Life Sciences Division Newsletter
In this issue:
Scientific News »
- Lab Studies on Thirdhand Smoke Help Prompt Legislation »
- Bo Hang’s Thirdhand Smoke Research Highlighted at ACS »
- Vast Gene-Expression Map Yields Neurological and Environmental Stress Insights »
- West and East Coast Labs Cooperate to Solve Reproducibility Mystery »
- In the News »
- Recent Publications »
- Reorganization and New Developments Announced at Division Town Hall »
- Life Sciences Welcomes Wendi Corrales to Proposals Group »
- Lab Community Saddened by Passing of Chris Ramsey »
- Jill Fuss in DOE Tweet-Up on Equal Pay for STEM »
- Lab’s Jill Fuss in DOE Google+ Hangout on Women in STEM »
- 10 Questions for Life Sciences’ Susan Tsutakawa »
- Facilities Manager Peter Marietta Trades Jeans for Suit and Guitar in Weekends »
- New Hires and Departures: Welcomes and Goodbyes »
Bo Hang (Photo by Roy Kaltschmid, LBNL)
As reported by the Associated Press, the California Assembly approved a bill last week that would ban smoking inside home day care centers even after the children have left; a regulation that targets lingering “thirdhand smoke” and has been adopted by 12 other states. Smoking already is banned in homes that function as day care centers during their operating hours to prevent kids from being exposed to secondhand smoke. But recent research shows even off-hour smoking places children at risk. Berkeley Lab has been at the forefront of research on third-hand smoke, first reporting on the hazard in 2010 with studies led by Hugo Destaillats, Mohamad Sleiman, and Lara Gundel. Last year, a study led by Life Sciences Bo Hang confirmed that third-hand smoke causes DNA damage. More »
Today at Berkeley Lab, April 29, 2014
Researcher Bo Hang of the Life Sciences Division gave a talk at the American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in Dallas this week on his research into the genetic damage caused by thirdhand smoke, the residue that clings to surfaces long after the secondhand smoke from a cigarette has cleared out. Working with researchers from Berkeley Lab's Earth Sciences Division as well as the UC San Francisco and other institutions, Hang found that some of the chemical compounds in thirdhand smoke can cause both DNA strand breaks and oxidative DNA damage, which can lead to gene mutation. His work was covered by many media outlets, including Fox News, the Daily Mail, and NPR.
Adapted from Today at Berkeley Lab, March 18, 2014
A consortium led by Berkeley Lab scientists has conducted the largest survey yet of how information encoded in an animal genome is processed in different organs, stages of development, and environmental conditions. Their findings, published in Nature and based on fruit fly research, paint a new picture of how genes function in the nervous system and in response to environmental stress. Susan Celniker of the Life Sciences Division led the research, with Ben Brown leading the data analysis team. Scientists from UC Berkeley, Indiana University at Bloomington, the Universityof Connecticut Health Center, and several other institutions contributed to the research. More »
Today at Berkeley Lab, March 17, 2014
In the first ever commentary published in Cell Reports, “Sorting Out the FACS: A Devil in the Details,” Berkeley Lab researchers Curt Hines, Irene Kuhn and Mina Bissell, along with their colleagues from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Ying Su and Kornelia Polyak, share their two-year long saga to reproduce each other’s flow cytometry (FACS) data. Their cautionary tale begins with a discussion describing how, despite using seemingly identical methods and materials (reduction mammoplasty tissue), FACS profiles obtained by each lab, despite being internally consistent, did not match. Protocols were swapped and examined and every conceivable parameter was tested. Yet, at the end of the day, it wasn’t the expensive high-tech machines responsible for the differences. Instead, it came down to how tissues were stirred with enzyme during their dissociation to single cell suspensions. The labs were stirring tissues at different speeds, and this simple detail led to differences in detectable CD44 on the cell’s surface. These findings highlight the importance of communication between researchers when inconsistencies arise, and serve as an example of what can be accomplished through open collaboration and persistence.
