Life Sciences Division Newsletter
In this issue:
Scientific News »
- Lab Team Uncovers Secrets of Biological Soil Crusts »
- New Imaging Technique Captures Ever-Changing World of Metabolites »
- Solving the Mystery Behind Dormant Disseminated Breast Tumor Cells »
- Flip-Flop Advice on Exercise May Not be as Contradictory as it Seems »
- Life Scientists Discuss Their ‘Big Ideas’ at ‘Science at the Theater’ Talk »
- Budinger Advises on High Magnetic Field Science in the U.S »
- In the News »
- Recent Publications »
- Snijders Appointed New AWRC Chair per September »
- ECSS Continues Activities; Invites Division to Picnic on June 28 »
- Recipients of Director’s Achievement Award Announced; Fuss Receives Award »
- Employee Safety Efforts Recognized With Spot Awards »
- Canaria Receives AAAS Fellowship; Starts East Coast Adventure »
- Lab’s Ukulele Club Performs For and Is Honored by Solano Rotary Club »
- Welcome New ACF Manager Fuentes-Creollo »
- Welcome New Proposal Specialist Lonnie Schilling »
- Life Sciences Celebrates 2013 Retirees at June 19 Event »
- New Hires and Departures: Welcomes and Goodbyes »
Aindrila Mukhopadhyay of the Physical Biosciences Division and Trent Northen of Life Sciences led a cross-divisional research team that performed molecular level analysis of desert biological soil crusts – living ground cover formed by microbial communities. Their study revealed how long-dormant cyanobacteria become activated by rainfall then resume dormancy when the precipitation stops. Also working on this study, which was funded through the LDRD program, were Lara Rajeev, Ulisses Nunes da Rocha, Niels Klitgord, Eric Luning, Julian Fortney, Seth Axen, Patrick Shih, Nicholas Bouskill, Benjamin Bowen, Cheryl Kerfeld, Ferran Garcia-Pichel and Eoin Brodie. More »
Today at Berkeley Lab, June 17, 2013
What would you do with a camera that can take a picture of something and tell you how new it is? If you’re Katherine Louie, Ben Bowen, Jian-Hua Mao, and Trent Northen of the Life Sciences Division, you use it to gain a better understanding of the ever-changing world of metabolites, the molecules that drive life-sustaining chemical transformations within cells. They’re part of a team of researchers that developed a mass spectrometry imaging technique that not only maps the whereabouts of individual metabolites in a biological sample, but how new the metabolites are too. More »
Today at Berkeley Lab, June 13, 2013
Cyrus Ghajar and Mina Bissell (Photo by Roy Kaltschmid, LBNL)
Mina Bissell and Cyrus Ghajar of the Life Sciences Division may have solved the long-standing mystery behind dormant disseminated breast tumor cells and what activates them after years and even decades of latency. Their study has identified the microenvironment surrounding microvasculature as a niche where dormant cancer cells may reside, and the sprouting of microvasculature blood vessels as the event that transforms dormant cancer cells into metastatic tumors. Also contributing to this work were Héctor Peinado, Hidetoshi Mori, Irina Matei, Kimberley Evason, Hélène Brazier, Dena Almeida, Antonius Koller, Katherine Hajjar, Didier Stainier, Emily Chen and David Lyden. More »
Today at Berkeley Lab, June 3, 2013
[Slate] If you’re a runner, you might have noticed this surprising headline from the April 5 edition of the Guardian: “Brisk walk healthier than running—scientists.” Or maybe you saw this one, which ran in Health magazine the very same day: “Want to lose weight? Then run, don’t walk: Study.” Dueling research from rival academic camps? Not exactly. Both articles described the work of a herpetologist-turned-statistician at Berkeley Lab named Paul Williams, who, last month, achieved a feat that’s exceedingly rare in mainstream science: He used exactly the same dataset to publish two opposing findings. More »
Today at Berkeley Lab, May 1, 2013
Berkeley Lab hosted “Eight Big Ideas” at the Berkeley Repertory Theater on May 13, featuring eight Berkeley Lab scientists presenting eight game-changing concepts in eight minutes each. Presenters included Life Sciences Mina Bissell who spoke on “The mysteries behind cancer,” and Bill Jagust speaking on “Early detection of Alzheimer’s: is it possible?” The event was sold out, but those who didn’t have a free ticket could watch a livestream of the fast-pace evening, a recording of which is still available on the Friends of Berkeley Lab webpage.
