The next chapter in my scientific career is beginning.

On November 20th, 2017 I began my new position as the Molecular Technologies Department Research Manager at the Wisconsin Crop Innovation Center. This remarkable facility, gifted from Monsanto to the University of Wisconsin – Madison at the beginning of 2017, is now the largest publically held plant transformation facility in the United States. I am very fortunate to be able to join the team in the early stages of development of what will hopefully grow to become the premier plant transformation center in the world. I hope that my contributions will help toward that effort, and I cannot wait to see what new discoveries we make. I am grateful to my previous post-doctoral mentors for providing me the opportunity to develop skills and resources that have allowed me to land this job, and look forward to continuing to work with each of them in my new capacity.

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Genome of the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha

The genome sequence of the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha has just been published inĀ Cell. Interest in developing this evolutionarily basal plant as a model system has been increasing in recent years, and we are currently gearing up to see if we are able to successfully transform this plant with Agrobacterium. Figure 1 of the aforementioned Cell paper nicely illustrates where M. polymorpha fits within the basal plants.

Basal lineages

I heart iGEM…..

In the process of designing improvements to some of the tools under development in the lab, as well as engineering a fix for the Modular Cloning kit Level 2 position 5 end linker debacle, I have been making use of the valuable information housed in the Registry of Standard Biological Parts. This remarkable resource provides a vast array of DNA sequences, many of which have been functionally validated, that can be readily adapted for your specific needs. If you are ever faced with a seemingly intractable problem, take a look in the iGEM inventory and see if your creativity isn’t sparked to devise a novel and creative solution or work-around.

iGEM front