When has the lab ever looked this good? Not since the last lab cleanup, back in July. It always surprises me how satisfying a thorough cleanup can be - my thanks to all the students, who scrubbed on hands and knees alongside me to achieve this.
The third iteration of the Phage Boot Camp, with my own incoming students complemented by a contingent of Brown Lab (now) phage experts. This time, I condensed things down to two days, and it worked (mostly). Always a little more tweaking to be done for Boot Camp IV, either this May or Sept.
Ok, so it wasn’t a hootenanny, but I’m a sucker for alliteration. Although, to be fair, the highlight - the spontaneous pyjama party pictured here, might actually qualify. We celebrated a great first year!
The Stearns & Hynes labs join forces once again for a Secret Santa. The undisputed “winner” gave a gift including the poem “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Your bacterium has no DNA, what do you do?”
The IIDR Trainee Day saw 3 poster presentations from the lab; Anisha (not pictured - no good shot of all three!), Felix and Hiba. It’s the lab’s first forray into posters, but I don’t think there are any kinks to iron out - everyone did a great job!
Roland Chou, the lab’s summer NSERC USRA student, got a chance to present his work today - really happy with where that story is heading (in fact, I’m so excited about its potential that I gave a talk about it just yesterday!)
Modelled around Brookyn Nine-Nine’s Halloween Heist, the Stearns and Hynes labs had a ‘friendly’ competition to secure a trophy before the end of the day. In a picture perfect finish, we exposed that we knew of their fake trophy all along, tricked them into proudly displaying our own fake (real geniuses would know how to spell genius, I’m afraid), and secured the real one. We hope this is a start of an annual tradition, not just of the heist, but of total victory.
The Department of Biochemistry takes Halloween seriously. Our first participation in the pumpkin carving contest (pictured) was outclassed away by the Surette Lab’s herculean efforts (the back of which is visible behind ours). We’ll have to do better next year.
The stars align: today I have a (long planned) guest lecture on technologies developed using phages, and the Nobel Committee announces the Laureates in Chemistry; Frances H Arnold, Sir Gregory P Winter & George P Smith - the latter two for their work on Phage Display. The list of phage nobel laureates keeps getting bigger!
The lack of updates is a product of Dr. Hynes’s sleep-deprived parental leave, but the lab is still doing great things! Today, Hiba presented her work to the Farncombe Institute, engaging an audience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Great job!
Today marks the publication of the first paper to come out of the group... sort of. While the wet-work was carried out as part of my Postdoc, the data analysis was all here at McMaster - so it counts! Read the full article (open source) in Nature Communications here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-05092-w
I'd like to think that our failure to escape has more to do with how thorough, innovative and imaginative we are, rather than any failure of intellect. I'd like to think that...
Sara hosted a joint Stearns/Hynes lab BBQ at her new place, and everyone pitched in for a fantastic evening - a lovely way to wind down after a long day of scrubbing up the lab.
We embarked on our first biannual lab cleanup. Everyone on their hands and knees, scrubbing, inventorying (is that a verb?), calibrating... The lab provided pizza, the students provided the elbow grease. Thank you to everyone for your hard work!
Lab meeting proceeded in the absence of both myself and Jen last week. Here are the fruits of that meeting - I'm impressed. How come students are all so much more talented than their supervisor?
Félix and Hiba joined me on my annual pilgrimage to the CSM, this year hosted in Manitoba. Hiba is now the first student to have presented work from the lab at a conference, and I wasn't sure how I'd feel making the switch from presenter to observer... but Hiba did such a great job, she made the transition easy. Great work, Hiba!
My first opportunity to present data from the lab - and it couldn't have happened at a more impressive conference. Craig McCormick and Nathalie Grandvaux got the society up and running *and* hosted a phenomenal ~175 person inaugural CSV meeting.
With a new cohort of recruits comes a new phage boot camp - most of a week learning the basics of phage visualizing, handling, storage, preservation, etc. This time, we were also joined by students from the Burrows, Surette and Hosseini-Doust labs. Everyone in this picture was told to look busy.
`tis the season, apparently, for recognizing the achievments of team members. Last week Jason Tran (Right) was awarded a Deborah M. Brown scholarship for academic excellence entering the BDC program. At 5000$, that should buy a lot of yoghurt...
Topping off an exciting week in the lab, I've just been informed that Félix has been awarded an OGS scholarship for his PhD starting here in May. Congratulations Félix! He's not even in the province yet, and already making his presence felt in Ontario.