DIPP predoc course at the Vastenhouw lab

Our lab participated in teaching a week-long practical course to students of the Dresden Internation PhD Program (DIPP) who are in the first year of their PhD.
The students learned about the CRISPR-Cas9 system and how it can be applied to model organisms such as zebrafish for efficient genome editing and mutagenesis.
Amongst others, with CRISPR they managed to mutate a gene required for pigmentation of the zebrafish!

Congratulations Lucia, on graduating with distinction!

Last October, after 2 years of hard work our master student, Lucia Selfa, graduated with distinction from the Master's Program "Regenerative Biology and Medicine”! She carried out one of her lab rotations and her Masters Thesis in the Vastenhouw lab. She was a fantastic member of the lab, contributing both scientifically and socially. She thoroughly enjoyed the time spent in the Vastenhouw lab and will always remember the interesting scientific discussions and fun lab outings. She will miss all the special people she has met in Dresden, inside and outside the labs and institutes! The Vastenhouw lab wishes her lots of success in her future endeavours!

Shai wins short talk prize “Epigenetics In Development”

On October 20-22, almost half of the Vastenhouwlab participated at the Epigenetics in Development conference held at the IMB in Mainz, Germany. This exciting meeting brought together scientist from all over the world to discuss their view how epigenetics and gene regulation shapes a developing embryo. The topic was covered a broad range of perspectives from point mutations through chromatin landscapes to evolution.
 
Excitingly, Shai was selected to give his short talk “Competition between histones and transcription factor binding regulates zebrafish genome activation”, for which he was awarded the short talk prize. Congratulations, Shai!
 
Apart from the scientific program, one entire afternoon was dedicated to the excursion to a beautiful monastery, Kloster Eberbach, including a guided tour with wine tasting and a grand finish having a wonderful gala dinner.
 
PV

Marsden grant awarded

We are excited to announce that a Marsden grant was awarded to Julia Horsfield (University of Otago, NZ), Justin O’Sullivan (University of Auckland, NZ) and us, to investigate how genes switch on at the start of life. The Marsden Fund, which was established in 1994 to fund excellent fundamental research, is a contestable fund administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Looking forward to exciting collaborations across continents 🙂

Lab retreat 2016 – Saxon Switzerland

In September 2016, the Vastenhouw lab participated in its annual lab retreat located this year in Saxon Switzerland. Till Bartke from Imperial College London and Jop Kind from the Hubrecht Institute were our invited speakers and they provided fascinating talks. The science was great and the discussions were fruitful. We also had team bonding activities - hiking and rafting. We are all looking forward to the next one!

EMBO Workshop: Maternal-to-Zygotic Transition

The MPI-CBG will host the EMBO Workshop “Awakening of the Genome: The Maternal-to-Zygotic Transition” from 23rd to 26th of April, 2017.
Nadine Vastenhouw and her co-organizers Philip Zegerman, Howard Lipshitz, and Petr Svoboda will be hosting an eclectic roster of international experts cutting across disciplines, techniques, and model systems.
To learn more about the speakers, programme, and – of course – to register, please visit http://events.embo.org/17-mzt/
Feel free to print and display the workshop poster (here as full definition PDF).

 

Camilo Riquelme Guzmán

Camilo is from Santiago, Chile, a big city surrounded by hills and mountains (next to the Andes!). Here he pursued his undergraduate studies at the University of Chile and, in his second year, joined a microbiology laboratory (BEM) where he learned about peptide antibiotics. After that, he decided to jump from prokaryotic to eukaryotic and joined Enrique Brandan’s lab at the Catholic University of Chile, where he studied the role of the extracellular matrix in muscle fibrosis. Throughout the 4 years that he spent there, he became very interested in development and decided to make a big change in 2016. He moved 12,500 kilometers to Dresden to join Nadine Vastenhouw’s lab at MPI-CBG as a PhD student. Currently, Camilo is investigating the role of chromatin structure in the regulation of zygotic genome activation in zebrafish. In his free time, he likes outdoor activities such as climbing and biking, or just going out to see the wonders of nature.

Carine Stapel attends the MBL Embryology Course 2016

From June 4 to July 17 Carine joined the MBL Embryology course in Woods Hole. This course has a longstanding tradition (since 1893) in teaching students, postdocs and faculty the nuts and bolts of developmental biology. From C. elegans, chick and ctenophore to sea urchin, snails and squid (and zebrafish of course!), the morning lectures and experiments that lasted until the wee hours of the night covered them all. Now let’s see if she can convince the Vastenhouw lab to add some new species to its repertoire!