Thomas Budinger (Photo by Roy Kaltschmid, LBNL)
As a committee member of the National Research Council (NRC) Project for Future of High Field Magnet Research, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), on May 8, Thomas Budinger was part of a briefing at the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OTSP) and separately at NSF, along with DOE. The occasion was the release of the NRC report on the current status and future direction of high magnetic field science in the United States.
The report includes a substantial chapter and appendix on the proposal, feasibility and rationale for a 20 T human brain magnet that would enable studies of brain electrochemistry and biochemistry that no other methods can accomplish. The medical science goals include a quest for understanding the role of sodium, potassium, and chlorine in depression and manic-depressive diseases, migraine disorders, and nerve pathway disruptions in mental illnesses including brain trauma.
Budinger’s response to questions were limited to technical aspects including safety associated with this report; he described his experience as encouraging from NSF and as “another item for our budget options” from OMB. “Magnet development is a strength of LBNL and development of this and other magnets recommended in the report will need the skills and experience of LBNL,” Budinger says. “The cost can be as high as 100 million dollars and the intent is for research and not hospital based diagnoses.” The proposed magnet would be the highest field magnet for human studies in the world.
A review of Life Sciences researchers, staff, and students who have appeared in the news media. This is but a sampling of our coverage. Please note that some links may expire after time.
A June 13 Daily Cal story featured cancer research led by the Lab’s Mina Bissell and Cyrus Ghajar.
A May 29 New York Times story on the benefits of running vs. walking quoted the Lab’s Paul Williams. A May 24 Wall Street Journal story also cited some of Williams’ work.
A May 17 Livingston, Michigan, Daily story covered a talk by the Lab’s Mina Bissell and her efforts to find the underpinnings of cancer. http://www.livingstondaily.com/article/20130517/NEWS01/305160014/Breakthrough-could-near-Geneticist-s-theory-could-turn-tide-cancer-fight
What follows is a review of Life Sciences recent publications.
Brownfield DG, Venugopalan G, Lo A, Mori H, Tanner K, Fletcher DA, Bissell MJ. Patterned collagen fibers orient branching mammary epithelium through distinct signaling modules. Current Biology. 2013 Apr 22;23(8):703-9. Epub 2013 Apr 4. PMID: 23562267 Abstract »
Chiniquy D, Varanasi P, Oh T, Harholt J, Katnelson J, Singh S, Auer M, Simmons B, Adams PD, Scheller HV, Ronald PC. Three novel rice genes closely related to the Arabidopsis IRX9, IRX9L, and IRX14 genes and their roles in xylan biosynthesis. Frontiers in Plant Science. 2013 Apr 10;4:83. Print 2013. PMID: 23596448 Abstract »
Comolli LR, Siegerist CE, Shin SH, Bertozzi C, Regan W, Zettl A, De Yoreo J. Conformational transitions at an s-layer growing boundary resolved by Cryo-TEM. Angewandte Chemie International Edition English. 2013 Apr 26;52(18):4829-32. Epub 2013 Apr 5. PMID: 23564404
Correia AL, Mori H, Chen EI, Schmitt FC, Bissell MJ. The hemopexin domain of MMP3 is responsible for mammary epithelial invasion and morphogenesis through extracellular interaction with HSP90ß. Genes & Development. 2013 Apr 1;27(7):805-17. PMID: 23592797 Abstract »
de Rond T, Peralta-Yahya P, Cheng X, Northen TR, Keasling JD. Versatile synthesis of probes for high-throughput enzyme activity screening. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. 2013 May;405(14):4969-73. Epub 2013 Apr 10. PMID: 23568610 Abstract »
Dernburg AF. Pushing the (nuclear) envelope into meiosis. Genome Biology. 2013 Mar 27;14(3):110. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23651872
