Weren’t you missing a post about Thanksgiving? We celebrated it, OF COURSE! Almost all of us gathered together in Albert and Eli’s house, to eat delicious food and drink delicious wine. The hosts prepared the main dish: a huge turkey (14-pounder) that went into the oven at 10 in the morning so it could be ready at a reasonable time (unlike other years). Guests brought other tasty side dishes, such as cornbread or amazing cakes. Big applause for everyone, as everything was excellent!
With some extra kilos (or should I say pounds?), we then played a game Alex brought, called Timeline, in which you have to put in order historical events. Guess who won? Albert, of course. And also Mel, who was playing with the youth handicap.
It was a lovely day with the best company!
At the beginning of the month, the Institut de Neurociències celebrated its 7th Scientific Conferences, and we were -obviously- there!
The event was held in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, by the sea, in the nicest hotel, and gathered together more than 120 students and institute members.
Albert was the conference coordinator and worked very hard for everything to be perfect.
There were more than 30 talks, poster sessions and time for having fun, as well:
(Please, take your time to observe this picture of the costume contest, don’t miss any details…)
Several members of the group participated in the conferences: Elisenda gave a talk on the first day regarding new techniques we are using, Patrizia explained the research she is currently carrying out, and Emma chaired a scientific session. Also, Andrea, Laura, Pablo, Pati and Patrizia presented a poster.
On the fun side, Abel organized an amazing trivia game, on the first night, that Laura’s team won. Pablo’s team won the costume contest, dressing as Disney characters; and Albert and Eli won the partying contest, almost closing the disco.
They were great days with great people! Already looking forward next year’s edition!
Albert, Eli, Álex and Irene are a bit nostalgic of their lives in USA, and they celebrate every North-American festivity they can.
This time, we met at Andrea’s house in el Penedès (thank you again for offering the house) to honour the USA independence on the 4th of July.
Cold beers in the swimming pool, to fight the heat, and all this tasty food waiting to be cooked in the barbecue.
The burgers needed to be prepared. We mixed the meat while Albert and Eli were singing the US National Anthem. We also had frankfurts and pulled pork, which was extremely delicious.
After the meal, we made up a game with water balloons in the swimming-pool, and we played Dixit while Fabien was putting great music. Abel won not because he was the best but because we used his weird point-counting system.
It was a lovely day! It is great to be part of the Quintanalab 🙂
The Quintanalab-Calçotada 2019 took place on a super sunny April day in El Priorat de Banyeres, a tiny village near Vilafranca. Thanks, Andrea, for offering the house!
It is already a tradition that the whole group gathers together one day to eat calçots with salsa romesco and have fun.
(Please, note Albert’s Salt Bae position…)
Àlex was the calçots chef. A fire was made, and he cooked the calçots with patience and expertise. He did an excellent job as they were very delicious!
After the heavy lunch, to digest, we played dodgeball. Ask Albert who won. Spoiler: not his team.
Then we drunk mojitos and talked and drunk more mojitos… It was a very nice day! Can’t wait for the Quintanalab-Calçotada 2020!
Last week three research centers at UAB celebrated an Elevator Pitch contest. Students and researchers had 2 minutes to explain their research projects to the audience, in a fun and understandable way.
There were 20 participants from the IBB, the ICTA-UAB and INc (our institute), and all of them talked about what they are doing in their labs. They all did amazing presentations, and we had a very nice time learning from them!
Pablo explained his PhD project, in which he puts all his energy and passion. He is investigating how to cure motion sickness (yes, he is not working in mitochondrial disease, but we still like him), using optogenetics and chemogenetics. Doing his research in mice, he turns on and off specific neuron populations to discover which ones are involved in this annoying phenomenon of feeling sick.
The audience were the jury, and through their votes they decided Pablo had to be the first winner. He did an excellent job with his communication, and we are very proud of him! Congrats, Pablo!
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 😉
Last Thursday 15th was the Open Doors day at the institute. 90 students from the Institut Torras i Bages and the Lycée Français de Barcelone visited the facilities of the center and learned about what we do in the laboratories.
We had the opportunnity to talk to them about how our research can help understand mitochondrial disease and find novel treatments.
We also explained what techniques we use. They could observe fluorescent mitochondria under the microscope, saw cool molecular biology tools and learned how to measure neuronal activity!
Fabien was specially happy because he could speak in French 😉
It was a very good experience and we hope it helped incentivate scientific vocations among them!
Last 10th and 11th of October, the INc celebrated its VI Scientific Conferences, and we were obviously there. It was fantastic! More than 130 researchers and students gathered together in a beautiful hotel, in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, to present their research and foster collaborations.
PhD students of 2nd year gave scientific communications explaining their projects, and Andrea was one of them. Pablo gave a talk as well, and Irene, Álex, Fabien, Pati and Laura presented posters. It was a great opportunity for them to receive interesting comments about their work.
Dr. Carmen Sandi, president of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), attended the conferences and gave an amazing plenary lecture. It was a pleasure to have the chance to talk to her!
After the plenary lecture, we all played a Trivia game, and guess what team was winning! Albert, Elisenda, Irene and Álex; ‘The Tsunamis’. Then, some technological issues happened… A conspiracy?
The conferences were also a good opportunity for us to better know some companies that provide services related to our work: publishing houses, lab material suppliers, etc. We would like to thank all of them for sponsoring the conferences!
Even knowing all the stress involved in the organization, we are already looking forward to the next edition of the conferences. Hopefully, the sun will rise to the occasion next time!
(The sun was only there for this picture…)
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!!!
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!!!
LIGHT UP FOR MITO!!!
During this week, please help Raise Awareness for Mitochondrial disease. Light a green light, wear green, share your experience, learn about mitochondrial disease, take part in the different activities! Just a little green light can go very far!!!
For more information on mitochondrial disease and mito actions!:
This past Thursday the Quintana lab was honored to share a wonderful night at the Círculo Ecuestre of Barcelona to raise awareness for mitochondrial disease research.
The event was organized by Isabel Lavín (and her husband Valero), the parents of Mencía, a really wonderful 7 year-old girl, and gathered a large audience of friends, mito families and researchers to educate on mitochondrial disease and help find a treatment for Mencía and all mito kids.
The night included several interesting and didactic and informative talks by local mitochondrial experts such as Dr. Julio Montoya and Dr. Jaume Campistol as well as an outline of the potential treatments that gene and cellular therapy may bring to mitochondrial research.
One of the highlights of the event was the announcement of the establishment of a new Foundation for Mitochondrial Research, devoted to find a cure (mainly via gene and cellular therapy) for mitochondrial disease. It was impressive the amount of support from many national (and international) celebrities!
Finally, we could enjoy an exquisite selection of hors d’oeuvres and drinks while participating in a charity raffle. Needless to say, the lab (at least part of it), was lucky 🙂
So, a big welcome to the new Foundation!