Martino Ugolini

Martino was born in Heidelberg and grew up in Berlin. He studied in Pisa at the University of Pisa and at the Scuola Normale Superiore. During the summer between his second and third year, he worked in G. Cecere’s Lab at the Institut Pasteur (Paris) on the role of piRNAs in gene regulation in C. elegans. For his Bachelor’s thesis, he studied the age-dependent effect of the drug Rotenone on the lifespan of the short-lived killifish N. furzeri under the supervision of A. Cellerino. During his Master’s thesis, he studied the age-dependent regulation of the synaptic transcriptome in mice in A. Cellerino’s Lab (Jena). After discovering the MPI during a summer internship at the Bruguès Lab, he joined the Vastenhouw Lab as a predoc, where he will be studying the chromatin organization during the zygotic genome activation (ZGA). In his free time, he plays the violin, listens to music and watches movies.

Collaboration with the Kimura Lab now published!

Congratulations to our collaborators Yuko and the rest of the Kimura lab for their work on active transcription and histone acetylation dynamics. Twas a wonderful scientific collaboration with Lennart and Nadine, and they are happy to see the published research out in Development!

 

Summer of ’19

Check out our summer cork board below, and you’ll find that the Vastenhouwies took part in many adventures. Even when we’re away from the lab, we like to keep our curious mind active and explore the wonders of science:

Get up close and personal with a tardigrade at Micropia (Museum of Microbes) in Amsterdam,

See the showcase of Alfred Nobel and past and current Nobel Laureates at the Nobel Prize Museum in Stockholm,

Interact with DNA and nucleosomes at the Health Care Museum in Tallinn, and

And when in Moscow, check out Moscow State University.

Summertime also means taking advantage of nice weather and summer events: the annual Elbhangfest festival along the Elbe River, a pleasant journey along Elbewegrad (Elbe River Bike Path) to Pirna, and heading out for lunch together as a bike gang.

O Canada!

Even though home is across the pond, that won’t stop a Canuck from celebrating Canada Day on July 1st!

Gather the labmates, plant the Canadian flag, and celebrate with Canadian beer 🍁

Prague. Pilsner. PhD retreat. 🤓

On May 19-21, our predocs Hann and Ksenia took some time off from the fishies to journey to Prague for the 2019 DIPP PhD retreat. DIPP PhD retreats are always organised by students and have a strict no-PI policy. This year, Ksenia was one of the organisers and she had a blast doing it!

In addition to enjoying refreshing Czech beer and the beautiful city of Prague, the PhD students also discussed science and career choices post-PhD with interdisciplinary guests invited for the retreat. This year, the PhD students welcomed Vikas Trivedi and Gopi Shah (MPI-CBG alumni) from EMBL Barcelona, Stephanie Weber from McGill, and Phillippe Gorry from University of Bordeaux. Our predocs had fruitful discussions with the speakers about career development and are looking forward to the next PhD retreat already!

Pop Goes the Champagne – Fellowship for Edlyn

Congratulations to Edlyn on her postdoctoral fellowship award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS)!

As the Kool & The Gang would sing: “Cel-e-brate good times, come on!”

We think Ramya secretly shook the bottle before letting Edlyn open it…

Lab retreat 2019

We are back from lab retreat! This year’s retreat took place in Altenberg, a town in the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) about 30 km from Dresden. 

Each lab member discussed where the current field is, where their project will lead to, the status of their research project, and their goals and action plans in the upcoming months. We were not only scientifically nourished by our labmates, but also by the friendly hotel staff.

Fun activities in the program included hiking, bowling (aka “kegel” in Germany), ping pong, board games, and alpaca-spotting!

Week of Enlightment

Noémie and Edlyn took part in the “Principles of Light Microscopy” course from April 1-5. Over the course of one week, a tight-knit group of 12 scientists (including PhD students, postdocs, and a BioImage analyst) discussed the basics of microscopy, optics principles, setup and techniques behind the different types of microscopes, digital imaging, and ended with extended resolution in fluorescence microscopy. The program contained a nice mix of theory learning, hands on experience, demos, and short presentations by other imaging specialists in our institute.

This microscopy course is held annually and is organized by our institute’s Light Microscopy Facility (LMF). This year, the course was held in a new venue, in our neighbouring Center for Systems Biology Dresden (CSBD). Great location, making the course seem like a 1-week microscopy retreat!

 

Photos (top row, left to right): listening to imaging specialists, looking at an image of Edlyn’s hair through polarized light; (bottom row, left to right): studying the effects of refraction and polarization, at our microscope stations in small groups for some hands-on experience and tutoring, what do you see Noémie?

Introducing….Ramya!

This week, we’re very excited to welcome a brand new member of the Vastenhouw family! Ramya will be joining our lab as a postdoc, fresh from a previous postdoc position in the US.

As with the usual Vastenhouw lab tradition, we treated her to a fun night out in Dresden. We kicked off the night with a tasty dinner in the Altstadt and delicious heiße Birne – hot pear juice topped with whipped cream. Yummy!

We also tested our creativity (and knowledge of Coldplay songs) with a fun game of Dixit.

Here’s to more fun times ahead!