science

Fall 2018 retrospective

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.

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Not too long after that came another reason to celebrate, when Ally passed her preliminary qualifying exam! Congratulations, Ally!

 
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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!

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Warning: don’t view the following slideshow on an empty stomach…

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…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 :)

Synthetic chemists enter tissue culture

As any synthetic chemistry lab does, we all appreciate a high enantiomeric or diastereomeric excess. However, generating multiple substrates in one flask has proven to be quite useful as YP and Amanda begin to test some of the compounds that they have been working on over the past few months. Also pictured in the foreground is Kevin, who is, in general quite excited about biology.  Cindy is also in this picture somewhere...

As any synthetic chemistry lab does, we all appreciate a high enantiomeric or diastereomeric excess. However, generating multiple substrates in one flask has proven to be quite useful as YP and Amanda begin to test some of the compounds that they have been working on over the past few months. Also pictured in the foreground is Kevin, who is, in general quite excited about biology.  Cindy is also in this picture somewhere...

Winter Has Arrived in Cambridge

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!).