Sunday, October 2, 2011

Work Time

Okay, I know this is going to be a break from the scheduled programming, as this channel is mostly orienteering trips and snack breaks, but I'm going to take a moment to describe what I do between meals and running.

At the end of August, I started working at the Rubeck Laboratory where I found a job with Lena Claesson-Welsh. She's kind of a big deal in the field of vascular biology and she has quite a large research group here. Well at least it seems large coming from my old lab at the Joslin where HuiJuan, Lizbeth and I were the only ones in the lab. The group that I'm working with now has about 25 people associated with the projects, which means lots of new friends!

That first day in the lab I got right to work and was busy learning to dissect retinas under the stereomicroscope for our studies in blood vessel growth and development. Microscope dissection is challenging, and my first few attempts came out looking like a I had put the tissues through a paper shredder. But my most recent attempt came out nicely and Chiara has been staining the samples and hopefully I can get some pictures to post from her confocal work.

A neat lab bench. That's how you can tell it's a posed photograph
My job at the Rudbeck has many similarities with my position in Myra's lab back in Boston. For example, I still spend a lot of time doing genotyping of mice, and we have to jury-rig the gel apparatus for pouring the gels. One big change is that I'm doing my best not to sing out-loud while in the lab here, as I've been warned that it might be distracting to my co-workers. I don't even notice when I'm singing half the time, so I hope that I'm not bugging anyone.

The cool cats ( my chair is the empty one)
I have a spot in what I'm calling "the cool office" 'cause that's where all the cool lab members have desks. Here you can see Jimmy (who likes to go running) and Elisabet (who invites me to go to her modern dance classes). Our groups do a lot of work on tumor development, so I am spending a lot of time learning about cancer and different theories about how best to fight the tumors.

I can tell that I'm really a part of the lab now because my photo is up on the lab members board and I have my own mailbox... though I have not gotten anything delivered yet.

Feel free to mail me edible things

And now I will end this post on a more typical theme, as I return to help Sam in the kitchen. She's making succotash and kanelbullar, and I expect that the kitchen will soon devolve into this kind of crazy scene: The Muppets present: Pöpcørn. Enjoy.


pg said...

Thanks for the window into your work. Does the lab communicate (both verbally and in recording data/observations) in English or Swedish?

Zan Armstrong said...

sadly it's hard to mail edible things to other countries!