Happy month!! Collectively, our lab received FIVE grant rejections LOL, but also ... wait for it ... TWO successful grants! We are extremely grateful for the support from Cure-CMD and AFM-Telethon and excited to partner up with these amazing patient-driven organizations. Socially-distanced celebration in order!
- Under a collaboration with the amazing Dr. George Gittes, we successfully trialed and completed an in-house AAV9 production. Shout out to Tina and Jeremy from the Gittes team for producing the highest virus titer Dwi has ever seen in the past 7 years!!
- A warm welcome to Dwi's new and improved Nespresso machine! With the extent of writing she has to do, she needs it! :D
- Our lab made two big decisions, to be announced next month! Stay tuned!
We are back in the lab, under strict COVID-compliant regulation. We're ramping up our research activities like nobody's business!
- We welcome Marie Johnson - our new lab manager! She has years of experience in the neighboring Nicholls Lab, working on multiple cool projects including the generation of minipig model of Prader-Willi Syndrome. Stay tuned for Marie's soon-to-be-out papers!
- Dwi presented another project that is currently "cooking" in the lab: "Skeletal muscle pathophysiology in a Snyder-Robinson mouse model: A journey from one rare disease to another" at the Snyder-Robinson Foundation Online Conference. Shout out to JiaQi who worked his magic behind the microscope, collected and analyzed data in a safe, COVID-compliant manner!
Very upsetting to see the world crumbles in front of us! Given the international nature of our lab, most of our families and loved ones live in other countries, which takes an extra toll on all of us! A few highlights during these weird times:
- Dwi was featured on Cell Stem Cells Introduction to the Community: Early-Career Researchers in the Time of COVID-19. Read here.
- Drs. John Williams and Stephanie Dewar hosted Dwi on That's Pediatrics Podcast. Listen here.
- Despite everything, Dwi submitted the lab's 1st R01 grant, with data collected by *Kemaladewi Lab* members! #ProudPI moment!
Shout out to our collaborators Drs. John Alcorn and Quasar Padiath, amazing mentors and colleagues at Children's who peer-reviewed the grant pre-submission, and the administration team working behind-the-scene! Virtual GROUP HUGS!
- Congratulations Caleb Kim, who graduated from Biological Sciences at Pitt. Caleb worked with Annie on LAMA1 upregulation in patient cells and will take a gap year in Seattle before going into Medicine next year. Annie replaced her "lab son" with a beautiful baby boy! Congratulations Annie and Remi! <3
March started in an extremely productive way!
- Annie wow-ed her committee members Drs. Padiath, Urban, and Conley and passed her comprehensive exam with flying colors!
- Dwi presented at the Cell Symposia Meeting for Gene- and Cell-based Therapy in San Francisco. Despite cool science overloads, the highlight was definitely being at the same dinner table as kickass-scientists like Jennifer Doudna, Viviana Gradinaru, and Yvonne Chen.
- Dwi then flew to Maryland to serve on the American Society of Human Genetics Membership Engagement Committee. We discussed strategies to make the ASHG an effective home society for human genetics researchers at all stages, all year long, everywhere. Read the Action Plans here!
PS: Some important connections were established during the two meetings above - to be continued :)
And then COVID-19 hits! You know the drill: the lab went on lockdown, mouse colonies were maintained to very minimum numbers, and everyone stayed home. The world turned grey! :(
February was a month full of celebration!!
First and foremost, the Kemaladewi Lab turned 1!! We have proven that we know how to survive, and now we are learning how to thrive!
Dwi presented the state-of-the-lab in front of the Children's Hospital Foundation (and toured their awesome new dig at TechMill 41!) and her tenure-track faculty mentoring committee members. And of course, a big birthday bash!
We threw a baby shower for Annie and Remi! The Division of Medical Genetics came together to wish the expecting parents all the best and gave their baby-related wise-words ( ... or occasionally, burns! :p). Check out some photos here!
Finally, we bid goodbye to Cynthia, who left for India to be closer to her family. Here is a photo of the farewell lunch!
Happy New Year! Our lab is now supported by a grant from the Dutch Duchenne Parent Project. Hartelijk bedankt!
Also, we received an "international shipment" in the form of ... a Ph.D. student! JiaQi Cheng Zhang received his MSc from Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and is now a Human Genetics Ph.D. student at Pitt Public Health. Welcome, JiaQi!
This is a month full of traveling. Dwi heads to the Netherlands to give seminars in several Universities.
- MDC1A: Road to Therapy hosted by Maastricht University and patient organization Stichting Voor Sara: Read here
- Radboud University Nijmegen, Center for Molecular & Biomolecular Informatics: Read here
- Leiden Network for Personalised Therapeutics Conference at Dwi's alma mater Leiden University: Read here
She will show some fresh, cool, and exciting data generated by the lab, discuss plans, and hopefully set up many new collaborations. It's important to not work in a silo!
We welcome Veronica Alday, a Neuroscience junior at the University of Pittsburgh (She's also THE ultimate mouse whisperer!) and Caleb Kim, a senior in Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. Both of them joined our lab as undergraduate research assistants.
- Salah finished his summer internship with us! He is now a PRO in cell culture & has generated strong foundations for multiple projects in the lab. He's also the voice behind our #SciComm video here. Salah is back at the University of Missouri for his MD study. Congratulations & thank you for your wonderful work!
- Welcome Annie Infancia Arockiaraj, a Human Genetics Ph.D. student from Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh. Annie completed her Master's thesis on "Epigenome-wide association studies in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage patients" with Drs. John Shaffer and Daniel Weeks over at Pitt Public Health.
- Cynthia Francis, the "official" 1st hire of the Kemaladewi Lab officially starts as a Research Technician.
Dwi will be giving a talk at the Gordon Research Conference on Polyamines in Cancer Biology, Inflammation, Microbiome, Plants, and Pathogens at Waterville Valley, NH. Looking forward to sharing her research plans and get feedback from experts in the field.
- 3-months after Soft Opening, the Kemaladewi Lab is beautifully-stocked (Photos here, here, & here). Biosafety and Animal protocols have been approved. Future lab members have been hand-picked & are currently completing their paperwork. PS: She is extremely grateful to her personal coffee machine that has been keeping her sanity intact.
- The Kemaladewi Lab is now also supported by the Children's Trust. Thank you for the generous support!
- Dwi will be giving a talk at the 1st/Inaugural North American edition of the RE(ACT) International Congress on Research of Rare and Orphan Diseases in Toronto.
April 13-17, 2019: Dwi will head to Orlando to give a talk at the 2019 MDA Clinical & Scientific Conference as an MDA Scholar. The MDA Development Grant has been instrumental in supporting Dwi's transition to an independent investigator.
Feb 1, 2019: The Kemaladewi Lab is officially open! And the website is LIVE...