For more on the importance of these findings, see these blogs commenting on the findings of Hines et al.: The importance of reproducibility, How to solve irreproducibility problem – example set by collaboration; and Reproducible Research: A Cautionary Tale. All FACS analysis at Berkeley Lab was conducted using instrumentation and expertise at the Life Sciences Division FACS facility.
The image below shows the two distinct flow cytometry profiles that are produced when different processing methods were used on the same breast tissue.
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.
An April 22 Associated Press story noted Berkeley Lab research in a story on new third-hand smoke legislation. Numerous TV, radio and other news outlets also mentioned the Lab’s research.
An April 21 4Richmond.org story previewed an upcoming Science at the Theater event to be held in Richmond; Paul Williams is one of the event participants.
A March 31 US News & World Report story looked at the benefits of running and walking and cited work led by the Lab’s Paul Williams.
A March 26 Fast Co.Exist story featured Lab startup Exogen and quoted cofounders Sylvain Costes and Jonathan Tang.
A March 24 Men’s Health story featured research on third-hand smoke led by the Lab’s Bo Hang.
A March 17 NPR story featured research on third-hand smoke led by the Lab’s Bo Hang. His work was widely covered including by Fox News, National Geographic, the Sacramento Bee, UPI, Daily Mail and many others. He also conducted interviews with BBC News and CBS News radio.
A March 19 Scientific American story covered Berkeley Lab startup Exogen and quoted cofounder Sylvain Costes and Jonathan Tang. KQED also covered their effort.
A March 17 R&D magazine story featured the development of a new gene expression map by a consortium led by the Lab’s Susan Celniker. China Press also covered the work.
A March 6 Contra Costa Times story looked at Berkeley Lab startup Exogen and quoted co-founders Sylvain Costes and Jon Tang.
A Feb. 26 Contra Costa Times story covered a recent Science At The Theater presentation featuring Lab researchers Sylvain Costes, Alex Zettl, Gloria Olivier, Steven Lanzisera and Guoying Chen. The CIRM Research blog also covered the event.
What follows is a review of Life Sciences recent publications.
Aarts E, Wallace DL, Dang LC, Jagust WJ, Cools R, D'Esposito M. Dopamine and the Cognitive Downside of a Promised Bonus. Psychological Science. 2014 Feb 13. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24525265 Abstract »
Barcellos-Hoff MH, Adams C, Balmain A, Costes SV, Demaria S, Illa-Bochaca I, Mao JH, Ouyang H, Sebastiano C, Tang J. Systems biology perspectives on the carcinogenic potential of radiation. Journal of Radiat Research. 2014 Mar 1;55 Suppl 1:i145-i154. PMID: 24585972 Abstract »
Bhat R, Bissell MJ. Of plasticity and specificity: dialectics of the microenvironment and macroenvironment and the organ phenotype. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Developmental Biology. 2014 Mar;3(2):147-63. Epub 2013 Nov 18. PMID: 24719287 Abstract »
Boley N, Stoiber MH, Booth BW, Wan KH, Hoskins RA, Bickel PJ, Celniker SE, Brown JB. Genome-guided transcript assembly by integrative analysis of RNA sequence data. Nature Biotechnology. 2014 Mar 16. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24633242 Abstract »
Boley N, Wan KH, Bickel PJ, Celniker SE. Navigating and mining modENCODE Data. Methods. 2014 Mar 14 [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24636835 Abstract »
Brown JB, Boley N, Eisman R, May GE, Stoiber MH, Duff MO, Booth BW, Wen J, Park S, Suzuki AM, Wan KH, Yu C, Zhang D, Carlson JW, Cherbas L, Eads BD, Miller D, Mockaitis K, Roberts J, Davis CA, Frise E, Hammonds AS, Olson S, Shenker S, Sturgill D, Samsonova AA, Weiszmann R, Robinson G, Hernandez J, Andrews J, Bickel PJ, Carninci P, Cherbas P, Gingeras TR, Hoskins RA, Kaufman TC, Lai EC, Oliver B, Perrimon N, Graveley BR, Celniker SE. Diversity and dynamics of the Drosophila transcriptome. Nature. 2014 Mar 16. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24670639 Abstract »
