January 2014


Matt in the Dead Sea

Long time no news, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy…

Mark’s now a doctor (insert applause here), having successfully defended his thesis just before Christmas.  He also managed to present his latest project at SfN in San Diego in November, and to find himself an exciting new post-doc position in the Mucke Lab at the Gladstone in San Francisco.  But we’re not letting him leave just yet – he’s in the middle of a mini post-doc here that’ll hopefully polish off a story that we’ll look to publish as soon as we can.

In fact, Grubb Lab alumni have a pretty good track record at finding themselves positions once they’ve left us.  As well as Mark’s new post-doc job, Shivali – our MSc project student from the summer – has now started a PhD in Nottingham, while Tom W, who did a series of different projects with us a few years ago, has got himself on the highly competitive MD-PhD programme at UCL.  We’re also waiting for news from Rob, another undergraduate project student from a couple of years ago, who’s currently in the process of applying for PhDs and may even end up back in this department.

Since the summer we’ve had to say goodbye to Dutch Dennis, who got us up to scratch with our image analysis and who broke all records for Holland Masters grades (apparently).  We’ve been trying to get him back for a PhD but he’s stubbornly staying in Amsterdam for the moment.  And we had another highly successful MRes project student from the 4-year Centre PhD course – Sam learnt how to patch cultured dentate granule cells and got himself and us some publishable data within 3 months, but he’s now off sampling what the rest of our department has to offer.

The good news is that we have a new permanent member of the lab!  Elisa Galliano has just joined us as a post-doc, having got her hard-won PhD from the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam under the supervision of Chris de Zeeuw.  We seemed to spend most of 2013 begging for money to bring Elisa over, but after applying for 7 different funding schemes she managed to go and get herself the very best one possible: a Sir Henry Wellcome Post-doctoral Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust!  Elisa will now be based here at King’s for the next 4 years, but will also be jet-setting to Paris, Harvard and (ahem) Oxford to do some really exciting experiments with her international band of superstar collaborators.  She’s certainly been busy so far, getting acquainted with the beauty of the olfactory bulb and putting together our new baby: the lab’s new slice patch rig.

In the meantime, Adna successfully upgraded to full PhD student status, went off to Crete for an ISN workshop where she learnt a great deal about German gardening, and presented a poster at the Cambridge Neuroscience Symposium celebrating the 50-year anniversary of the Hodgkin-Huxley Nobel Prize.  Annisa’s been working hard on a project that should see the light of day very soon now, as well as being responsible for the grand new-look website, and Matt went off to a great little interactive Axons in the Desert meeting in Israel and managed to fit in a hugely enjoyable visit to the Mizrahi lab in Jerusalem at the same time.

Last but by no means least, the Grubb Lab officially rocked the MRC Centre Christmas Party this year, teaching everyone a thing or two about fashion, style, moves and scrimping by making a physical and metaphorical visit to the Thrift Shop.

Happy New Year from all of us, and here’s to a great 2014!