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! 

Pavel visits the lab of Prof. Tatjana Sauka-Spengler in Oxford

In mid-March 2016, Pavel visited the lab of our collaborator Prof. Tatjana Sauka-Spengler in Oxford, UK. Tatjana’s lab established a genetically encoded system for biotinylation of specific targets in fish cells, allowing, among other applications, tissue-specific isolation of nuclei.

Supervised by a cheerfully enthusiastic PhD student Vanessa Chong, Pavel performed several rounds of nuclei isolation and is looking forward to introduce this method to Vastenhouw lab. 

Apart from having great time in Tatjana’s lab, Pavel also explored the charming campus of the Oxford University.

Thanks the entire Sauka-Spengler lab for a great time!

Setting up the experiment

Pavel’s Birthday

The Vastenhouw Lab celebrated Pavel's birthday with delicious bakery goods from the Czech Republic.  Gastrulating zebrafish embryos made from Play-Doh were an absolute must for the celebration.

Segmented Cells

FISHing fish, explained on thenode

Our recent publication is covered in a piece on FISHing fish. Check out the description and a bit of a behind-the-scenes insight into of the paper!

Link to post on thenode

Paper reference:

Stapel, L Carine; Lombardot, Benoit; Broaddus, Coleman; Kainmueller, Dagmar; Jug, Florian; Myers, Eugene W.; Vastenhouw, Nadine L.
Automated detection and quantification of single RNAs at cellular resolution in zebrafish embryos
Development, 143, no. 3, pp. 540-546, (2016)