Shufflin’ shufflin’

As the end of summer creeps up on us, we take some time to do some cleaning and shufflin’.

We prepare our space for some newbies, who will be joining our group in the fall.

Our treat after a deep office cleaning – PIZZA LUNCH!

VW Foundation Grant for Nadine & Jan

Congratulations to Nadine and Jan Brugués!

Nadine and Jan received a 1.5 million Euro grant from the Volkswagen Foundation (VolkswagenStiftung), as part of the funding initiative “Life? – A Fresh Scientific Approach to the Basic Principles of Life”.

The two groups will collaborate on the project “The spark of life: initiation of transcription in embryos, and recapitulating such in synthetic nuclei”.

The Germans have a perfect word (and attitude) for how one should end their work day: Feierabend (literally translates to “party evening”). Together with the Brugués lab, we hung up our pipettes, turned off those microscopes, bade farewell to our pet fish and frogs for the day, and partied together to celebrate Nadine and Jan’s achievement.

Contact us if you’re interesting in joining our team to investigate the physical principles that govern transcription initiation during early embryo development.

 

Sabrina Pralow

Sabrina was born in Apolda, a town in the state of Thuringia in central Germany. She studied in Jena as an “engineer of Biotechniques”. Since 2007, Sabrina has been working at the MPI-CBG. She started as a technician in the group of Andrew Oates. After the Oates lab left CBG in 2012, she joined Nadine, helped kick start the lab and became a pillar of the Vastenhouw group. Sabrina makes sure the lab is organised and that the fish are happy. She welcomes new lab members with a friendly face, lends supports to their experiments, and makes sure every PhD student leaves the lab with an artisanal Doktorhut.

Edlyn back from Postdoc Retreat

Edlyn returned from the 8th Annual MPI-CBG Postdoc Retreat, which took place in Lwowek Slaski, Poland, from 11-13th of June, 2018.

The three-day retreat featured talks from fellow postdocs at the institute & invited speakers, career panel session, and an afternoon of rafting along the Bóbr River.

Invited speakers:

  • Dr. Veronique Miron (University of Edinburgh)
  • Dr. Timothy Nott (University of Oxford)
  • Dr. Marc Güell (Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona)
  • Dr. Sebastian van de Linde (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow)
  • Dr. Carl Modes (MPI-CBG, CSBD)

The postdocs also welcomed two postdocs from the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the ASCR (IMG), Prague as part of the ARIB “Teaming for Excellence” Program.

Berry-licious birthday

Happy birthday to the North Americans in the lab, Davide and Edlyn!

The Vastenhouwies kicked off the week with a double dose of sweets, two berry-licious cakes,

and chilling with former lab members, Máté and Pavel.

All hail Dr. Pálfy!

Congratulations Máté! No ATAC today. Instead, Máté successfully defended his PhD.

18 figurines gathered on Máté’s Doktorhut, making him the most connected member of the Vastenhouw lab!

We also bid Máté a fond farewell on this day. Best wishes for your next adventure!

Easter Egg-citement

We joined forces with members of Gaia Pigino’s lab for an artsy day of Easter Egg Painting!

So many artistic approaches to design our eggs, including lacquer/wax painting and onion peel/colouring dye.

Check out our Lab egg on the right, showing the different nationalities that make up the Vastenhouw Lab (Currywurst – Germany, Cornflower – Estonia, Tulip – the Netherlands, Hungarian Paprika – Hungary, Hamburger – USA, Maple Leaf – Canada)

Let’s get biophysical

Last week, the Vastenhouw lab was at the Biotechnology Center of TU Dresden (BIOTEC) for a symposium on the “Biophysics in the Nucleus”, with Nadine among the co-organizers. The meeting featured an excellent line up of speakers in the fields of chromatin remodeling, nuclear architecture, and transcription mechanisms.

Lots of fascinating talks and stimulating discussions covering many disciplines – biophysics, biochemistry, genetics, genomics, and single molecule microscopy!

Both Lennart and Máté were selected to give a talk, and Ksenia and David presented a poster of their projects.

 

 

Máté presenting his PhD work on the last day of the symposium.