Deshpande RA, Williams GJ, Limbo O, Williams RS, Kuhnlein J, Lee JH, Classen S, Guenther G, Russell P, Tainer JA, Paull TT. ATP-driven Rad50 conformations regulate DNA tethering, end resection, and ATM checkpoint signaling.The EMBO Journal. 2014 Mar 3;33(5):482-500. Epub 2014 Feb 3. PMID: 24493214 Abstract »
Groocock LM, Nie M, Prudden J, Moiani D, Wang T, Cheltsov A, Rambo RP, Arvai AS, Hitomi C, Tainer JA, Luger K, Perry JJ, Lazzerini-Denchi E, Boddy MN. RNF4 interacts with both small ubiquitin-like modifier and nucleosomes to promote the DNA damage response. EMBO Reports. 2014 Apr 8. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24714598 Abstract »
Grygoryev D, Dan C, Gauny S, Eckelmann B, Ohlrich AP, Connolly M, Lasarev M, Grossi G, Kronenberg A, Turker MS. Autosomal mutants of proton-exposed kidney cells display frequent loss of heterozygosity on nonselected chromosomes. Radiation Research. 2014 Apr 23. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24758577 Abstract »
Gundiah G, Brennan K, Yan Z, Samulon EC, Wu G, Bizarri GA, Derenzo SE, Bourret-Courchesne ED. Structure and scintillation properties of Ce3+-activated Cs2NaLaCl6, Cs3LaCl6, Cs2NaLaBr6, Cs3LaBr6, Cs2NaLaI6 and Cs3LaI6. Journal of Luminescence. 149:374–384, May 2014. Article »
Hines WC, Su Y, Kuhn I, Polyak K, Bissell MJ. Sorting out the FACS: a devil in the details. Cell Reports. 2014 Mar 13;6(5):779-81. PMID: 24630040 Article »
Hochstrasser ML, Taylor DW, Bhat P, Guegler CK, Sternberg SH, Nogales E, Doudna JA. CasA mediates Cas3-catalyzed target degradation during CRISPR RNA-guided interference. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U S A. 2014 Apr 18. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24748111 Abstract »
Jinek M, Jiang F, Taylor DW, Sternberg SH, Kaya E, Ma E, Anders C, Hauer M, Zhou K, Lin S, Kaplan M, Iavarone AT, Charpentier E, Nogales E, Doudna JA. Structures of Cas9 endonucleases reveal RNA-mediated conformational activation.Science. 2014 Mar 14;343(6176):1247997. Epub 2014 Feb 6. PMID: 24505130 Abstract »
Jung YL, Luquette LJ, Ho JW, Ferrari F, Tolstorukov M, Minoda A, Issner R, Epstein CB, Karpen GH, Kuroda MI, Park PJ. Impact of sequencing depth in ChIP-seq experiments. Nucleic Acids Research. 2014 Mar 5. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24598259 Abstract »
Kronenberg A, Gauny S, Grossi G, Dan C, Grygoryev D, Turker M. Genotoxicity of charged particles of importance in space flight using murine kidney epithelial cells. Journal of Radiation Research. 2014 Mar 1;55 Suppl 1:i77-i78. PMID: 24586005 Abstract »
Labarge MA, Parvin B, Lorens JB. Molecular deconstruction, detection, and computational prediction of microenvironment-modulated cellular responses to cancer therapeutics. Advanced Drug Delivery Review. 2014 Feb 26. pii: S0169-409X(14)00031-3. Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24582543 Abstract »
Landau SM, Thomas BA, Thurfjell L, Schmidt M, Margolin R, Mintun M, Pontecorvo M, Baker SL, Jagust WJ; the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. Amyloid PET imaging in Alzheimer's disease: a comparison of three radiotracers. European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. 2014 Mar 20. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24647577 Abstract »
Longerich S, Kwon Y, Tsai MS, Hlaing AS, Kupfer GM, Sung P. Regulation of FANCD2 and FANCI monoubiquitination by their interaction and by DNA. Nucleic Acids Research. 2014 Mar 12. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24623813 Abstract »
Ray J, Keller KL, Catena M, Juba TR, Zemla M, Rajeev L, Knierim B, Zane GM, Robertson JJ, Auer M, Wall JD, Mukhopadhyay A. Exploring the role of CheA3 in Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough motility. Frontiers Microbiology. 2014 Mar 6;5:77.. eCollection 2014. PMID: 24639670 Abstract »
