I realize it has been quite a while since I’ve posted an update. It turns out it has been for a very good reason. The group has kept me incredibly busy during this pandemic, continuing to perform awesome science in very difficult circumstances. It’s quite rewarding to see those efforts recognized in multiple ways. By my count, we have published and/or posted 8 manuscripts/preprints during the year since the beginning of the pandemic. We’ve graduated two students with PhDs (Mia and Julia), with one more defending in a week (Aparajita). Justine, Julia, and Mia all moved on to fantastic positions in industry, where I understand they are all thriving. We’ve also added new members to the group – Kelsey, Nicole, and Dan (shared with Danielle Grotjahn) – who are starting exciting new projects in the lab. Lastly, we’ve been awarded 3 NIH grants over the past year to continue pursuing our research interests. This is just the outwardly facing evidence of our progress. Trust me when I say that we have some really cool unpublished science that has been accomplished over the previous year, which I’m hoping to begin getting out over the second half of 2021 (keep your eyes on bioRXIV for new work from the Wiseman lab!). Suffice to say, I’m incredibly proud of everyone in the group for managing and ultimately thriving in such challenging times. That all being said, I’m also proud for how my group has handled many of the social challenges that have come to the spotlight over the past year. The challenges with race in both science and societal settings, the difficulties surrounding the election and the associated fallout, the impact of social distancing on mental health, and all of the other injustices that have been brought to light over the past year. I feel that the Wiseman lab has emerged from this crucible with a refocused understanding of the different challenges that we all face in our lives and a further commitment to promote diversity, acceptance, and understanding both in our lab and globally in academic science. This is a testament to the outstanding members of my group and their passion for not just performing fantastic science, but also sharing that science through community outreach, mentorship, and social action. The last year, and I’m sure years to come, weigh heavy on me for many reasons, but I feel that we all have come out of this stronger and more committed to a better, more productive tomorrow. I honestly can’t wait to celebrate this fact, as well as our many accomplishments, with the members of my group (past and present) and collaborators. If any group of people deserves a party, its this one. And I intend to throw a good one (!), once we are able. -RLW-
It’s been over 2 months since we’ve been in the lab. While it was challenging, I was really impressed with how everyone in my group was able to make progress on both their research and/or training in multiple different ways. A quick accounting of our time away from the lab. We revised and finalized Belle’s review for publication. We revised and finalized Julia’s manuscript, which will be published in the coming months. We wrote and posted a preprint of Bibi’s work to bioRXIV, which has now been submitted for publication. Further, we’ve made substantial progress on multiple other manuscripts (from our lab and collaborating labs) that will be submitted in the near future. Apart from our publications, three students finished writing their candidacy proposals, even though the dates for their exams have not even been set. One student finished an NSF grant proposal (due in the fall) and two others finished drafts of their NIH predoctoral F31 applications (due in late summer). Finally, the entire lab contributed to completely revising our website. Obviously, I’m not a fan of being away from lab and suspending our research efforts, but I was quite proud of how the Wiseman lab managed their time away to continue their important work directed towards defining the therapeutic and pathologic implications of stress-responsive signaling in disease. I have a great group of people I get to work with every day, and this shutdown has just provided more opportunity to highlight how lucky I am to be surrounded by such outstanding scientists. That all being said, I’m grateful Scripps has found a way to safely reopen under restrictive conditions, allowing us to continue our experiments. While I enjoyed my weekly Zoom meetings with each and every member of my group, I’m amazed by how much time has opened up now that we have returned to their preferred meeting schedules. Further, it’s hard to explain my joy and excitement to get our first piece of new data after being out for 2 months (shout-out to Aparajita for making it a good piece of data!). I’m proud of everyone in the lab for how we weathered this shutdown, but I’m grateful that this great group of scientists now gets to go back to what they do best… making discoveries! - RLW
I’ve been putting this off. No question about it. But with the current coronavirus shutdown, I’ve decided its time to finally tackle my lab website. I have had a good run with the website I prepared using iWeb, but that program hasn’t been updated since 2014 and clearly won’t be an option moving forward. So here I am, sitting in my home office learning how to update my website on Github. With the help of Ben Barad (big thanks!) and my entire lab, we have put together this new website for the Wiseman lab. Yes, we definitely stole the design from Jamie Fraser’s lab at UCSF. I’m not proud of it, but it was just SO much easier (and Ben, who was in the Fraser lab, said it would be fine). We hope this new site reflects the collaborative, welcoming, and curious environment in the Wiseman lab and appropriately highlights the exciting work being performed by the exceptional scientists in our group. However, we are always looking for ways to improve the site, so if you have any suggestions, please let us know. But for now (or whenever I decide to release this to the public), enjoy! - RLW -
We (finally!) got around to having the Wiseman lab holiday party. There was food, karaoke, white elephants, and lots of laughing. Thanks to everyone for coming and make this a fun affair!