Hey guys, Blugene here!
As Addgene’s mascot, I’ve watched Addgene grow into the successful, internationally renowned plasmid repository that it is today. Although I wish I could take all of the credit, the success of the company is attributed to the entire Addgene family; the depositors and requesting scientists, all of the Addgene employees, the Addgene board members, vendors, Addgene supporters, and of course, Executive Director, Joanne Kamens, and founders, Melina Fan, Ken Fan and Benjie Chen. Last week, the Addgene 10-year Anniversary Gala celebrated all of the people who have helped Addgene grow and spread our mission.
Boston Museum of Science, Where Else?
Addgenies and other honored guests headed to the Museum of Science in Boston, where the entire Blue Wing was set aside for the event. As guests arrived, some gravitated towards the sushi and drinks, while others headed towards the interactive photo graffiti wall. I had a lot of fun playing the prototype of an interactive game that Addgene employees created and designed for the Hall of Human Life at the MOS. (If you want a fun refresher on the Central Dogma of Biology, I would stop by later this year when it is displayed!). The Addgene themed music playing all night was hand-picked (like our plasmid samples!) by Addgenies. If you were there, you might have even seen me bust a move to “Call Me Maybe”.
After cocktail hour, we feasted on sliders, hot dogs and a mashed potato bar (complete with all the fixings), as well as plenty of delicious desserts. As people ate, longtime Addene depositor and supporter from MIT, Dr. David Sabatini, introduced the presentations. We enjoyed a video highlighting the changes at Addgene over the last 10 years as well as the many people that make up the Addgene family. It was great to see the faces of some of our depositing scientists who weren’t able to join us in person.
Joanne Kamens, Melina Fan and Ken Fan each spoke about what Addgene means to them. Ken mentioned Addgene’s incredible growth and our determination to keep materials as affordable and accessible for scientists as possible. He also thanked our many business partners, without whom Addgene could not do what it does. Melina talked about her grandfather’s humble beginnings as an operator of a printing press. Just as her grandfather used the printing press to make copies of the newspaper, Addgene uses E. coli bacteria to generate copies of plasmids.
The Community of Scientists, Part of the Addgene Family
Perhaps the most heartfelt portion of the entire night was when Melina and Ken called their parents up to the podium to be recognized. John and Stephanie Fan have been supporting Addgene from the very beginning and have played an integral part in its success. The Addgene board members were also recognized for their essential advice and service. Joanne shared a moving thank you email from a requestor in Iraq (Addgene's first).
After the speeches, guests were able to roam the museum. I even posed for pictures with some Addgenies. As the gala came to an end, it was clear that the Addgenies had no intention of ending the celebration. The party later moved to State Park, where I had a great (maybe too great!) time.
Ten years ago, Melina Fan had an idea and her family helped bring it to fruition. The concept, though relatively simple, changed the course of scientific research. What was once a complicated process of requesting and sharing plasmids has become simplified through Addgene. Looking back, Addgene’s journey has been a tough but memorable one. At the gala, one thing was clear: the sense of family is still the backbone [ba-dum-chh] of this crazy group of Addgenies. And we hope that you, our amazing community of scientists, feel like part of our family, too. Here’s to another great 10 years!
Thank you to our guest blogger!
Blugene, Addgene's friendly mascot in a labcoat.
And his ghost writers, of course! Amy Uddin and Emma Gottschall, two of Addgene's lab technicians, gave Blugene his voice and wrote this lovely play-by-play of Addgene's 10 Year Anniversary Gala. The Addgene lab often works as a very well-oiled machine and this post was no exception - the rest of the lab team helped to edit and add to this post.
Interested in learning more about the last 10 years @Addgene
- Check out our impressive stats from 10 Years of Plasmid Sharing
- Or read more about what happens Inside Addgene