In the DIPP program, PhD students in their first year of study are required to attend four 1 week lab rotations. This week, four students joined the Vastenhouw lab and under the supervision of Shai, they carried out experiments examining the role of chromatin during zygotic genome activation. It was a fantastic week with a lot interesting results, stimulating discussions and learning. Good luck for your future PhDs!
The following video was a collaborative effort by the Vastenhouw lab and was produced for the MPI-CBG day. It takes us through the life and career of Nadine Vastenhouw.
Krishnendu Khan has left the Vastenhouw Lab at the end of 2015, and will be joining the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute in Cleveland Ohio U.S.A. There he will be studying the role of macrophages on the pathology of atherosclerosis. We wish him much success in his future endeavours!
Mykola was born in Ukraine and has a passion for trekking, skydiving and (suddenly) table-tennis. He studied Molecular Biology and Genetics in Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv, where he took part in projects on liver regeneration and gerontology. Willing to explore Europe, the spirit of scientific adventure brought him to Dresden, doing his Masters in Regenerative Biology and Medicine. There he participated in research on murine neurogenesis, zebrafish regeneration and stem cell niches of Drosophila. He joined the Vastenhouw lab to help the project of Carine Stapel on single molecule RNA imaging.
Lucia was born in Madrid and started her studies in Biomedical Sciences in Alcalá de Henares. By the end of her degree, her interest to discover the world dragged her to join the Erasmus program and move to Amsterdam, where she had her first contact with epigenetics during her Bachelor Thesis at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, participating in a haploid genetic screen of inhibitors targeting epigenetic modifiers. Willing to explore other fields in science, as well as other countries and cultures, she joined the Master’s Program in Regenerative Biology and Medicine in Dresden. After looking into adult neurogenesis and planarian regeneration, she has now joined the lab to help understanding the role of histones in transcriptional regulation.
The MPI of Cell Biology and Genetics (CBG) traditionally has an internal seminar, weekly on Fridays. It used to showcase achievements of students and PostDocs after 2-3 years of work, thus keeping the whole CBG community informed of the different types of research being done at the institute. The format was now changed to two presentations: 30 minutes + questions for a speaker with 2-3 years of research behind them, and 10 minutes without questions for a student or PostDoc in their first year of research. On Friday, October 2nd, Shai and Lennart were the first members of the Vastenhouwlab to present in the new format. While the hour from 16:00-17:00 was rather packed, it was good to present a very accomplished work alongside new ideas and first experimental results.
The Vastenhouw lab has just participated in the Dresden International PhD Program selection week. Candidates from all over the world went through a challenging selection committee, followed by interviews by group leaders in range of institutes in the Dresden BIOPOLIS. The week culminated in the traditional PhD party with the theme this year being Game of Thrones. Good luck to all the candidates!!
The Vastenhouw lab has come back from its annual lab retreat. For the 3 days of the retreat, we stayed in Dolní Zálezly in the Czech Republic. The retreat stimulated many interesting discussions regarding individual projects, possible internal collaborations and future directions. Our invited guest was Prof. Dr. Christof Gebhardt, from the University of Ulm and he provided a fascinating talk regarding transcription factor binding kinetics. We also had time to do team bonding activities, which included rafting on the Elbe. Overall, it was a fabulous retreat and we are all looking forward to next years event.
Lennart just came back from the 2015 Zebrafish Development and Genetics course at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA. The panoramic shot below shows the idyllic location of the MBL campus: student housing on the left, a research buildings on the right, and the magnificent view of Eel Pond in the middle of Woods Hole.
The two week course covers an eclectic overview of backgrounds, concepts, and experimental approaches. The MBL and Woods Hole environment, the small course size of 22 participants, and the commitment of organizers and instructors allow for very hands-on training sessions and a very communal atmosphere. Check out the photos to get an impression of the training sessions and great social atmosphere that make this course so unique.