Gundiah G, Yan Z, Bizarri G, Derenzo SE, Bourret-Courchesne ED. Structure and scintillation of Eu2+-activated BaBrCl and solid solutions in the BaCl2-BaBr2 system. Journal of Luminescence. 138:143–149, June 2013. Article »
Ho Cs J, Storm P, Rydstrom A, Bowen B, Alsin F, Sullivan L, Ambite I, Mok KH, Northen T, Svanborg C. Lipids as tumoricidal components of human Alpha-lactalbumin made lethal to tumor cells (HAMLET); unique and shared effects on signaling and death. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2013 Apr 29. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23629662 Abstract »
Hura GL, Budworth H, Dyer KN, Rambo RP, Hammel M, McMurray CT, Tainer JA. Comprehensive macromolecular conformations mapped by quantitative SAXS analyses. Nature Methods. 2013 Apr 28 [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23624664 Article »
Kim IJ, Quigley D, To MD, Pham P, Lin K, Jo B, Jen KY, Raz D, Kim J, Mao JH, Jablons D, Balmain A. Rewiring of human lung cell lineage and mitotic networks in lung adenocarcinomas. Nature Communications. 2013 Apr 16;4:1701 PMID: 23591868 Abstract »
Kronenberg A, Gauny S, Kwoh E, Grossi G, Dan C, Grygoryev D, Lasarev M, Turker MS. Comparative analysis of cell killing and autosomal mutation in mouse kidney epithelium exposed to 1 GeV protons in vitro or in vivo. Radiation Research. 2013 May;179(5):511-20 Epub 2013 Apr 5. PMID: 23560634 Abstract »
Lo RY, Jagust WJ; for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. Effect of cognitive reserve markers on Alzheimer pathologic progression. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders. 2013 Apr 1. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23552443 Abstract »
Louie KB, Bowen BP, McAlhany S, Huang Y, Price JC, Mao JH, Hellerstein M, Northen TR. Mass spectrometry imaging for in situ kinetic histochemistry. Scientific Reports. 2013 Apr 15;3:1656. PMID: 23584513 Abstract »
McAndrew RP, Park JI, Heins RA, Reindl W, Friedland GD, D'haeseleer P, Northen T, Sale KL, Simmons BA, Adams PD. From soil to structure: a novel dimeric ß-glucosidase belonging to glycoside hydrolase family 3 isolated from compost using metagenomic analysis. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2013 Apr 11. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23580647 Abstract »
Mohapatra S, Yannone SM, Lee SH, Hromas RA, Akopiants K, Menon V, Ramsden DA, Povirk LF. Trimming of damaged 3' overhangs of DNA double-strand breaks by the Metnase and Artemis endonucleases. DNA Repair (Amst). 2013 Apr 17. pii: S1568-7864(13)00070-0.[Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23602515 Abstract »
Querol-Audi J, Sun C, Vogan JM, Smith MD, Gu Y, Cate JH, Nogales E. Architecture of human translation initiation factor 3. Structure. 2013 Apr 23. pii: S0969-2126(13)00111-1. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23623729 Abstract »
Rambo RP, Tainer JA. Accurate assessment of mass, models and resolution by small-angle scattering. Nature. 2013 Apr 25;496(7446):477-81 PMID: 23619693 Abstract »
Ren S, Peng Z, Mao JH, Yu Y, Yin C, Gao X, Cui Z, Zhang J, Yi K, Xu W, Chen C, Wang F, Guo X, Lu J, Yang J, Wei M, Tian Z, Guan Y, Tang L, Xu C, Wang L, Gao X, Tian W, Wang J, Yang H, Wang J, Sun Y. RNA-seq analysis of prostate cancer in the Chinese population identifies recurrent gene fusions, cancer-associated long noncoding RNAs and aberrant alternative splicings. Cell Research. 2013 May;23(5):732 PMID: 23636089 Article »
Risacher SL, Kim S, Shen L, Nho K, Foroud T, Green RC, Petersen RC, Jack CR Jr, Aisen PS, Koeppe RA, Jagust WJ, Shaw LM, Trojanowski JQ, Weiner MW, Saykin AJ; Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI)†. The role of apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype in early mild cognitive impairment (E-MCI). Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. 2013;5:11. Epub 2013 Apr 1. PMID: 23554593 Abstract »
