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!
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!
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!
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.
Lennart participated in the meeting “Genome Architecture in Space and Time”, which took place at the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste from June 20th to 24th. The venue would suggest a Physics and Theory heavy meeting – and certainly there was some of that – but the conference covered various aspects of genome architecture. From newest biophysical and imaging approaches, via medical relevance of aberrations in genomic structural elements, to polymer folding models, a truly eclectic mix of questions and approaches was presented. Unusual for an international meeting, the invited speakers had about 45 minutes each. Throughout, this time was put to good use, allowing comprehensive introductions, sometimes reaching back decades to lead up to the most up-to-date questions.