GOBBLE GOBBLE: The Quintana Lab celebrates Thanksgiving

The Quintana-Sanz house was transported back to the USA last week. A huge turkey presided a big table around which the Quintanalab team sat to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Albert and Eli feel nostalgia for their years in the States, and they try to maintain the best traditions (especially those involving food). There was a delicious pumpkin pie, exhuberant Brussel sprouts, an astonishing green bean casserole, mouth-watering cornbread, exquisite mac’n’cheese, among other incredible foods, everything homecooked by Quintanalab members. Kudos to all lab members for such a feast! So delicious!

After the lunch, the lab had many good laughs playing the HEADS UP game, and sipping some coffee (we mean espresso) while the afternoon became the evening.

It is a good thing to give mitochondria a little breathing space for a while 😉

HALLOWINc PUMPKIN CARVING CONTEST 2017

Again this year, Researchers, Students and Administrative Staff of the Institut de Neurociències (INc) were called to participate to the 2nd edition of the HALLOWINc PUMPKIN CARVING CONTEST 2017!!

The topic of this year was to decorate a pumpkin about something related to Science History. So we got creative!!!…  and showed the evolution from monkeys to neuroscientists in a pumpkin (supposedly) expressing GFP gene (isn´t it cool?!!). Hei, we had lots of fun carving the pumpkin and “transfecting” GFP into it!!!

Pumpkin

All teams took the challenge very seriously and there was a high level of creativity.

It was really a tough competition but we are very very very happy and proud to have won an exclusive INc-UAB mug as team work rewarding!!!

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The wheels are running!

Wow! what a busy time this past year has been!

Many (good) things and (good) news to explain! New members, new papers, exciting science… here you are a picture of the lab just before summer break!

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First of all, we are glad to announce three! new additions to the lab: Kelsey, Fabien and Patrizia. (disclaimer: they have already been with us for some months, but hey, I told you we have been really busy!)

Kelsey Montgomery has re-joined the lab as a part-time research technician/MSc student (Bioinformatics). She graduated (BSc. Genetics) from the University of Georgia (2013) and worked at Seattle Genetics (2013-2015) before joining the Quintana lab in Seattle (2015). We are excited to have her with us again on the other side of the pond!

Fabien Menardy (aka Fab) has joined the lab as a postdoctoral fellow and is our resident optogenetics/in vivo electrophysiology expert. Fabien graduated (PhD Neurosciences) from the University of Paris Sud (2012) under the supervision of Dr. Catherine del Negro, where he worked on elucidating neural responses involved in zebra finch vocal communication signaling. After obtaining his PhD, he joined the lab of Dr. Daniela Popa and Dr. Clément Lena, at the École Normal Supérieure, Institut de Biologie (Paris), as a postdoctoral researcher (2013-2016) where he focused on understanding the role of the cerebellum in Parkinson’s Disease. He is now interested in understanding the electrophysiological alterations (and their implications in circuit signal processing) in neurons with mitochondrial dysfunction. 

Patrizia Bianchi joined the lab as a postdoctoral fellow and is an expert in mitochondrial dynamics. Patrizia graduated (PhD Biomedicine) from the Universitat de Barcelona (2016) under the supervision of Dr. Aurora Pujol (IDIBELL), where she worked on elucidated the alterations in mitochondrial dynamics in X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy. She is now focusing on characterizing the underlying deficits in mitochondrial dynamics in animal models of Leigh Syndrome.

We are glad to have such talented scientists in the lab!

Last, but not least, and even though there will be other posts providing brief summaries, we are glad to have had two articles recently accepted! Hooray!

Here you are the links, for those interested:

Striatal GPR88 modulates foraging efficiency (Journal of Neuroscience)

Loss of mitochondrial Ndufs4 in striatal medium spiny neurons mediates progressive motor impairment in a mouse model of Leigh Syndrome (Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience). OPEN ACCESS

Will keep you updated!!

 

The lab keeps growing!

Some good news in the lab!

We are extremely happy to welcome our new technician,  Andrea Urpí. andrea

Andrea graduated in 2014 (Biochemistry) from the Universitat  de Barcelona (UB) and obtained a Masters in Clinical Analyses  from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona – UPF in 2015.

Andrea is joining the lab as a research technician but she is also testing to waters to see  which scientific career she pursues… Needless to say, we are pretty sure that it will be a successful one!

We are really excited to have her in the lab!

Welcome!!

Pati and Pablo join the Quintana lab

As we already briefly mentioned in the last post, the lab is extremely happy to welcome our first graduate students, Patricia (Pati) Prada and Pablo Machuca.

Pati graduated in 2014 (Genetics) from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) and obtained a joint Masters in Biological Antropology  from the Universitat de Barcelona – UAB (our alma mater, by the way) in 2015.

Pablo also graduated in 2014 (Biochemistry) from the Universidad de Granada and in 2015 he obtained a Masters in Advanced Biotechnology from the Universidad de Málaga.

Both Pati and Pablo are pursuing a graduate program in Neurosciences and we are super-mega-sure they have a bright and succesful career in science ahead!

We are really excited to have them in the lab!

Cheers!

 

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Alex teaching some lab moves 🙂

A busy couple of months!

It’s been a while since the last post, and for a good reason!

It has been a really hectic couple of months…

But first things first…

During these months the lab space has taken shape, there is still some construction going on, but the main lab space is done. You can take a look at the benches before (and after) adding all the equipment.

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Importantly, our lab name plate is here! it is so cool to have it already in place, now we are even more excited to do science!

lab tag

 

The second remarkable event for the lab (other than the summer break) has been attending, in September, to the EMBO  workshop “Mitochondrial DNA and degeneration” held in Sitges, Barcelona.

It was a great meeting with plenty of exciting and eye-opening talks that showed us the cutting-edge science in mitochondrial research. Plus, we met many excellent mitochondrial scientists and potential collaborations!

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Can you find Waldo (a.k.a the Quintana lab members?)

And last, but not least, we are really excited to introduce our new lab members 🙂 We welcome our first graduate students, Pati and Pablo, but this really deserves its own post!

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The lab gets bigger but we all share our drive to make excellent science in mitochondrial disease research!

 

The Quintana lab goes across the pond…

It has been an eventful couple of months for the Quintana lab.

It all started when we received a great offer to locate the lab at the Institute of Neurosciences at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, in the outskirts of Barcelona, Spain and have our research funded by one of the prestigious ERC Starting Grants (NEUROMITO: more in current projects).

ercAfter some careful thought, we have decided that this is a great opportunity for the lab to grow and to pursue our goal of finding a cure for mitochondrial disease. This funding has allowed most of the lab to move to Barcelona and will sustain and enhance our research capability in the future.

Even though it is sad to leave Seattle and to say goodbye to our friends at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the Northwest Mitochondrial Research Guild, we believe that this will be a positive move and that undoubtedly we will continue collaborating towards our common goal. We will always be in debt for the great opportunity, training and mentoring provided by our experience and colleagues in Seattle and we will continue to grow in Barcelona.

All “travelling” members: me (Albert), Eli, Alex, Irene and Kelsey are really looking forward to set our experiments up in Barcelona and we promise new and exciting updates soon! We are sad to leave Jessica and Ben behind, but we are sure they will have a bright and promising career in the future!

So, after a few years… we have to say: farewell Seattle and Welcome Barcelona!

 

 

Capcalera