Welcome Predocs 2017!

In the month of November, Ksenia and 29 other PhD students from the International Max Planck Research School for Cell, Developmental and Systems Biology (IMPRS-CellDevoSys) took part in their month-long Predoc course. Each week, students attended lectures and practicals in the field of Chemistry, Biophysics, Biology, and Computational Biology with the research groups at CBG, CSBD, and PKS. This was an opportunity for students to learn about the ongoing research and techniques used by each group. Many students also took part in a scientific writing course.

While enriching their scientific knowledge, students also had to exercise their creative minds. At the end, all the predocs put together a very entertaining Special Friday Seminar for the CBG-CSBD community – “Lessons Learned: Special Report on the 2017 Predoc Course”.

New friendships were formed and curious minds were nourished, as the students familiarized with their new home for the next 3-4 years. We hope they will form a supportive group for one another throughout their PhD.

  

Be our guest: Haruka Oda

Yet another exciting exchange for both the Vastenhouw and Kimura lab!

It was our pleasure to host Haruka Oda, a postdoctoral fellow from the lab of Dr. Hiroshi Kimura (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan). During her short visit, Haruka monitored the early embryo stages of zebrafish and collected them for western blot analyses on her favourite proteins. A very pleasant week both in and outside the lab, including feasting on St. Martin’s goose, exploring Dresden, and catching a glimpse of the city’s Christmas markets.

    

 

 

The One with the Goose

The legend goes that St. Martin once gave a homeless person half his coat, and saved them from the cold. With this good deed, the Church officials wanted to honour St. Martin by ordaining him as the next bishop. Being a modest man, he hid in a goose pen to avoid the Church officials. Well, the cackling of the geese betrayed him and the goose became the symbol of St. Martin’s day.

The lab celebrated the German tradition of Martinsgans (St. Martin’s goose) over a festive meal: roasted goose, Knudeln (German dumplings), Wurst (sausage), Flammkuchen (flame cake, German flatbread), and Kartoffeltasche (potato bag).

We also welcomed our guest for the week, Dr. Haruka Oda, a postdoctoral fellow from the lab of Dr. Hiroshi Kimura at Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Book chapter on how to smFISH in zebrafish embryos

Interested in detecting single transcripts from zebrafish embryos? or applying smFISH to your research?

Carine’s chapter in Methods in Molecular Biology is out!

The chapter provides a detailed protocol: from setting up the embryos to cryosection, to smFISH, to image analysis.

You’ll also find a description of the pipeline for membrane segmentation and transcription detection.

Visit Book Chapter at Methods in Molecular Biology

PhD defense: Dr. Shai Joseph

 

 

2017.10.30: Congratulations Shai on successfully defending his PhD!

Many thanks to our artistically talented Sabrina for making Shai’s fantastic Doktorhut,

which features past and current lab members partying at “Shai’s Histone Cocktail Bar” atop the hat.

All the best to Shai in his new career path!

 

 

Photo credit (top featured image): IMPRS PhD program

Ksenia Kuznetsova

Ksenia is from Estonia, where she studied Gene Technology and got first hands-on research experience in the immunology lab of Dr Sirje Rüütel-Boudinot. With an early formed passion for developmental biology, she moved to France for an international Master’s at Université Pierre et Marie Curie. For her Master`s project, Ksenia studied the regulation of trophobast identity at the maternal-fetal interface in the group of Dr Céline Méhats. During a sunny semester in Portugal, she got introduced to the zebrafish model and gene editing tools in the lab of Dr Miguel Godinho-Ferreira. Before moving on to PhD, she worked in the lab of Dr Tambet Teesalu, where they use phage display screens to identify homing peptides. Eager to unravel the mysteries of early development, Ksenia started her PhD in the Vastenhouw group to understand the regulation of zygotic genome activation. When away from the bench, she enjoys exploring the surroundings, hiking and learning salsa.

Davide Recchia

Davide was born in Michigan and raised in South Carolina, USA.  He did his undergraduate studies in Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina. While there he started working in the lab of Dr. Bert Ely studying the evolutionary relationship between the bacterial genus Caulobacter and their bacteriophage. He’s also had the opportunity to work in the lab of Dr. Rekha Patel studying translational regulation in response to stress signals. Wanting to continue his studies and see more of the world, he moved to Dresden for his master’s studies. For his thesis, he has joined to Vastenhouw lab to study zygotic genome activation in Zebrafish. In his spare time he enjoys biking, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

Lab Retreat 2017

Tis that time of the year again! This year’s Vastenhouw Lab retreat took place in Technische Universität (TU) Dresden’s Computer Science green building. Together with Vasily Zaburdaev (MPI-PKS) and Thomas Quail (Jan Brugues lab, MPI-CBG), we had a matinee of stimulating and fruitful discussions.

In the evening, we all gathered around a kitchen and bar – where we got to cook our dinner and shake our cocktails (with some help from the professionals). A festive night for the Vastenhouw Lab! There were also hellos and goodbyes. We welcomed new lab members and said farewell to the veterans, as they transition to the next chapter of their career.

        

 

The Vastenhouw Lab goes to Laboratory Animal Science Training

Our lab took part in a one week theory and practical training on “Using Experimental Animals in Research”.
During the course we also got exposed to different kinds of fish: besides our favorite zebrafish, we even performed small experiments with medaka and Tilapia! As is evident from the group picture, we had a lot of fun and would like to thank all the organizers.

Celebrate! Carine’s paper is out & Happy birthday Máté

Cake and champagne to celebrate Máté’s birthday and Carine’s latest achievement: her research on how transcriptional noise is resolved in the embryo is out! Shout out to Christoph Zechner (Center for Systems Biology Dresden), who collaborated with Carine on this story.

Check out the paper in Genes & Development’s August 15th issue: http://genesdev.cshlp.org/content/early/2017/09/13/gad.302935.117

which will feature the cover illustration (below right) from Julia Eichhorn (Media Technologies & Outreach, MPI-CBG).