Roset R, Inagaki A, Hohl M, Brenet F, Lafrance-Vanasse J, Lange J, Scandura JM, Tainer JA, Keeney S, Petrini JH. The Rad50 hook domain regulates DNA damage signaling and tumorigenesis.Genes & Development. 2014 Mar 1;28(5):451-62. Epub 2014 Feb 14. PMID: 24532689 Abstract »
Sarker AH, Chatterjee A, Williams M, Lin S, Havel C, Jacob Iii P, Boldogh I, Hazra TK, Talbot P, Hang B. NEIL2 Protects against Oxidative DNA Damage Induced by Sidestream Smoke in Human Cells. PLoS One. 2014 Mar 3;9(3):e90261. eCollection 2014. PMID: 24595271 Abstract »
Seeger F, Quintyn R, Tanimoto A, Williams GJ, Tainer JA, Wysocki VH, Garcin ED. Interfacial residues promote an optimal alignment of the catalytic center in human soluble guanylate cyclase: heterodimerization is required but not sufficient for activity. Biochemistry. 2014 Apr 8;53(13):2153-65. Epub 2014 Mar 26. PMID: 24669844 Abstract »
Shamir ER, Pappalardo E, Jorgens DM, Coutinho K, Tsai WT, Aziz K, Auer M, Tran PT, Bader JS, Ewald AJ. Twist1-induced dissemination preserves epithelial identity and requires E-cadherin. Journal of Cell Biology. 2014 Mar 3;204(5):839-56. PMID: 24590176 Abstract »
Shatsky M, Arbelaez P, Han BG, Typke D, Brenner SE, Malik J, Glaeser RM. Automated particle correspondence and accurate tilt-axis detection in tilted-image pairs. Journal of Structural Biology. 2014 Mar 30. pii: S1047-8477(14)00070-7. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24694675 Abstract »
Shin DS, Pratt AJ, Tainer JA. Archaeal genome guardians give insights into eukaryotic DNA replication and damage response proteins. Archaea. 2014 Feb 20;2014:206735. eCollection 2014. PMID: 24701133 Abstract »
Simon C, Klose T, Herbst S, Han BG, Sinz A, Glaeser RM, Stubbs MT, Lilie H. Disulfide linkage and structure of highly stable yeast-derived virus-like particles of murine polyomavirus. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2014 Feb 24. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24567335 Abstract »
Strachan DC, Ruffell B, Oei Y, Bissell MJ, Coussens LM, Pryer N, Daniel D. CSF1R inhibition delays cervical and mammary tumor growth in murine models by attenuating the turnover of tumor-associated macrophages and enhancing infiltration by CD8+ T cells. Oncoimmunology. 2013 Dec 1;2(12):e26968. Epub 2013 Dec 4. PMID: 24498562 Abstract »
Tsutakawa SE, Lafrance-Vanasse J, Tainer JA. The cutting edges in DNA repair, licensing, and fidelity: DNA and RNA repair nucleases sculpt DNA to measure twice, cut once. DNA Repair (Amst). 2014 Apr 19. pii: S1568-7864(14)00093-7. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24754999 Abstract »
Veiseh M, Kwon DH, Borowsky AD, Tolg C, Leong HS, Lewis JD, Turley EA, Bissell MJ. Cellular heterogeneity profiling by hyaluronan probes reveals an invasive but slow-growing breast tumor subset. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U S A. 2014 Apr 14. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24733940 Abstract »
Villeneuve S, Reed BR, Wirth M, Haase CM, Madison CM, Ayakta N, Mack W, Mungas D, Chui HC, Decarli C, Weiner MW, Jagust WJ. Cortical thickness mediates the effect of ß-amyloid on episodic memory. Neurology. 2014 Mar 4;82(9):761-7. Epub 2014 Jan 31. PMID: 24489134 Abstract »
Williams GJ, Hammel M, Radhakrishnan SK, Ramsden D, Lees-Miller SP, Tainer JA. Structural insights into NHEJ: Building up an integrated picture of the dynamic DSB repair super complex, one component and interaction at a time. DNA Repair (Amst). 2014 Mar 19. pii: S1568-7864(14)00046-9. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24656613 Abstract »
Wirth M, Haase CM, Villeneuve S, Vogel J, Jagust WJ. Neuroprotective pathways: lifestyle activity, brain pathology, and cognition in cognitively normal older adults. Neurobiology of Aging. 2014 Feb 20. pii: S0197-4580(14)00219-X. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24656834 Abstract »
Yang YL, Hung MS, Wang Y, Ni J, Mao JH, Hsieh D, Au A, Kumar A, Quigley D, Fang LT, Yeh CC, Xu Z, Jablons DM, You L. Lung tumorigenesis in a conditional Cul4A transgenic mouse model. Journal of Pathology. 2014 Mar 19. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24648314 Abstract »
