Happy news as Bryony Ackroyd passes her PhD viva with minor corrections - congratulations Dr. Ackroyd & thanks Martin Walsh for being external. Now to write the paper. Gavin had zoomed back from Ljubljana from a TOPCAPI project meeting where he presented Emm's data from his research visit to Wilfred van der Donck's lab in Illinois. Also, apparently, he ate bear :-o. Thanks to Petko and Gregor and colleagues for organising a lovely couple of days in Slovenia. Also, after a couple of years we almost completely update the publication board..
After the fun of Edinburgh, back to normality. Our undergraduate project students finish in the lab and submit their reports - best of luck to Grace, Ilya, Nur, Tom, Lindsey and Cintia. Meanwhile my MBio student Pejvak Moghimi will be joining us again after his exams are finished to do some work on antibiotic transporters over the summer. Rebecca starts her PIP at the Yorkshire Museum and Caroline also starts hers soon at NYBEP and both will be doing some science communication and event management for outreach activities. Emm is also on his travels to South Korea for ISBA18. Also great news for Bryony as she wins the K.M. Stott award for her second year PhD talk - Eating the poison. Gavin, Reyme and Michelle also do some outreach with Pint of Science in the Fulford Arms in York. We spoke about our body odour project with Unilever and more generally about smell perception. Our sniff sticks from Unilever were great. Big plans now to roll this out for the Festival of Ideas in 2018. Alice Pearcy joins us for her MSc Industrial Biotechnology project and will be the first in the lab to use CRISPR-Cas for making scarless SNPs in E. coli - hope it works! ...and we get an Espresso maker...
The month of the Microbiology Society meeting in April, much anticipated by all in the lab and a great few days in Edinburgh. Many members of the group took posters and had great interactions with other scientists, with lots of new ideas to follow up. Rebecca was busy with the ECM Forum and Gavin was roped into judging posters with his fellow editors from Microbiology. And some of us also made it up Arthur's Seat and we came second in the quiz...
A busy month as the Easter teaching term finishes and our project students come to an end of their time in the lab. Also, 6 PhD students associated with the lab presented their work at our 2nd year PhD students talks symposium - well done to all for excellent talks (see pic below). We host the 12 month meeting of Project DETOX, which remind us how much we have achieved in the first year of this 5 year project. Hopefully the fruits of our labours will start emerging soon. Also, Sophie, Ivan and I sign up as advisors for York iGEM team 2017, for more fun over the summer....
Mainly marking and teaching and marking this month. Did I mention marking? Hosted Andy Roe from Glasgow for departmental seminar and fun learning about how a transporter for D-serine has important roles in virulence. Also, catching up on the progress of EnteroBASE in my role in the advisory board - nearly topping out 100k Salmonella genomes. Finished article on Fred Griffith for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, which should be published later in this year.
Our first collaborative paper with Gregor Hageleuken is published in Biophysical Journal and gets a nice commentary from Gunner Jeschke. First use of PELDOR to investigate the conformational dynamics of a TRAP substrate binding protein (SBP) from our sialic acid TRAP system and the data clearly demonstrates that the protein exists in only two states - open unliganded and closed liganded.
We visit CPI at Darlington for our 9 month Project DETOX meeting, which is a very impressive new facility and was great to get a tour.
The month starts with Ivan, Rebecca, Emmanuele and Gavin attending the 28th Annual UK RNA Polymerase Workshop in York, which is lots of fun. Our BBSRC IB Catalyst project DeTox formally starts for 5 years (scary) and new lab technician Reyme Herman starts. Reyme has worked on L1 before, having undertaken a MSc by Research with my colleague Marjan van der Woude and spending some doing protein work in Prof. Jennifer Pott's lab. We have our formal kick-off meeting in York in a lovely period room in the Jacobean Heslington Hall. The month ends well with our Head of Department, Prof Ian Graham, being awarded Fellowship of the Royal Society.
The lab headed over to Liverpool for the Microbiology Society annual meeting. Gavin had organised a symposium on Transporters in Industrial Biotechnology, which was very popular and enjoyable. Bit of a whirlwind of committee meetings and other things, including recording this video for CBMNet about our activities. Ivan Gyulev presented a poster on the 2015 York iGEM team project and Sophie and Con also presented posters on their work. The science was excellent and I very enjoyable 3 days was had by all. Thanks to the Society for funding a number of travel grants to allow attendance at the meeting for Thomas lab PhD students and also undergraduate Pejvak Moghami.