Rog O, Dernburg AF. Chromosome pairing and synapsis during Caenorhabditis elegans meiosis. Current Opinion in Cell Biology. 2013 Apr 8. pii: S0955-0674(13)00046-X. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23578368 Abstract »
Sputova K, Garbe JC, Pelissier FA, Chang E, Stampfer MR, Labarge MA. Aging phenotypes in cultured normal human mammary epithelial cells are correlated with decreased telomerase activity independent of telomere length. Genome Integrity. 2013 May 29;4(1):4. PMID: 23718190 Abstract »
Taylor DW, Ma E, Shigematsu H, Cianfrocco MA, Noland CL, Nagayama K, Nogales E, Doudna JA, Wang HW. Substrate-specific structural rearrangements of human Dicer. Nature Structural Molecular Biology. 2013 Apr 28. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23624860 Abstract »
Turker MS, Grygoryev D, Dan C, Eckelmann B, Lasarev M, Gauny S, Kwoh E, Kronenberg A. Autosomal mutations in mouse kidney epithelial cells exposed to high-energy protons in vivo or in culture. Radiation Research. 2013 May;179(5):521-9. Epub 2013 Apr 5. PMID: 23560630 Abstract »
Vandehey NT, Boutchko R, Druhan JL, O’Neil JP, Nico PS, Slowey AJ, Moses WW. Performance evaluation of SPECT imaging system for sediment column imaging. IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science. 60(2):763–767, April 2013. Article »
Veress AI, Raymond GM, Gullberg GT, Bassingthwaighte JB. Left ventricular finite element model bounded by a systemic circulation model. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering. 135(5), 054502, May 1, 2013. Article »
Wang Y, Liu Y, Lu J, Zhang P, Wang Y, Xu Y, Wang Z, Mao JH, Wei G. Rapamycin inhibits FBXW7 loss-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition and cancer stem cell-like characteristics in colorectal cancer cells. Biochemical Biophysical Research Communications. 2013 May 3;434(2):352-6. Epub 2013 Apr 2. PMID: 23558291 Abstract »
Zhang G, Canning A, Grønbech-Jensen N, Derenzo S, Wang L-W. Shallow impurity level calculations in semiconductors using ab initio methods. Physical Review Letters. 110(16), 166404, April 19, 2013. Article »
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Deputy Laboratory Director Horst Simon has appointed Life Sciences Antoine Snijders to succeed Jack Bartley as chair of the Laboratory’s Animal Welfare and Research Committee (AWRC). Snijders, a research scientist in Life Sciences, will become chair in September, after a three-month transition; his appointment will expire June 21, 2016. The AWRC – formally known as Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) - was established to ensure that research involving animals, and the practices of animal care, fully conform with both humane principles and regulatory obligations.
Snijders' professional background includes extensive training in science in addition to organizational and managerial experience at Berkeley Lab, the UCSF Cancer Center, and the VU University, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. As an investigator on the Department of Energy funded Low Dose Scientific Focus Area, he has gained extensive training and experience in using animal models to assess impacts of environmental exposures to low-doses of ionizing radiation, complementing his strong molecular and cell biology background.
In addition to using animal models in his research, Snijders has contributed to the animal research conducted in the Life Sciences Division in a number of ways. For the past two years, he has served as a voting member on the AWRC. In addition, he has been involved in the review of the Animal Technician’s annual Performance Review and Development (PRD) process, and has started assisting the Environment/Health/Safety/Security Division with the implementation of new software for Medical Surveillance of Animal Care Facility staff.
