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).

Visit Hiroshi Kimura & Co.

We had the pleasure of Hiroshi Kimura, Yuko Sato (both Tokyo Tech), and Chikashi Obuse (Osaka University) visiting our group. We were treated to a great presentation by Hiroshi, discussions with all visitors, and by a lucky accident the “big dinner” conincided with Lennart’s birthday. To explain what you see in the picture…

Science cruise along the Elbe River

2017.08.17 – Pavel and Edlyn took part in DRESDEN-concept’s Wissenschaftsfahrt (Science Cruise). They joined other fellow researchers (from MPI-CBG and around Dresden) to celebrate Dresden as an outstanding city for science and culture.

DRESDEN-concept (Dresden Research and Education Synergies for the Development of Excellence and Novelty) is a research alliance that aims to “realize synergies in research, teaching, infrastructure and administration”. MPI-CBG is among the many partners of this network. For more information, visit: www.dresden-concept.de/en/home.html

The evening was filled with mingling with scientists, a speech from Dr. Eva-Maria Stange (the Saxon State Minister of Science and Fine Arts), enjoying music from a live band, and taking in the beautiful landscapes along the Elbe River.

 

 

 

 

 

eLife Paper on Refractive Index Matching in Live Imaging

Microscopes are optimized to give the clearest images, taking great care of all optical components along the light path. This has lead to a situation where the transition between a live sample and the surrounding liquid becomes the biggest imperfection in the optical path.

In this MPI-CBG/MPI-PKS/CSBD collaboration, lead by Tobias Boothe from the Rink lab, we show a simple but highly effective procedure to minimize the optical imperfection at the sample/medium interface. The technique is based on OptiPrep (chemical name: iodixanol), which can be ordered and used in any biological laboratory without any unusual equipment. Our technique worked with no toxicity or other problems in whole animals, primary cells, cell lines, as well as organoids.

Find our paper online with eLife.

Máté at the Zebrafish Meeting in Hungary

July 3rd – 7th, 2017: Máté attended the 10th European Zebrafish Meeting in his hometown, Budapest, and gave a talk in the Genomics/Epigenetics session. The conference brought together the ever-growing zebrafish community (over 500 participants) and covered a wide range of topics. Those who missed it will have to wait until 2020, when the next EZM takes place in Prague.