Yes we can! (Well, most of us anyway.) Thanks to the department of chemistry and chemical biology for hosting a wonderful holiday party!
Happy New Year from the Liau Lab! It’s been quiet in the lab the past few weeks, but we’re starting to get into the gear of the new year. In the spirit, however, of holiday season reflection (and since a blog post is severely overdue!) we’ll be taking a look at some of the highlights of fall 2018. Buckle in, cause it’s gonna be a long ride.
First up, the Mid-Autumn Festival! The group celebrated with some tea and mooncakes, courtesy of Cindy.
Not too long after that came another reason to celebrate, when Ally passed her preliminary qualifying exam! Congratulations, Ally!
Speaking of celebrations, we all got more than our fair share of cake with all the birthdays happening in the fall…
For Thanksgiving, Brian graciously welcomed us to his home for a potluck party. As with all potlucks, the quality of the experience is only as good as the quality of cooking your guests can achieve, but luckily for us, we have lots of talented chefs in our lab!
Warning: don’t view the following slideshow on an empty stomach…
…it was a fun night. Of course, in addition to all this eating, we did manage to get some work done. Our lab loves next-generation sequencing, but it’s not every day that we buy a brand new kit. As Kevin found out, they come packaged in huge boxes. Big boxes for big science, right?
As many of you might know, one big focus of our lab is studying the 3D organization of the genome. It’s not something you think about every day, but how the cell fits 2 meters of DNA inside its nucleus is pretty mindblowing. We got the opportunity to share our science with local students, crafting some interactive displays to help illustrate what we do and why we do it. Thank you to the Harvard Ed Portal, and to Brian, Shelby, and Allison for organizing this!
To close out 2018, we enjoyed a holiday party hosted by Brian, where we once again ate plenty of food. Highlights of the evening included a 2018 year-in-review slideshow, as well as a rousing game of white elephant. Here are some highlights from the evening:
And here we are, at the beginning of another year. As we all try to shake off the holiday stupor and get back to work, one thing’s for certain: the new year has much more food in store. After all, we are the Liau Lab.
And with that, thanks for reading! We’re looking forward to some exciting stuff in 2019, and we can’t wait to share it. Until next time :)
Charging head first into the new year. It's been a while since our last blog post, but that's not to say the last few weeks haven't been eventful. Besides running experiments, making figures, and submitting grants, we've been up to a lot. Check it out below!
With teaching, classes, rotators, and more awaiting at the start of the academic year, the lab celebrated the waning summer days with a trip out of Cambridge to get dim sum and boba. Despite the challenge of identifying vegetarian-friendly items (not trivial when it comes to Chinese food), we all left with full stomachs. It was even some people's first time trying boba!
As August turned into September, we had another festive occasion: Amanda's birthday! Since she's not a huge fan of cake, Brian bought some pies from a local bakery, Petsi Pies, to help celebrate.
Now that the academic year has begun, we're all steeling ourselves for a busy semester. Recently, posters have been popping up around the chemistry department advertising the fall open houses for different labs. Ours is still quite a while away, but we couldn't resist pinning up some posters in the meantime. We'll leave you with our teaser:
Happy hour! With the summer days being hot and humid as they are, and with science being, well...science, the lab needed some refreshment. Thankfully, it was BOGO at our favorite coffee establishment. What would we do without caffeine?
High-quality tea for a high-quality lab. Taking a well-deserved break, some group members made the trip to Davis Square to enjoy some boba (a.k.a. bubble tea). Here in the Liau Lab, we have discerning palates.
It's been quite an eventful week. Between reorganizing group responsibilities, cleaning the lab, kayaking on the Charles, and engaging in gluttony in the backyard of Harvard Divinity School, our stamina has truly been tested. However, despite the strain on our minds and backs, we all had a blast.
First up on the docket: reorganizing and cleaning the lab. Although fighting entropy is no small feat, we were fortunate that our very own Kevin Ngan was among those leading the charge. Several meetings and a full day's worth of cleaning later, we ended up with a myriad of spreadsheets, room upon room of labeled drawers, and a defrosted -80˚C freezer to show for our efforts.
To gather supplies for our upcoming barbecue, we naturally turned to Costco. It was quite the adventure.
Next, taking advantage of the summer sun, we went kayaking on the Charles River. With the barbecue looming later that night, it was probably a good idea to get some exercise in. Many thanks to Ally for spearheading this outing!
Of course, the highlight of the week was our potluck barbecue. While our lab is normally fairly health-conscious, we put aside our better judgments to enjoy the night.
And that's it! We're all back to our benches (or hoods) now, hard at work. Be on the lookout for some scientific news in the near future :)
...and if you're not tired of seeing our faces, check out the rest of the pictures below!
Science can be a lot of work. Thankfully, we have grad students for that.
Another week, another box of doughnuts, this time as a reconciliation gift from our chronically late pipette tip supplier. Naturally, we slapped it on our panini press.
We slapped some doughnuts on our panini press.
Conclusion and Future Directions
The results of this study are highly promising, indicating that this method may have widely applicable utility. Future studies will assess how panini press grilling influences the enjoyability of alternate flavors of doughnuts, as well as other dessserts.
The tale of the great departmental evacuation of 2018. With just a few days leading up to the Fourth of July holiday, blaring sirens announced trouble. Like all intrepid scientists, none of us initially paid attention–that is, until we heard there was in fact a chemical leak downstairs and the whole department needed to evacuate. Thankfully, the problem was resolved before the end of the day, but not before we all got a dose of "fish out of the water" syndrome.
Check out the pictures below to learn more about our lab's foray . . . outside.
An undergrad-friendly adventure. What do you do when you plan an impromptu brewery outing but find out only upon arriving that anyone under 21 needs a parent or guardian present to enter?* You turn around and go to a local pub for beer and burgers! After all, family means nobody gets left behind, or forgotten.
*And yes, we did call ahead. They straight up lied to us.
Good PIs and departments know that donuts are the fuel for excellent research. Our newest three graduate students received a warm welcome with Union Square Donuts twice in one week! With all the sugar going around, it looks like the lab is in for an energized summer brimming with science.
Check out our new lab! We have two large laboratory rooms as well as a graduate student office space, and a break room. We're pretty much settled in at this point, so now it's time to do some science! Pictured in the tissue culture room is the inagural passage of 293Ts. A postdoc in the background can also be seen setting up the very first chemical reaction of the new lab!
We've been preparing for hibernation this winter by bulking up with chocolate and food at various holiday parties. One of the well-known caveats of joining an interdisciplinary research group is access to multiple department holiday parties.
In addition, the first-year graduate students (aka G1s) have been settling nicely into the group since officially joining in December. As Brian's first round of students, it is an understatement to say that we are excited to help create a culture that will last for years to come. For those of us that are interested by the history of the department, it has been quite the pleasure to work in the space of what used to be the storied lab of Prof. Dave Evans. However, we are very much looking forward to moving into our new space in just a few months (pictures will follow!).
A good number of our fellow classmates recently joined the Jacobsen and Liu research groups. In the spirit of the holidays as well as a birthday (Dennis, pictured far right), we hit The Border Cafe, a local favorite in Harvard Square. Despite being a veteran of the Cambridge area, YP (left) discovered he couldn't take the heat of Border's salsa.