“Snijders has extraordinary interpersonal skills, is well liked and respected by his colleagues and exhibits a strong passion and understanding of the issues surrounding the Animal Care Facility. I believe that with his scientific skills and commitment to high ethical standards he will make strong contributions to the success of animal research at Berkeley Lab,” Life Sciences Division Director Gary Karpen concluded in his recommendation letter.
The Early Career Scientists Society (ECSS) invites everyone in the Life Sciences Division to come and celebrate summer at the ECSS Annual Picnic on Friday, June 28. The event takes place from noon to 4 p.m. at the Emeryville Marina Park and will feature live music by the Berkeley Lab Ukulele Club (which includes Life Sciences Christie Canaria), and – as previous years - lots of food, games and fun activities.
The ECSS, which aims to foster career and personal development and to provide a forum in which early career scientists at Berkeley Lab can meet and interact, has had a very successful year so far having organized a variety of events, most of which were open to everyone interested at the Lab, including the monthly, Wednesday noon seminar series.
The series, says ECSS Seminar Lead Michael Balamotis, “showcases the ongoing work of graduate students and post-doctorate researchers who volunteer to talk. This is an excellent opportunity to practice public speaking in a casual environment, and gain helpful advice from other researchers at LBNL. The same seminar series is also home to company-sponsored technical talks, in which biotech companies come to present a diverse portfolio of new technologies and products that they offer.” He adds, “These seminars double as a forum to discuss experimental approaches and strategies.”
“The ECSS also promotes career development for scientists at LBNL,” says ECSS Career Development Coordinator Nicole Beier. “In addition to internal seminars, we also collect and distribute information on career opportunities and events throughout the Bay Area, and curate a list of online career resources on the society’s webpage.” Last month the ECSS offered the last session of a three-part brown bag “How to” series, presented by Life Sciences Proposals Development Center Manager Karen Dickinson-Mazzei and her team. These sessions informed the attendees how to: Look for funding opportunities? (Part I), Prepare a grant or fellowship proposal (Part II), and Manage your award when funded? (Part III).
The ECSS also hosts Life Sciences Division seminar speakers, nominated and selected by majority vote by ECSS members. Mandana Veiseh, ECSS president, recalls the two external seminar speakers the ECSS has hosted in 2013 so far: “Drs. Bruce Alberts and Oliver Rando (nominated by Elaine Dunleavy and Hunter Richards, respectively), whose visits provided an opportunity for discussions regarding future of science, scientific research development, academic work-life balance, and skills needed to succeed in academia.” A recent internal, Berkeley Lab speaker (nominated by Joel Swenson) was Biosciences Head of Strategic Planning and Development Mary Maxon, “who shared her experiences and advice about how biologists could play a larger role in influencing the research funding priorities in Washington, DC; and spoke about the diverse essential skill sets that help early career scientists to succeed in different scientific roles.”
Those interested in presenting in the monthly informal Wednesday seminar series, or who have seminar speaker suggestions, are asked to contact Balamotis. For general information or suggestions, contact Veiseh.
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Jill Fuss (Photo by Roy Kaltschmid, LBNL)
The recipients of the Director’s Lifetime and Exceptional Achievement Awards have been announced. David Nygren (Physics) and Arie Shoshani (Computational Research) are the recipients of the Berkeley Lab Prize Lifetime Achievement Award. Exceptional Achievement honorees include Ron Zuckerman (Safety), Warren Byrne (Service), Nathan Hillson (Tech Transfer), Roy Kaltschmidt (Outreach), Jill Fuss and Elizabeth Bautista (Diversity), David Kestell (Operations), and Haimei Zheng, Kevin Einsweiler, Rebecca Abergel, Peter Nugent, Kam-Biu Luk, and Kirsten Persson (Science). Team awards went to Evan Mills, Norman Bourassa, Leo Rainer, and Gregory Homan (Societal Impact), and the HR Recruiting/Hiring Technology Improvement group (Operations).
