LAB News

A visit from Adam Pingel

posted Jul 20, 2019, 9:37 PM by Lab Rat   [ updated Jul 20, 2019, 9:38 PM ]

A visit from Adam Pingel (former labrat) who is here with his son at hockey camp; apparently his girls are inner tubing down around my house on Spring Creek. =)  

Here is the technology review paper on Plant Propagation Bioreactors that Adam was acknowledged in <Application of Bioreactor Design Principles to Plant Micropropagation>

Stick Family Visit

posted Jun 9, 2019, 10:35 PM by Lab Rat   [ updated Jun 10, 2019, 2:00 PM ]

This is Jennifer Stick, 90s honors student who lives in California while taking a break from her technical life to home school her boys. This visit to PSU was part of an ‘east coast history lesson; … starting up in Boston and making way down to Washington, D.C.

Bird Island

posted Jun 9, 2019, 10:27 PM by Lab Rat   [ updated Jun 10, 2019, 2:03 PM ]

Here Micheal Ream and I were on our way back from the UFL trip to set up the optical bench. We took this opportunity to catch the sunrise on Bird Island before our flight back from Jacksonville.  The other highlights of the trip were the aquifer springs and the butterfly collection on UFL campus, but all was a bit chilly with temperatures at night reaching the upper 30s despite it being March in Florida.

Sairam Cyber Academy

posted Jun 9, 2019, 10:11 PM by Lab Rat   [ updated Jun 10, 2019, 2:04 PM ]

Our collaborator at Penn State Harrisburg, Sairam, took Dr. Curtis to visit an amazing K-12 cyber school. The school has a focused curriculum around experimental work with aquaponics. This includes mobile lab trailers that move around the state to provide hands on learning as well as this fully equipped laboratory space near Harrisburg, PA. Where the atriums of a large bank building are now converted to aquaponic demonstrations fully instrumented so that the experiments can be shared with their 9000+ students across the state.  

Woolston's visit for a bike ride

posted Jun 9, 2019, 9:44 PM by Lab Rat   [ updated Jun 10, 2019, 2:05 PM ]

Former honors student, Ben Woolston, conducted research on genetically-engineering mushrooms. He spent a summer on the ARPA-e biofuels project before heading to MIT as a new professor at NorthEastern.  

Ben came back for some blue & white and participated in the men’s glee-club events, while staying with Dr. Curtis for a few days. During this time, they also rode a 20+ mile Trek up to the fire tower!  

Academia … is definitely “witts end”.

Olga CMU Visit - AIChE 2018

posted Nov 12, 2018, 8:15 PM by Wayne Curtis

Dr. C visited Olga Vinogradova at the CMU reception for the AIChE meeting.  Olga had completed thesis in Spring 2016, but come back during that summer to prepare materials to help Mustafa set up is lab in Turkey.  That startup was delayed till just this past summer (funding) ... where David Samson then finally sent things to get his work going on an improved Rhodobacter membrane protein expression platform. 
Olga and DrC at CMU reception

Several New Post-doctoral Positions - Oct 2018

posted Oct 21, 2018, 2:27 PM by Wayne Curtis   [ updated Oct 21, 2018, 3:30 PM ]

Our lab is seeking several postdoctoral students to work on a highly interdisciplinary / multi-University project for crop protection involving viral vectors and associated insect transmission of those viruses. The primary target for crop protection is drought stress. The specific post-doctoral position involves genetic engineering of tomato to provide for 'plant gene therapy' biocontainment. A skill-set that must be developed for project success will be the manipulation of insect physiology based on siRNA technology. This post-doctoral position will focus on crop protection from drought. The effort will involve promoter discovery in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Labs, EMSL facility for proteomic and transcriptomic support. There is no restriction on publication or nationality for participation. 
Please apply at the links provided above; Assessments of applicants will start immediately with hopes of bringing on these new collaborators as soon as possible.

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 &quot;Scholars Day&quot;.
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. 

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