel reporter assays”, completing the Cohen lab June thesis defense double-header! Watch a recording of his defense here!


Congratulations Jeff!

Congratulations to Jeff Hansen for a successful defense of his thesis, “A Test of the Pioneer Factor Hypothesis for Silent Gene Activation”. Watch a recording of his defense here. Jeff is an MSTP student and will be returning to the clinic for the final two years of Medical School, so we still hope to see him around!