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    ERC Consolidator Grant to combine synthetic biology with infection biology

    November 28 2017

    Today the ERC announced this years' consolidator grant winners and our lab is one of them!

    The project will use innovative approaches for infection biology by combining synthetic biology and quantitative single cell biology including single cell RNA-seq, CRISPRi, engineered bistable switches and microfluidics. We will try to reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying cell-to-cell variability and its importance in virulence and antibiotic resistance.

    Initially, we are looking for 2 PhD students and a technician but applications for post-doc positions are also welcome. The start date is flexible but not before November 2018. Useful skills and interests are in single cell biology, infection biology, computational biology, bioinformatics or synthetic biology. But generally, all creative people should send an inquiry to the lab.

    Lab retreat 2017 Budapest

    November 20 2017

    Our lab retreat to Budapest was a great succes! Friday was spent doing a SWOT analysis and coming up with a mission statement for the lab. There was also time to visit the beautiful city and try the local cuisine. We also happended to stumble into an amazing pub named Szimpla where the team became creative (see picture).

    Learning new tricks

    October 27 2017

    This week Vladimir and Jan-Willem went to visit Roi Avraham at the Weizmann Institute in Israel to learn all about preparing libraries for sequencing. We learned a lot, setup an exciting collaboration and will definitely come back to see more of the country.

    Preprint now published in Nature Communications

    October 09 2017

    Our preprint in BioRxiv combining experiments with modeling to understand competence regulation is now out in Nature Communications.

    Congratulations to Stefany, Robin, Arnau, Morten! This has been a great collaboration with Sander van Doorn and Franjo Weissing at GELIFES.

    For some background on the work, see the 'Behind the paper': Synchronizing bacterial sex.

    ScienceLinx also did an interview with SanderHow does a bacterium make sense of the world?

    Welcome to MSc student Pascal!

    October 02 2017

    Today Pascal Roth started his 'first step' Masters project (3 months) in our lab, testing different CRISPR systems, under the supervision of Dimitra. Good luck!

    SNF funding to study pneumococcal cell biology

    September 01 2017

    Jan-Willem received SNF funding to study cell division and chromosome segregation in Streptococcus pneumoniae! Details on the grant are available at the SNF Research database.

    Lay Summary (in French):

    Streptococcus pneumoniae (le pneumocoque) est un agent pathogène opportuniste qui peut causer des maladies graves telles que la septicémie, la méningite et la pneumonie. Il est responsable annuellement de près d'un million de morts. La plupart des antibiotiques utilisés pour traiter les infections à pneumocoque ciblent les enzymes qui fabriquent la paroi cellulaire de la bactérie et de cette manière bloquent la division cellulaire. Les mécanismes qui permettent à la cellule de se diviser exactement par le milieu restent inconnus. L'objectif principal de ce projet est de décrire comment Streptococcus pneumoniae se divise pour produire deux cellules filles de taille identique et de même forme.

    Start of our first DARPA project

    September 01 2017

    Congratulations to Lance for landing and coordinating our first ever DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) contract to use Streptococcus pneumoniae to sequence DNA! Lance will be working together with Anne-Stéphanie to reach the first years' milestones and unlock a second year of funding.

    Joint lab meeting Grangeasse team in Lyon

    July 25 2017

    Sponsored by the EMBO young investigator programme, the Veening lab had a joint lab meeting with the Grangeasse lab in Lyon. Besides great science, there was also time for sightseeing and treeclimbing!

    Novartis Foundation grant

    July 11 2017

    Congratulations to Stefano and Jan-Willem for landing a Novartis Foundation for medical-biological Research grant. The grant is for 60K CHF and will allow us to buy a new Geldoc and a couple of months of salary for Stefano to help unravel a new mechanism for chromosome segregation in Streptococcus pneumoniae.

    Welcome to the Veening lab!

    June 01 2017

    We use synthetic and systems biology approaches to understand how bacteria replicate and switch from benign to pathogen. Our favorite model organism is Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus). Have a look at our Research page to learn more about our work.

    "Pneumococcus is altogether an amazing cell. Tiny in size, simple in structure, frail in make-up, it possesses physiological functions of great variety, performs biochemical feats of extraordinary intricacy and, attacking man, sets up a stormy disease so often fatal that it must be reckoned as one of the foremost causes of human death."
    Benjamin White: The Biology of Pneumococcus. The Commonwealth Fund, Oxford University Press, London, 1938.

    First post on www.veeninglab.com