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Celebrating Outstanding CRISPR/Cas9 Achievements at the Dr. Paul Janssen Award Dinner

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Sep 15, 2014 2:05:00 PM

Scientists are excited by somewhat unusual things. For example, I am not that interested in meeting movie stars, but when I met the astronaut Jim Lovell I was speechless (the club of people who have been in space is pretty small). Therefore, I was delighted to be invited to the ceremony for surely what is one of many awards that will be bestowed upon discovers of CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering, Dr. Jennifer Doudna and Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier. I was joined by Addgene Scientist Matt Ferenc (one of our resident CRISPR experts) at the 2014 Johnson & Johnson’s Dr. Paul Janssen Award dinner which took place at the New York Public library. Being in the presence of scientific heroines is always inspiring. I was especially excited to attend this event because Jennifer did her graduate work one floor above mine in the lab of Dr. Jack Szostak, who went on to win the Nobel Prize. Dr. Doudna has had a host of other impressive mentors including Tom Cech, Robert Tijian, Tom Steitz and Joan Steitz.

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Topics: Fun, CRISPR

Inside Addgene's 10 Year Anniversary Gala

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jul 3, 2014 11:48:00 AM

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. 

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Topics: Fun, Inside Addgene

Celebrating Accomplishments in the Lab

Posted by Margo R. Monroe on May 8, 2014 11:07:41 AM

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.”

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Topics: Fun, Interview, Investigator Feature

The Stingy Scientist: How the Baby Gel Box Was Born

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Apr 15, 2014 11:11:00 AM

It is probably good news for our environment that more people are paying attention to living a “green” life and creating less waste.  Most communities seem to have recycling programs and it seems to me that most Addgenies make an effort to avoid plastic bags and to conserve resources where possible.  At the lunch table, for instance, we have a plastic container problem…reusable containers pile up by the sink after lunch as fewer and fewer people use plastic bags.  We also try to recycle our discards according to the Cambridge, Massachusetts guidelines and wear an extra sweater so we don’t have to turn up the heat when there is a bad Northeastern chill.

Check out Joanne's Reddit AMA 

Few of us spend much time thinking about conserving resources in the labs. Disposable plastic materials are fairly inexpensive in this country and we are quick to throw out chipped or imperfect equipment.  We can’t safely recycle these materials either. 

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Topics: Fun, Lab Tips

Negotiating Work and Life: How to Find the Joy

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Mar 20, 2014 11:04:00 AM

This article was originally published on the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) Electronic Laboratory Neighborhood.  

Work/life balance. Is it truly possible to bring all aspects of our lives under control? Balance is a myth and should not even be the real goal. We are all constantly negotiating our energy and attention. The goal is to maximise the time you are enjoying both work and personal life.

There are no easy answers to negotiating a demanding career in science with other interests and priorities, but many find it helpful to obtain support and ideas from those who seem to be managing. Being reminded of the seemingly simple actions we can take to help ourselves can be an appropriate first step.

Check out Joanne's Reddit AMA

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Topics: Career, Fun

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