Christmas Party 2019

As is now our tradition, we celebrated the upcoming holidays with a get-together where we all brought home-made food. Thank you all for making this happen. The food was delicious! Also, for the first time, we had food from outside the traditional Polish cuisine – Sampurna made spicy Bengali chicken and rice, which was a wonderful addition to our more typical Polish Christmas fare.

Christmas party

Welcome Sampurna and Ali

We have recently hired two new postdocs to the lab. Sampurna did her PhD in Kolkata, India, where she worked on nitric oxide signaling. Alireza (Ali) pursued his PhD and early postdoctoral work in the Czech republic, where he worked on embryonic stem cell differentiation into the neuroectodermal lineage. You can check out their bios in the “People” section. Welcome!

New funding to explore Gli repression

Gli proteins are bifunctional – they can act as transcriptional activators, but they can also block transcription in the absence of the ligand. Whereas Gli-mediated activation of transcription is well studied, less is known about Gli-dependent repression of target genes. In a project that had just received over PLN 2 million in funding from the National Science Centre, we will be exploring the function of Gli repressors using methods ranging from large-scale genetic screening using CRISPR-Cas9 to next generation sequencing methods such as ChIP-Seq. We will be recruiting PhD students and postdocs for the new grant, so please stay tuned if you are interested in joining.

Protein kinase fun at IPK2019

Brygida, Klaudia, and myself went to the Inhibitors of Protein Kinases 2019 conference organized in Warsaw by the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB). It had an amazing lineup of speakers, including Tony Hunter, who discovered tyrosine phosphorylation, and Susan Taylor, who first solved the crystal structure of a protein kinase. We attended many inspiring talks and had great conversations with a lot of the attendees. Amazingly, Brygida continues her streak of poster awards! Congratulations! She now has three awards – one for each conference she has attended since joining the lab. Also congrats to her coauthor on that poster, Sylwia, who took some beautiful immunofluorescence pictures that gave the poster a nice “punch”. Brigida’s work is definitely striking a chord with diverse audiences. IUBMB even congratulated her on twitter.

The lab at FEBS 2019

We went to the FEBS 2019 conference in the beautiful city of Kraków. We had a great time. The science was really good and we had tons of fun in the evenings exploring the pubs and restaurants of the historic Kazimierz district. Many thanks to all the people who gave us feedback on our posters and also thanks to all the students and postdocs who presented their excellent posters to me. Congrats to Brygida and Klaudia, whose poster got the “People’s Vote” award! This is already the second time this year that Brygida is getting a poster prize.


We are hiring a postdoc

We are looking for a talented and highly motivated postdoctoral scholar to join our team! The new hire will be able to choose from among some exciting projects that are under development in the lab spanning cell biology (protein transport), molecular biology and biochemistry (Hedgehog signaling), and cancer biology (molecular mechanisms of medulloblastoma and melanoma pathophysiology). To tackle these problems, they will apply state-of-the art methods ranging from bioinformatics, through CRISPR/Cas9 mutagenesis, confocal microscopy, mass spectrometry, to next-generation sequencing. Submit your applications until July 25th. Details below.

PhD students at the Young Scientists Conference

Our valiant team of graduate students participated in the Young Scientists Conference organized by the International Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology. They had a wonderful time talking science at their posters, forging new collaborations, and even winning awards. Brygida got the best poster award for a poster showing off her Master’s degree work. Congrats!

New paper on medulloblastoma transcriptomics

This has been a wonderful collaboration with UCLA (Jim Waschek’s lab) and with the Memorial Children’s Hospital in Warsaw. We found interesting differences between mouse models of Sonic-hedgehog-driven medulloblastoma and actual human cancer.

Łastowska et al. title page

Thanks guys!

It’s my birthday, and here’s what I saw when I came into my office this morning:

Balloons in the office

Yes, if you were wondering these are 300 balloons covering the whole of my office. Apparently many of my labbies now have blisters on their fingers from tying up all the balloons. There was also a hedgehog cake, and a wonderful gift.
Thanks guys! You are the best!!!