Fuss, a research scientist in the Tainer lab, received her Award for Exceptional Achievement in the area of diversity, for her tireless work to identify Laboratory issues of work-life balance, and to partner with Laboratory leadership to effect change at Berkeley Lab that has directly led to a quality of life improvement for existing and future employees.
Fuss is the chair of the Work Life Balance Subgroup of the Women Scientists & Engineers Council (WSEC) which was formed in 2008 when women represented 16% of career scientists and engineers at Berkeley Lab. The Work Life Balance Subgroup, initiated, spearheaded and led by Fuss, is engaged in the discovery of new ways to balance employees’ professional and personal quality of life. Fuss and the other honorees will be acknowledged at a future Lab awards ceremony and reception.
A large number of Safety Spot Award winners from the last twelve months assembled for a group photo with Lab Chief Operating Officer Glenn Kubiak and EHSS Acting Director Joe Dionne. The awards recognize individuals or teams who have clearly demonstrated safe behavior. They acknowledge those who exemplify the Lab’s safety culture; whether it’s an employee who sees and reports an unsafe condition, or one who initiates or actively participates in a safety or environmental improvement effort.
Recent Life Sciences awardees includes Kristin (Kris) Norton, who according her April award notice, “exemplifies excellent radiation safety practices while performing medical isotope tasks, resulting in much improved Total Effective Dose (TED). She is active in teaching colleagues to keep their exposure doses as low as reasonably achievable and in finding ways to streamline radioactive activities. Her experience in working around medical isotopes has helped identify where and how potential exposure can be lowered and minimized.”
Cliff Ng received an award in November, 2012: “After business hours, Cliff called the RPG’s Radiation Protection Group urgent assist number to report he had found radiological contamination on his left shoe while checking out of his Dielectric Wakefield Accelerator DWA. By calling RPG promptly, Cliff prevented spread of contamination to other areas and public spaces.” Other 2012 awardees include Kathy Bjornstad (June), Martin Boswell and David Wilson (June) and Bob Glaeser (May). Anyone can nominate their colleagues for the awards, which carry a cash prize. Make a nomination or learn about past recipients here.
Adapted from Today at Berkeley Lab, May 9, 2013
Life Sciences research scientist Christie Canaria, who made news in several news stories such as “LSD’s Canaria Shaking Up the Stereotypes of Scientists” (ranking 8th in the top 10 Today at Berkeley Lab stories of 2012), and as co-presenter of the Science in the Theatre “Health Detectives” 2012 event, will be leaving Life Sciences on July 2. Canaria received an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship in Washington D.C. and has recently accepted placement at the Small Business and Innovation Research (SBIR) Office of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) per August 26.
“Between Science at the Theater, Richmond Bay Campus community forums, Berkeley Lab Open House, and the Lab Ukulele Club, I am proud to say I've made friends across the entire Lab. It's been only 3 years, but my life in Berkeley has been packed with a myriad of exciting experiences. It will be hard to beat in DC, but I do look forward to new experiences,” Canaria reflects.
The distinguished fellowship is in its 40th year and Canaria is honored to have been selected. “It is quite the competitive process and an amazing career development opportunity. Eligibility includes a science/math PhD or engineering degree; each year, fellows are placed in policy making offices across the executive and legislative branches,” she explains. Prior to Berkeley Lab Canaria spent time as a research associate at Illumina. “Back then, it was still a very small start-up company. I was employee 79 and arrived two weeks before they went public with an IPO! As a fellow with NCI's SBIR, I am excited to track emerging biotechnologies, as well as contribute to developing new science policy.”
More about the AAAS Fellowship can be found here.
Lab Ukelele Club
The Lab’s Ukulele Club performed at the Rotary Club of Solano Sunset’s First Annual Luau Fundraiser end of April, to raise money for the Omega Boys and Girls Club and an international service project. Members (l-r) Lorraine Dowling, Olga Poblete, Lida Gifford, Lorenza Gibson, Life Sciences Christie Canaria, Neli Lopez, and Robert Fox were presented with medallions for demonstrating the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self.” The Ukulele Club has a strong commitment to Lab and community service, says President Lida Gifford, having performed at Open House, elderly care facilities, fundraisers, and church festivals, among other activities. Contact her (x2563) for more information on the Ukulele Club.
