Whew! It's been a busy few months! We have gone from a lab of 1 to a lab of 6, which has been an exciting and fun change (for me!). We have lots of exciting projects getting off the ground, so stay tuned! Here's a list of some highlights from the past few months:
1) We welcomed Britessia, our new lab technician. She has been a really welcome addition to the lab, taking over some lab maintenance tasks (chemical tracking, feeding animals, making salts, etc.) and learning the ropes of our experiments and model. She is working on a screen and getting some beautiful in situs already. She brought in some planarians from the pet store this week (Dugesia japonica or Dugesia dorotocephala). So cute with their auricles that look like Yoda!
2) We launched our lab meeting, with a mixture of journal club and research presentations. Jennifer (graduate student) kicked off the official line-up and did a great job explaining a paper at a level that was fun for me and also very informative for the undergraduate students.
3) All three undergrads have grown a lot this semester, learning to keep lab notebooks and getting some experiments underway. They have each made some progress on their projects and are currently preparing their posters for the CURO (Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities) symposium, to be held next week.
4) I have been writing some grant applications on new topics, which has been super fun!
5) I have gotten to know some colleagues better and found a writing buddy in a new faculty member in Chemistry.
See below: 1) Photo of our guest from the pet shop (courtesy of Britessia). 2 & 3) Our model planarian Schmidtea mediterranea before amputation and after regeneration. 4-6) Some pretty in situ experiments performed by our undergraduates Yamini and Lauren, showing some peripharyngeal secretory cells, stem cells, and the nervous system. 7 & 8) Some close-up images of the many eyes on our land planarian pets (Bipalium kewense).