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[Adapted from level-one email by Director Gary Karpen, April 25]
New developments were discussed at the Division Town Hall of April 4, the agenda of which emphasized upcoming operational changes and included an invitation to Division members to join new cross-disciplinary scientific programs. Director Gary Karpen first thanked Ken Downing and Stephen Derenzo for their prior years of excellent service as department heads. In order to facilitate more efficient and effective operations and line management, he announced the consolidation from 4 to 3 departments, and introduced the department heads: Sue Celniker - Genome Dynamics; Priscilla Cooper - Cell and Molecular Biology; and William Moses - Structural Biology and Imaging. He thanked them profusely for their willingness to serve all in the Division in this very important capacity.
Most of the agenda was focused on a new strategy for ensuring a bright future for the Division. Karpen believes the Division continues to accomplish top-notch scientific research; however, severe reductions in funding, especially from NIH and DOE, have created significant challenges for both individual investigators and the Division as a whole. He said he strongly believes that the Division can overcome these challenges, by moving toward a more balanced mix of team-based and individual investigator research, and by actively pursuing new funding sources—other Federal agencies, the State of California, foundations, industrial partners, and individual donors.
To accomplish these goals, and to align Division research efforts with the Biosciences Strategic Plan (BSP) Karpen announced the formation of five new scientific programs. Introductory presentations were delivered by the program heads: John Tainer – Mesoscale And Nanoscale Technologies Integrated by Structures (MANTIS); Manfred Auer - mesoscale BioImaging Technologies (mesoBIT); Trent Northen - Phenotype Responses Integrating Microbes and Environments (PRIME); Sue Celniker - Model Organism Genomics and Environmental Biology (modSET); Mark LaBarge - Human Tissue Systems Biology (HTSB). Program heads will be responsible for building cross-divisional and cross-disciplinary teams, proactively advocating for the program goals with potential funders, and obtaining funding from Federal and State agencies, foundations, and corporations. Division members were encouraged to review the presentations, and contact the program heads for more information about how to contribute.
In terms of Divisional leadership, Karpen announced that the Life Sciences Division Advisory Committee (LSDAC) has been replaced by two councils, which will allow Division leadership to guide the operations and scientific sides of the Division with more effectiveness and focus. The Operations Advisory Council (OAC) will be led by Division Deputy, Operations, Helen Cademartori, and includes the department heads, and operation leads. The goal of this council is to improve bidirectional communication between scientific and operations staff to ensure that they are working in concert to address important issues related to safety, human resources, budgets, proposals and general administrative needs. The Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) is composed of the program and department heads, plus Bill Jagust, Eva Nogales and Ben Brown, and will be focused on prioritizing scientific directions, ensuring the success of the programs and the BSP, as well as recruitments and LDRD reviews.
The agenda ended with three presentations about important scientific and operational changes and opportunities:
Division Deputy, Science, Damir Sudar, recapped current technology resources available in the FACS and Advanced Microscopy Facility at Potter Street and the Divisional DNA sequencing capability hosted by the Celniker lab, and he shared upcoming plans for a CryoEM Facility at Donner.