Adapted from Today at Berkeley Lab, May 3, 2013
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The Life Sciences Division welcomes Gabriela Fuentes-Creollo who will start June 24 as the new Animal Care Facility (ACF) manager in the Life Sciences Division, succeeding Randy DeGuzman who will retire on June 27. Fuentes-Creollo received her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana in Mexico City and has over 15 years of extensive experience in the veterinary industry. Most recently, she worked in the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute. Prior to that, she excelled in positions at Intuitive Surgical, XOMA, and Bayer Health Care (at the time at 717 Potter Street), among others. “References were off the chart,” said hiring manager and Deputy of Operations, Helen Cademartori of Fuentes-Creollo’s qualifications. As the ACF manager, Fuentes-Creollo will oversee the animal husbandry of research animals including mice and rats; develop, implement and manage the operations of the facilities; supervise staff and perform animal husbandry duties as required to maintain the general health of the laboratory animals; and develop and administer training programs for research staff.
[Level-one email by Helen Cademartori, June 12] Please join me in welcoming Alana (Lonnie) Schilling to the proposals group. Lonnie comes to us with over 30 years of experience in both pre-award and post-award administration at UCSF. She is very familiar with LBNL, having worked closely with Joe Gray when she was Pre-Award Manager at the UCSF Cancer Center. As most of you know, Erin Reiche has been out on an extended medical leave since last July, and it is expected she will continue to be on leave for the foreseeable future. Lonnie has "unretired" in order to work with us at 80% time for at least the next 6 months; our proposals group has been working heroically over the past year with very reduced resources and are in great need of this additional help. Lonnie is located in the proposals suite 977-0251, and can be reached by email or by phone at 486-5832. Feel free to introduce yourself when you have a chance.
The Life Sciences Division on June 19 celebrated the 2013 retirement of several long-time Life Sciences colleagues. As Division Director Gary Karpen pointed out at the event, the retirees together total over 170 years of service years. Most will retire from the Lab on June 27; a few retired earlier this year. The Division thanks them for years of service and outstanding contributions to the research efforts of the Division:
Berbie Chu, a senior research associate in the Bissell lab, who started at Berkeley Lab in May 1996 and has worked with UC for nearly 29 years. Chu retires June 27.
Nina Hahn, staff veterinarian, who started at Berkeley Lab in April 2011 and previously worked at the UC Berkeley campus. Hahn retires June 27.
Eva Lee, senior research associate in the Bissell lab, who started at Berkeley Lab as a research associate in January 1993. Lee retired earlier this year but can still be seen around some time at Potter Street.
David Schild, biologist staff scientist, who started at Berkeley Lab as a biologist scientist in July 1982. David retired earlier this year and has returned as a rehired retiree.
Randy Deguzman (Photo by one of his daughters)
Randy Deguzman, Animal Care Facility manager, who started at Berkeley Lab in the summer of 1976 as a technical assistant I in the histopathology lab under Virginia Havens, and animal care under Bob Springsteen. Deguzman retires on June 27 and will be on “permanent vacation” after that.
Asked to describe what the most difficult thing has been he had to do, Deguzman responds: “My most difficult thing that I had to do was to leave my dream research position under Dr. Edward Alpen. My biggest challenge was to work with Bob Springsteen in developing and then managing the Semi Barrier Animal Care Facility. We had to convert our conventional 'open air' care facility to a 'semi-clean room' system and develop new SOP’s [standard operating procedures].”
- What is the most exciting thing you have worked on or have accomplished?
