We rang in the new year with a lot of changes in the R-G lab. We have our first graduate student, the brave and talented Jennifer Jenkins, who joined us from the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences program. She will be getting her Ph.D. in the Cellular Biology department. She and the other rotation student in the lab during the fall, Theresa Melendez, were able to get molecular biology, RNAi, and in situ hybridizations working in the lab during their rotation. I'm so excited to have Jennifer join the lab and get us going science-wise!
I hired a technician, Britessia, who will be joining the lab later in January. She has a degree in neuroscience and several years of experience as a technician. I anticipate that she will be a valuable asset to our group.
We also had three eager undergraduates join the lab this month: Yamini, Lauren, and Christian. They'll be working on a couple of different projects and getting their hands wet with the planarians. They are getting CURO (Center for Undergrad Research Opportunities) research credit for their time in the lab and will present their work at a symposium later in the Spring.
Lab construction is almost done. I just need to get the fume hood certified and find someone to hang up my dry erase board. I ordered the last of the big equipment (a Zeiss stereoscope for all of our sub-confocal imaging). So we'll soon be fully operational. My parents visited the lab and my mom asked for a picture in front of the gel doc; apparently she thought that this item was the most impressive looking piece of equipment that she saw. My dad (who was also my high school Bio teacher and the person who introduced me to planarians) visited and gifted the lab with a toolbox and set of tools.
Lots more to do on the grant/paper front in the coming year. We'll also have additional undergraduates join us in the summer. I appreciate all the help from folks at UGA and elsewhere as our lab has started its journey!
Happy science in 2018!