Division Safety Officer Scott Taylor shared the news that there will be a consolidation of current JHA, BUA, and other safety authorizations into a single web-based Work Planning Control Activity Manager. This will be a major improvement to the Division safety monitoring and culture, by providing a more flexible and responsive interface; major kudos were given to Taylor for providing leadership to this lab-wide initiative. The new system will come on-line this summer, with division-wide conversion by spring 2015.
Bridget Haverty, deputy project manager for the Financial System Modernization (F$M), presented plans to introduce the new financial system that will be rolled out October 1, 2014. The improved end-to-end financial services system will replace the aging 17-year old system with better financial reporting capabilities, streamlined internal proposal processing and detailed procurement tracking.More details about all of the issues discussed at the Town Hall can be found by viewing the presentations and the new Division department roster in the Google Drive here (access for Berkeley Lab employees only).
The Life Sciences Division is very pleased to welcome Wendi Corrales to the Proposals Group. Corrales has over 10 years of research administration experience at UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco and the University of Miami. She has been a contracts officer in the Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) at UC Berkeley for the past 5 1/2 years. During her time in the Berkeley SPO, Wendi was selected to be part of a research administration exchange program between UC Berkeley and the University of Oxford in England. The six week exchange involved developing policy guidance, training and reference materials on U.S. federal funding agencies for foreign institutions. A few questions for Corrales:
- How do you describe your experience working in this foreign exchange program? What did you learn?
The research exchange was one of the most intellectually stimulating experiences of my career. It allowed to me to fully delve into the nuances of research administration while having to look at it from a new perspective, as a foreign organization. While the purpose of my portion of the exchange was to teach Oxford about U.S. federal funding agencies and create training materials, I was most surprised to learn that even with Oxford’s long storied past, the two universities are currently extremely similar in their administrative structure and functionalities. Also, they were similarly dealing with a loss in traditional governmental funding sources which prompted them to look for U.S. funding opportunities at the same time UC Berkeley had increasing interest in UK and EU funding opportunities.
- How has your experience been so far, working in Life Sciences?
It has been wonderful. Everyone has been so welcoming and friendly. I am very happy to be a part of the Life Sciences Division and LBNL family.
- When not assisting researchers with their grant proposals, in your spare time, what is your favorite activity?
I recently had a baby so currently much of my free time is spent with my 6-month old son, Julian. We’re working on sitting up and saying “mama.” When I’m able to, I also love to hike in the East Bay hills. It always makes me appreciate what a beautiful area we live in.
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Chris Ramsey (Photo by Roy Kaltschmid, LBNL, 2008)
The Life Sciences, Materials Sciences Divisions, and the Berkeley Lab community are deeply saddened by the news that Christopher Ramsey passed away on Saturday April 19, 2014, after a short battle with cancer. Ramsey worked at Berkeley Lab for 14 years, first in the Life Sciences Division starting in 2000, and the last 7 years in the Material Sciences Division. As a senior scientific engineering associate there he continued to work with colleagues in both divisions, supporting the Synthesis and Crystal Growth laboratories in building 55, 64 and 2 led by Edith Bourret of the Materials Sciences Division. He will be dearly missed. More information on Chris Ramsey, including plans for a memorial service, will be announced lab-wide as soon as finalized.
Biophysicist Jill Fuss of the Life Sciences Division participated in a one-hour Twitter conversation sponsored by the Department of Energy and the YWCA, one of the oldest and largest women's organizations in the nation, on April 8. The Tweet-up on that day, recognized as Equal Pay Day, was to highlight the fact that jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) can reduce the pay gap between women and men, as women in STEM see a narrower gender wage gap. Fuss fielded questions on everything from childcare responsibilities to getting more girls into science. A summary of the chat can be found in this Storify post.
Adapted from Today at Berkeley Lab, April 15, 2014
Adapted from Today at Berkeley Lab, March 3 and 7, 2014
Susan Tsutakawa is a researcher in the Life Sciences Division and has worked at the Lab for 14 years.
