Huge congratulations to Patrick VanVolkingburgh, who completed his work placement and will soon graduate from St Lawrence College. Pat did an absolutely fantastic job setting up the lab over the past few months. He organized all of our biological samples and chemicals, and got us up and running on Quartzy. He made molar stock solutions, growth media, competent bacterial cells (very efficient ones, at that!), cleaned up and tested old equipment, designed primers, troubleshooted PCRs, and helped establish plant growth conditions. And, on top of all that, he was a pleasure to work with.
Pat won second prize at the Biotechnology Advanced poster session today – well-deserved recognition for his excellent work.
Jin Suk Lee and I went to grad school together years ago at UBC. She now leads a group at Concordia working on the molecular mechanisms that regulate plant growth and development. I happily accepted her invitation to give a departmental seminar and was really impressed with the excellent infrastructure and collaborative environment in the Department of Biology. I met with several junior group leaders running really interesting research programs and we swapped tips about starting our labs.