BioRxiv: Histone and transcription factor binding competition

A preprint for our latest work is now on BioRxiv: “Competition between histone and transcription factor binding regulates the onset of transcription in zebrafish embryos”. The lead author of this study is Shai, with lots of support from within the Vastenhouw lab as well as the Zaburdaev (MPI-PKS) and Shevchenko labs (MPI-CBG).

You can go and read the preprint here: http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/04/13/125716

Thesis defence Max

Max was one of the first Vastenhouw Lab PhD students. This month, he has successfully defended his thesis. We celebrated his achievement with cheese fondue and a few drinks!
We wish Max all the best for his future research!

Edlyn Wu

Edlyn was born in Montréal, Canada. She grew up enjoying the Montréal winter and cheering on her favourite hockey team: the Montreal Canadiens. Edlyn majored in Biochemistry at McGill University. She was among the first students to join Dr. Thomas Duchaine’s lab, where she completed her MSc and PhD. Her focus was understanding the mechanism of microRNA-mediated gene silencing, using C. elegans as a model organism. With a passion for traveling, and a long standing interest in zebrafish and early developmental biology, she moved to Europe and joined the Vastenhouw group in January 2017. Edlyn is investigating the molecular events that regulate the timing of zygotic genome activation.

Happy holidays!

The Vastenhouw lab wishes all of you a great holiday season and a happy new year

To celebrate the holiday season, we gathered at Nadine’s home earlier this month to celebrate Dutch Santa Claus (Sinterklaas). This included a ‘white elephant gift exchange’ in which a tea towel became the source of a heavy battle. We mixed it up with some Australian culture and enjoyed a delicious “Aussie Barbie” lunch thanks to Shai and his advanced BBQ-ing skills. Meanwhile, we got a gift every day in the lab, as well. Sabrina made a typical German Advents calendar for which she – atypically - used pipet tip boxes. The boxes were filled with goodies by all of us and each day in December we could open one of these boxes. We got face masks, cookie cutters and two remote controlled cars (!!), but mostly we ate a lot of candy. We wish you all a wonderful end of the year and a happy, healthy and successful 2017.

Camilo completed his 4 weeks of practical training

Our new PhD student Camilo completed the 4 weeks of practicals, which are an essential part of the PhD Program. He learned about mouse neurogenesis, planarian regeneration, temperature dependence of cell dynamics and in addition developed some basic programming skills. A job well done, Camilo!

DIPP predoc course at the Vastenhouw lab

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!