Q: What is your proudest moment on the job?
A: When I was involved in the structural analysis of Flap Endonuclease. There was a model on how this protein recognized its substrate, but some of the biochemistry was inconsistent with this model. The structure showed us a new model for recognition that was much more clever than anyone had ever considered.
Q: What do you enjoy most about working the Lab?
A: That I’m paid to learn.
Q: Why do you like science?
A: I love new discoveries of mechanisms for how things work, particularly when they are contrary to current models.
Q: Who is your science hero?
A: Jim Wells for making that protein that cuts (protease) into a protein that puts things back together (protein ligase).
Q: Where were you born and/or raised?
A: Raised in Missouri
Q: What is your cultural background?
A: Japanese American
Q: How do you connect with your cultural heritage?
A: What I read, the things I eat, and making ceramics
Q: How are you involved with your community?
A: I like to visit schools as a female scientist, to show the kids how much fun science experiments are.
Q: Who/what inspires you?
A: Nelson Mandela, for making education as a means to elevate yourself, even if you are in a prison work camp.
Q: What saying best reflects your outlook on life?
A: If you are not in the game, you will never win.
Today at Berkeley Lab, April 10, 2014
Who knew that after a day’s work Life Sciences Division Facilities Manager Peter Marietta trades his jeans for a suit, and guitar, as the guitarist and band organizer of ZZ Topless, a five-piece female-fronted ZZ Top Tribute Band? Marietta was interviewed in the article “No Beards Just a Sharp Dressed Band,” in the San Francisco Chronicle, Entertainment section, of February 16, 2014. In the interview he says he “envisioned ZZ Topless as a sort-of Bizarro ZZ Top, flipping that band's ‘dusty and dirty image’ on its head. I think there's a really beautiful incongruity there.” The lead singer wears a dress, the musicians dress in suits and skinny ties, and no one dares sport a beard. A few questions for Marietta:
- Do you find any similarities in your band persona and your role as a facilities manager?
The only similarity I can think of is that it’s my job, in both cases, to organize the activities of a group of people who all want the same result, but often have very different ideas about how to get there.
- Any other roles you have in your life we may not know about?
I have a small side business running a small recording space for independent artists and renting out sound equipment for weddings and parties. The most time consuming role I have, however, is my role in my family. Having two young sons can be exhausting!
- When is your next gig?
My next gig is at 50 Mason in San Francisco on May 17. We are playing with two other tribute bands – a Led Zeppelin band and a Jimi Hendrix band. If you want to come, plan to stay out late.
More information and to find gigs: https://www.facebook.com/ZZTLess
Joanne Lauren Yarker, biologist postdoctoral fellow, Kohwi-Shigematsu lab, per April 17
Trevor James Bratton, student assistant, Bizarri lab, per April 15
Sara Antonia Messina, student assistant, Bizarri lab, per April 15
Kendrick Han Chaney, student assistant, Derenzo lab, per April 8
David Nguyen, research associate, Wyrobek lab, per March 19
Yongwon Kwon, biologist project scientist, Mao lab, per March 17
Gabriella Boulton, student assistant, Northen lab, per March 7
Erika Nicole Cagampan, student assistant, Northen lab, per March 6
Caroline Sohyun Kim, student assistant, Butland lab, per March 5
Elodie Guiet, research assistant, Costes lab, per February 6
Kriti Sondhi, student assistant, Northen lab, per April 15
Cameron D Kennedy, senior research associate, Karpen lab, per April 13
Adam Max Chazin-Gray, student assistant, Tainer lab, per April 8
Zhijian Wang, radiochemist postdoctoral fellow, O’Neil lab, per April 2
Chen-Yi Chen, software developer, Costes lab, per March 3
Lap Shun Chan, biologist postdoctoral fellow, McMuray lab, per March 1
Devin Clunn, research assistant, Pluth lab, March 1
Ashley Pratt, biochemist special postdoctoral fellow, Tainer lab, per February 19
Alexandre Bruni Cardoso, biologist special postdoctoral fellow, Bissell lab, per February 14
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