Gladys Kaba from the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ghana will be receiving the third Addgene/Seeding Labs plasmid grant and plans to use the grant to order plasmids she can use as positive controls in PCR-based cervical cancer screens.
As we mentioned a few months ago, Addgene has been working with Seeding Labs to provide plasmid grants to researchers in developing countries. Today we’re proud to announce that we’ve selected our first two plasmid grant awardees: Drs Louis Bengyella and Kwabena O. Duedu, both from the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ghana. Read on to learn more about doctors Bengyella and Duedu and how they plan to use plasmids from Addgene to advance their research.
As Christopher Voigt explains it, his lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been “working on new experimental and theoretical methods to push the scale of genetic engineering, with the ultimate objective of genome design.” It’s genetic engineering on a genomic scale, with the expectation for major advances in agriculture, materials, chemicals, and medicine.
As they’ve gone along, Voigt’s group has also been assembling the toolbox needed for anyone to begin considering genetic engineering projects in a very big way. In one of his latest papers, published in Molecular Systems Biology in November, Voigt and Alex Nielsen describe what’s possible when multi-input CRISPR/Cas genetic circuits are linked to the regulatory networks within E. coli host cells.
We talked with Voigt about this collision that’s taking place between CRISPR technology and synthetic biology, the tools he’s making available through Addgene, and where all of it is likely to lead us in the future.
Hodaka Fujii, M.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at Osaka University. The Fujii lab specializes in developing novel technologies to analyze molecular mechanisms of genome functions such as epigenetic regulation and transcription by using locus-specific chromatin immunoprecipitation (locus-specific ChIP). These methods consist of insertional chromatin immunoprecipitation (iChIP) and engineered DNA-binding molecule-mediated chromatin immunoprecipitation (enChIP), both developed in the lab. In June 2014, Dr. Fujii joined Addgene's Advisory Board.
Addgene: Your lab has worked extensively with enChIP systems. Can you describe this technology and its advantages?
Fujii: In the last several years, my lab has been working on development of technologies for biochemical analysis of genome functions such as transcription and epigenetic regulation. To elucidate molecular mechanisms of regulation of genome functions, we need to identify molecules associated with specific genomic regions of interest in a non-biased manner. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to isolate specific genomic regions while retaining molecular interactions.
The recent conversations with three lab heads have revealed that a combination of hard work, determination, passion, and patience are required to build and lead a productive and successful research lab. Once goals are reached, how do science labs celebrate accomplishments and their team's hard work? Do succesful scientists have time for fun and life outside of the lab? This final post in the PI Interview Series investigates how these three PIs reward their team and manage work-life balance.
How do you celebrate your lab’s achievements?
Tom Ellis highlights the importance of acknowledging his teams successes. “When PhD students graduate there has to be champagne, that's a given.” Furthermore, anyone leaving the lab receives send-off via a gift, card, and trip to the pub. Dr. Ellis adds “we probably don’t celebrate enough... I’ll ask my team at our next group meeting and see if we should start celebrating papers and grants too with pizza or pub.”