Lab News

This site provides periodic updates of lab activities: publication of papers, awards, graduations etc.

Blast from Past (Legacy visit): Michelle Brincat '96

posted Sep 22, 2018, 9:40 AM by Wayne Curtis

Michelle Brincat, Honors BS ChE '96.  She was back in State College with her oldest son (of 3 boys) visiting colleges.  Her honors thesis was on plant tissue culture nutrient uptake ... where she contributed to many things during her several years in the lab.  Michelle had made the observations of inhibition of root hairs while working with a oxygen sensing dye for measuring mass transfer limitations in root tissue; this became the MS thesis topic of Julie Bordonaro (see Acknowledgements, Biotechnology Bioengineering paper), where this publication was noted in a news article in the Journal Nature !   
Dr. Curtis with Michelle Brincat at 2018 "Scholars Day".
Michelle, Husband and son had a tour of our Greenberg temporary lab. 

Dr.C. on the Mend

posted Aug 21, 2018, 11:29 AM by Wayne Curtis

In part to not have to explain this 1000x ....
During a lab organization (ironially) to improve safety in our cramped windowless dungeon of a temp lab in Greenberg ...
A glassware cabinet door fell off track and hacked into my hand. 
Apparently I did not rank the pain level high enough to warrant an x-ray at the hospital, when they sewed it up.
Upon taking stitches .. numbness in hand = nerve damage, so they took x-ray and discovered thumb fractured in several places!  Not excited about me still commuting by bike every day.  July surgery included sewing together nerve and a 'nerve tube' ... not sure accomplished much, but at least the hand is functional for critical life functions ;)  
If you don't like blood, I spared you the 'bloody injury' pics.  Personally found this interesting and even got to watch stitches, and ultra-sound weaving a nerve block catheter into nerve bundle under my clavicle for surgery. 

Boston CurtisLab mini-Reunion

posted Aug 18, 2018, 8:38 PM by Wayne Curtis

Pictured below are (left to right) Dennis Peterson, Rob Hendrix, Sydney Shaw, and April Hile ... Sergio Florez (not pictured) did not make the picture ... All of this crew are working in some way in the biotech / Pharma Industry on the east coast, along with dozens more.  Thanks for sending the pick. 

D.C. Road Trip - Warf Pier / A.T. Hammocking

posted Aug 18, 2018, 2:40 PM by Wayne Curtis

David Krum joined DrC for trip to Washington DC (DK visited mall, while DrC served on Grant review panel).  Stayed on the newly developed 'District Warf' that is multi-billion dollar urban upgrade being built on the former navy ship yard.  Since wanted to bolt back to SC for PSU move-in weekend, we hammocked on Appalachian trail in southern PA. 

Aliya meets Amish

posted Aug 5, 2018, 7:38 AM by Wayne Curtis   [ updated Aug 5, 2018, 7:44 AM ]

Aliya Fathima (posdoc from SRM, India) went down to the Curtis Farm to see the annual Amish action held nearby.  7+ auctioneers selling everything from bushes to furniture, farm equipment, animals and truckloads of wood.  I find it most interesting to see the Amish in this context where they are mostly in their own social environment.  
Aliya at Amish Auction

Dr Curtis - Recognized for Most Valuable Professor (PSU Softball)

posted May 1, 2018, 6:49 PM by Wayne Curtis

Dr. Curtis was nominated to receive recognition by the PSU women's softball team as MVP (Most Valuable Professor).  Due to having taught some of their team members in Chemical Engineering.

Brielle wins NSF GRF Fellowship

posted Apr 22, 2018, 2:33 PM by Wayne Curtis

Congratulations PhD Candidate Brielle Hohne for receiving an NSF GRF Fellowship!  Brielle plans to extend our NSF/Gates African Food security project to other species including banana.  Brielle is currently implementing our most recent versions of temporary immersion bioreactors and exploring use of transcription factors (lab paper 1, lab paper 2) and embryogenic proteins to facilitate plant propagation and plant improvements through genetic engineering and propagation bioreactor design
Brielle Hohne

Aisa's Dad visits from Nigeria

posted Apr 3, 2018, 9:19 AM by Wayne Curtis   [ updated Apr 3, 2018, 9:31 AM ]

Aisa's father was in State College over the Easter Weekend; I gave him a tour of our Greenberg lab. 


Dr Curtis(es) Donate Christmas Tree

posted Dec 14, 2017, 7:52 AM by Wayne Curtis   [ updated Dec 14, 2017, 7:54 AM ]

Dr. Carroll Curtis (Wayne's dad) ... donated a Christmas tree that was setup outside Greenberg Lab and decorated with the help of ChE students.  If you look carefully, you will see conical tube icicles, PVC pipe chain, Pall ring and Intalox saddle ornaments (and the metal snowflakes are compliments of Learning Factory capabilities (cutting aluminum air-frame barstock).   
Greenberg Christmas Tree

Cacao Somatic Embryo Induction Paper Publishes

posted Aug 10, 2017, 12:42 PM by Wayne Curtis

Thanks to the great mentoring of Sergio Florez, and the persistence of Morgan Shires to follow up the extended effort to show the ability to use this rather sophisticated induction system to activate transcription factors for somatic embryogenesis.  The paper is available in Biotechnology Letters as Open Source thanks to the Gates Foundation:  Inducible somatic embryogenesis in Theobroma cacaoachieved using the DEX-activatable transcription factor-glucocorticoid receptor fusion.  
Dexamethasone inducible transcription factor

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