“A lot of people didn’t know that my inspiration for doing cancer research comes from my niece Rachel who died from cancer at the age of two years and two months. My fascination and focus for radiation biology initially came from accompanying her to radiation therapy treatments and asking the radiation biologists exactly what they were doing and trying to understand exactly why. That gave me the ability to be 100% focused and driven during all of our late night irradiation exposure experiments. Our group’s greatest accomplishments were all of the cancer biology related research that I had the honor to participate in.”
- What don't we know about you?
“That I’m really very shy and quiet……LOL…I think everyone who knows me will eventually know everything about me.”
- What will you miss the most?
“I will miss all of the everyday interactions I have with LBL family, the scientists, technicians, administrators, all of facilities i.e., riggers, gardeners, paint shop crew, key shop crew, lighting crew, security staff, fabricators and the list goes on. I’ve grown to appreciate and respect them all because each person has a special place in my heart and has helped me become a successful animal care facility manager. We are fortunate that everyone seems to take special pride in what they do.”
- What will you do next?
“Disneyland trips with family, travel to Philippines and Hawaii, rediscover California beaches, silversmithing (silver jewelry making), luthier ukulele, guitar making, perform Hawaiian music etc.”
Sherry Gee at age 14
Sherry Gee, a senior research associate in the Conboy lab, who started at Berkeley Lab in December 1985. Gee retired earlier this year but is participating in experiments with John Conboy on the regulation of pre-mRNA splicing until the end of this year. She shares her temporary desk space with Max, a black ghost knife fish who lives a seemingly very comfortable life in a good size fish tank.
Asked to describe her first position and what has changed the most since then Gee responds: “My first position was as an undergraduate helper in Melvin Calvin Laboratory (formerly Chemical Biodynamics) working on carbon cycle in photosynthesis. At the time there were no such things as ‘safe lab practices’ or EH&S, and skirts or dresses were the norm for female scientific staff.”
- What don't we know about you?
“The fish is just the 'tip of the iceberg.' The menagerie at home includes a tarantula, boa constrictor and two parrots.”
- What will you miss the most?
“Hey, I'm not gone yet...”
- And...what will happen to the fish?
“At some point the fish will join the rest of the menagerie at home.”
Ken Downing (Photo by Robert Couto, LBNL)
Ken Downing, biophysicist senior staff scientist and Bioenergy & Structural Biology Department head, who started at Berkeley Lab in October 1977. Downing retires June 27.
Asked to describe his first position at Berkeley and what has changed the most since then, he responds: “I started as a scientist when Bob Glaeser created a position that matched my interests and background in 1977. New hires now are much more mature in their thinking, established in their careers.”
- What was the most difficult thing you have had to do; what was your biggest challenge?
“Maintaining funding is a major challenge, along with staying focused on a core set of ideas and keeping up sufficient progress to make them fundable.”
- What is the most exciting thing you have worked on or have accomplished?
“The structure of tubulin by electron crystallography brought together many of the things I had worked on to improve electron microscopy, with a big impact on biology.”
- What are you most proud of?
“Contributing to the state of the art of biological electron microscopy that makes it so productive today.”
- What don't we know about you?
“How much time I have spent with my little model railroad.”
- What will you miss the most?
“Actually I plan to come right back - I would miss the fun of seeing research in action too much to stay away.”
- What will you do next?
“Spend a little more time seeing the rest of the world, for starters.”
Mujahid Mohammed, biochemist postdoctoral fellow, Northen lab, per May 29
Melissa Beasley, research assistant, Kohwi-Shigematsu lab, per May 13
Adam Chazin-Gray, student assistant, Tsutakawa lab, per April 30
Brian Alford, research assistant, McMurray lab, per May 18
Gaelen Stanford-Moore, research assistant, Bissell lab, per May 18
Camille Schwartz, student assistant, Tainer lab, per May 17
Annah Lee, research assistant, Kohwi-Shigematsu lab, per May 2
Zhiyin (Ella) Xun, biologist postdoctoral fellow, McMurray lab, per May 1
Sonia Dominquez, sr. resource analyst, transferred to the Material Sciences Division per April 18
Mechaka (Mocha) Gardner, contractor administrative assistant, per April 16
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