Congrats to Dr. Bacchetti- Pawlowic Lab 1st PhD!

Dr Susan Wyllie (Internal Examiner), Dr Ross Bacchetti, Prof Rachel Chalmers (External Examiner)

Thanks to Dr. Susan Wyllie for serving as internal examiner and to Prof Rachel Chalmers for serving as external examiner! Thanks also to Rachel for giving a fascinating seminar the day before Ross’ viva about Cryptosporidium in the UK. It was so insightful to hear how COVID has impacted Cryptosporidium cases, and how Rachel’s group meticulously traces Cryptosporidium during outbreaks to pinpoint the source and stop further transmission.

Ross after official submission of his thesis to be examined
Ross tells us all about Cryptosporidium oocysts during his viva presentation
Proud lab! (left to right Ross, Simona, Jack, Grant)

Dr. Bacchetti leaves us to take up a position with the NHS in the clinical scientist training program. His focus is infectious disease and he starts in Glasgow on October 31st.

We will start working on Ross’ manuscript soon, so hope to share the data with the wider community in the coming year. We are very proud of all his hard work throughout his PhD.

Thanks to the collaborators who helped make Ross’ project so successful:

Dr. Leandro Lemgruber-Soares from the Glasgow Imaging Facility

Prof Massimo Vassalli and his student Mariana Azevedo Gonzalez Oliva at the Cellular Mechanobiology Lab at the University of Glasgow

Emma will have her viva in December, 2022 and Jack in January 2023…

Pawlowic Lab Travels

Beatrice was invited to give a talk at the “What’s New in Cryptosporidium?” conference organised by Prof Rachel Chalmers and Prof Angharad Davies. She presented “lab tools to study Cryptosporidium transmission and advance drug discovery”.

Jack gave a talk about his PhD project at the “Biology of Host-Parasite Interactions: Insights Into the Complex Relationships Between Eukaryotic Parasites and Their Hosts” Gordon Research Conference AND also at the “The Molecular and Cellular Biology of Eukaryotic Infectious Organisms” Gordon Research Seminar.

He shared his work to develop a comprehensive mode-of-action toolkit for Cryptosporidium. This includes adapting thermal proteome profiling for Cryptosporidium, an unbiased method to identify drug targets. This work was done in collaboration with the Mode-of-Action team led by Susan Wyllie.

Parasitology ECRs networking (Jack on far right).

This was also Jack’s first time to the USA! He was lucky enough to sample a Guinness at a Boston bar before his return flight to Dundee. One step closer to enjoying a Guinness on every continent!

Emma attended ICOPA in Copenhagen where she gave a talk about her work establishing organoid co-culture for Cryptosporidium, and presented a poster on her PhD project. Thanks to David Smith for organising the parasites and organoid panel and inviting Emma to speak!

Faith, Emma’s cat, providing essential assistance during conference preparation đŸ™‚

Simona participated in the Bioinformatics Summer School at the University of Glasgow!

Apicomplexan buddies!
Simona in the middle, on the left of the center hand rail.

The PhD students in the lab went for a long weekend together to the Scottish countryside to enjoy some time off together.

Ross, Emma, and Jack at Cawdor Castle
Emma in the gardens surrounding the castle
Group selfie!
Ross has also been teaching Jack all about fishing. The incredibly long Scottish summers mean you can squeeze in a trip to the lake after work.

Beatrice will give a talk at the Molecular Parasitology Meeting in Woods Hole, MA about her project to describe the Cryptosporidium oocyst wall proteome.

Big Changes

In the spring of 2022, we had several big changes to the membership of our group:

Sophie Rappich, a Wellcome Trust PhD student, joined us for a rotation. She helped us finish some key imaging experiments, as well as set-up some new in vivo transmission assays. Thanks Emma and Ross for working with Sophie during her rotation. Sophie joined Dr. Greg Findlay’s lab and Dr. Kate Storey for her PhD project.

Grant Hall, an MRC PhD student, joined us for a rotation to work on Mode-of-Action work, jointly supervised with Dr. Susan Wyllie. Thanks to Jack and Simona for helping Grant during his rotation. We are thrilled that Grant decided to come back for his PhD project. He will work on target identification of anti-cryptosporidial compounds.

Flora Caldwell finished her Honours laboratory-based project. Thanks to Beatrice for training Flora on all things molecular biology. Flora will continue with us as a research assistant over the summer and in the autumn of 2022 for an Integrated Masters project!

Pawlowic Lab students Spring 20220: Sophie, Grant, Flora, Jack, Ross, and Emma.

Jena: With nearby labs relocating to give us more space to expand, we found ourselves in need of some equipment of our own. Enter Jena, a streamlined gel doc with a small foot print and a tablet computer-touch screen. Thanks for coming into our #lablives.

The tablet touchscreen doubles as a lab selfie mirror.

Some of the biggest changes are the arrival of a lab baby in May- meet Clark Pawlowic!

Jack bravely was the first to hold Clark!
One month old here!

Collaboration with Curtis Thorne Lab

We are excited to share that we were awarded an Innovator Award in the last round of 2021! The project is to develop a 384-well plate based culture models for Cryptosporidium with human intestinal organoids. To do this, we are partnering with Dr. Curtis Thorne’s lab at the University of Arizona. Thanks to the Wellcome Trust for supporting this new work.

Curtis, Kelvin, and Pearl traveled to Dundee in March to visit us and brainstorm experiments for the project! We can’t wait to get started in April!

Dinner and drinks at Duke’s Corner.
No trip to Scotland is complete without visiting the Old Course in St. Andrews.

Back-in-the Lab!

During lockdown we baked…

We grew things…

Beatrice’s tomato plants (before they got huge!)

And we caught up on our scientific reading, planned experiments for when we get back, organised lab primers and plasmids on Benchling (thanks Jack!), did our first experiment with NOD SCIDs (thanks Lee!), and discussed Tiger King.

Ready to walk through this door soon and get things up and going again! Thanks to everyone for their hardwork and patience during this weird time.

Thanks to lab managers and everyone across SLS for making it safe for us to return.