End of the year 2018...

Whew! We just finished up the last rotation of 2018, with Jeremy Burton and Garrett Medley joining us to learn about planarians and try their hands at some molecular biology, RNAi, and in situ hybridizations. They did a great job, getting some interesting results and giving nice presentations of their work. We had a truly excellent crop of scientists/rotation students come through the lab this fall. It was an honor and privilege to work with them and they each brought unique strengths and energy to our group.

We then moved into decision season, with Garrett Medley and Bidushi (Tulip) Chandra opting to join our group starting in January 2019. We are so excited to have them join us and can’t wait to get started on some new and exciting projects!

We also finished up the undergrads’ first semester of truly independent research. They sometimes struggled with the bumps in the road that science can sometimes involve, but each student managed to complete some experiments and most had some data to show for it by the end of the term. They each wrote a mini-paper on their work and presented both a research article and their original research over the course of the semester. Lots of time and hard work! Several will be joining us again this Spring and a few new students will be joining us in Summer and Fall of 2019.

Our “senior” graduate student, Jennifer, submitted her NSF GRF proposal this fall and has made a great amount of progress on her project this semester. She is excited to have some graduate student peers in the lab come January.

And Britessia, our technician and my right-hand person, has continued to work on her screen as she has also managed to write a microscope manual, keep the lab stocked and organized, and help me put out fires (figurative, not literal - so far!).

At the end of the year, it’s a great time for me to reflect back on the progress we have made and re-center myself for a year ahead that will be full of new science and adventure. I’m so grateful to each lab member for his/her unique contribution(s) to the group. And I’m hugely grateful to my colleagues at UGA and around the world who have supported me (and us) this year. Thanks, all!

Wishing everything a wonderful 2019!