Madeline! Congratulations! Well done, Dr. Bucher.
Killer hat, killer food. Please note Madeline´s speciality: “half-eaten cakes…”
The ASCB|EMBO Meeting 2017 took place at the beginning of December in Philadelphia. It was the first joint meeting of two of the most influential international organizations, ASCB and EMBO, within the field of molecular cell biology.
After the bis success of last year’s special interest group on emerging models in cell biology, Bob Goldstein and Mansi Shrivastava organised again a similar session with a complete new line up of speakers including a talk about Aiptasia:
After the session, all speakers participated in a Q & A session where general topics concerning labs establishing and working with emerging models are facing: small scientific communities, difficulties in finding funding for painstaking but crucial technique development and finding the right journals for publishing. However, overall everybody agreed that emerging models are incredibly rewarding and encourage young researchers to give them a try. To continue the discussions and strengthen the community, all speakers and friends went out for food and drinks. All in all, a big success and I truly enjoyed my meeting participation and immersion into the constantly growing Emerging Models Community.
Iliona Wolfowicz is the first graduated PhD student from the Guse lab. Iliona defended her thesis last week at University of Porto “with distinction”. Congratulations Dr. Wolfowicz! We are looking forward for you to come back to Heidelberg to celebrate your big success.
This year´s COS Symposium “Senses and Sensitivity” was a big success. We had an excellent line-up of international, national and local speakers covering a wide range of scientific topics. Both, Victor and Marie presented Guse lab posters at the poster session and the Symposium concluded with a BBQ thanks to COS group leader Lazaro Centanin who knows his Argentinian meat.
We are very happy to announce that Victor was awarded an EMBO long term fellowship. The fellowship will support his postdoctoral work over the next two years. Congratulations!
This year, Liz, Diana, Philipp and Annika joined again our Japanese collaborators from the Hatta lab (Tokyo), Ueno lab (Okazaki) and Maruyama lab (Sendai) at Sesoko Marine Station on Okinawa to collect coral larvae for comparative experiments in the field. Coral were collected on the 1st of June around Sesoko island and transferred to the water tables. Over the next few days, night snorkelling to watch out for spawning on the reef right in front of the station started. As predicted by the team leader Masayuki Hatta, Acropora corals spawned during the night of the 6th of June and after a busy night of gamete collection and mixing sperm and eggs for fertilization, coral embryos developed into planula larvae which were used for experiments. 4 days after fertilization, coral larvae are ready to be ship and, after a fun night out with delicious Japanese food and beer at our favorite Izakaya in Nago City, our Japanese colleagues went back home to continue their experiments at their home institutes. The Guse lab continued to enjoy the snorkelling and working at Sesoko for another week trying to learn as much as possible about the natural coral reef habitats and rearing coral larvae and metamorphosed polyps. We also brought some coral babies home and hope to keep them happy and alive in Heidelberg. Anyways, we all hope to be back in 2018 to witness that amazing event of synchronous coral spawning induced by the lunar cycle that occurs only once every year.
The reef at Sesoko Marine Station
One of our main activities: snorkeling
Collected corals in water table
Coral are setting to get ready for releasing their gametes
Monitoring the spawning & collecting gamtes
Lab work during spawning night
Izakaya night to celebrate a successful coral spawning 2017
How did it go? Super well!
Starting in 2017, our research on the molecular mechanisms underlying intracellular coral-algal symbiosis will be supported by nearly 2.3 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC) for the next five years. This award recognizes the potential of Aiptasia as a powerful model system and allows us to launch many new and exciting projects on two fundamental aspects of symbiosis establishment: symbiont acquisition and the metabolic dependance of the host. Can it get any better? I don’t think so.
In a recent review article in Trends in Cell Biology, Bob Goldstein (UC Chapel Hill) and Nicole King (University of California Berkeley) propose that the ease with which state-of-the-art research tools these days can be applied to various emerging model organisms leads the way into the future of cell biology. The technical advances allowing genome sequencing, genome editing, transcriptomics and imaging to be applied to many non-traditional systems allows to study many novel questions at the molecular level. The given examples of emerging models include tardigrades (waterbears) to study survival of extremes, choanoflagellates to analyze animal origins as well as our favorite Aipasia as a model for coral symbiosis. To learn more check out the paper:
The podcast can be found here!