Lendert elected member of Young Academy
Lendert has been elected member of the Young Academy, part of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts (KVAB). On February 6, the Young Academy celebrated their five year anniversary and twelve new members were inaugurated with speeches by Prof. Robbert Dijkgraaf and the King of Belgium (http://jongeacademie.be/5-jaar-jonge-academie/). The Young Academy is an interuniversity and interdisciplinary meeting place for scientists and artists to work on initiatives related to e.g. science communication, policy, and education.
Publication with Moll lab in Nucleic Acids Research
In a collaboration with Nela Nikolic from Isabella Moll's lab at the University of Vienna, we have studied how growth heterogeneity in bacterial populations is modified by the ability of toxins to sequence-specifically cleave single-stranded RNA upon various stressful conditions. We focused on the situation where such toxins can be activated as a part of the mazEF toxin–antitoxin module in Escherichia coli. Congratulations to Nela and all co-authors for reporting on this work in Nucleic Acids Research!
Publication with Bollen lab in Molecular Cell
Congratulations to Junbin of the Bollen lab who just published his research in Molecular Cell. In collaboration with our lab, Junbin showed that there exists a transient phosphorylation signal (BUB1-T461ph) that plays a crucial role in correctly activating the mitotic checkpoint. This novel biochemical timer activates the checkpoint independently of the microtubule-kinetochore attachment status, and we show that disrupting this BUB1 timer holds therapeutic potential by targeting cancer cells. The paper was featured on the KU Leuven news.
Welcome Nadja and Felix
A warm welcome to Nadja D'Uonno and Felix Nolet, who just joined the lab! Their respective PhD projects will focus on experimentally investigating the influence of temperature on cell division timing, and developing theoretical models to describe the spatial regulation of cell cycle processes.
Review article published in Trends in Cell Biology
Adrian Saurin (Dundee, UK), Junbin Qian, Mathieu Bollen (LBT lab in our department), and Lendert have written a review article in Trends in Cell Biology on how interacting kinases and phosphatases control mitotic processes in space and time.
Lab organizes workshop for Children’s University
Alexandra, Jan and Lendert organized a workshop at the Children University event of KU Leuven. Several groups of children in primary school (8-12 years old) visited the university and they played several games in which they learned how more complex patterns can emerge from simple rules. The picture shows the kids applying one of Wolfram's cellular automata rules using two-color cardboards.
Jan wins poster award at departmental mixer
Jan won the best poster award at our local departmental mixer event. Here, PhD students present their work, which aims at increasing interaction between the 14 research labs in our department. Well done Jan and enjoy the goodies that you got!
“Desynchronizing embryonic cell division waves reveals the robustness of Xenopus laevis development” on the cover of Cell Reports
Joint work with Graham Anderson from Jim Ferrell's lab just got published in Cell Reports and featured on the cover. In this work, we applied strong temperature differences across young frog embryos to desynchronize the regular cell division timing. We found that all cells behave as independent oscillators. Moreover, we saw that although mesoderm induction becomes abnormal initially, the embryos are still able to get their development back on track.
New fellowships and postdoc grants for the lab
Jan and Jolan both received a FWO doctoral fellowship to pursue their research these next 4 years, while Alexandra and Pedro received a one-year postdoctoral grant from KU Leuven. Pedro was also awarded a three year grant from the FNRS. So happy for everyone and proud to have such talented researchers in the lab!
Stefan won the best poster award at the “Crossroads in complex systems” conference
From June 5-8, the IFISC institute (Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems - UIB-CSIC, Spain) celebrated their 10th anniversary by organizing the conference "Crossroads in Complex Systems". This wonderful meeting ended on a high with Stefan winning the best poster award for his work "Modeling the dynamics of a small community of interacting human colon bacteria", congratulations Stefan!