27.06.2018: Today we bid farewell to Dr. Duy Tien Ta who is leaving the group to take a position at ASTAR in Singapore. We threw him a going-away party with BBQ at St. Johann's Park. Thanks for all your dedication and hard work Tien!
17-22.06.2018: Michael attended the Gordon Research Conference on Biointerfaces at Il Ciocco Resort in Tuscany this week. It was a great meeting thanks to Prof. Hagan Bayley who organized the event. Looking forward to 2020!
01.06.2018: Today we welcome Floor van der Valk to the group as a new PhD student. Floor studied Pharmacy and Drug Innovation at Utrecht University and completed her masters thesis with Prof. Andreas Plückthun at the University of Zurich working on Armadillo repeat proteins. Welcome Floor!
27-29.05.2018: Michael and Tien both attended the annual NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering fellows retreat at the Swiss Federal Ministry for Sport (Bundesamt für Sport) in Magglingen, Switzerland this week. It was a great meeting with an impressive keynote from Prof. Tobias Erb from the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology. Thanks to Aleks Benjak, Esther Stalder, and Audrey Fischer for organizating the event!
24.05.2018: Michael gave a talk at the IS2M Annual Meeting at the Institute for Materials in Mulhouse, France. The theme this year was microfluidics and the title of the talk was, "Quantifying cell adhesion using shear flow and single-molecule AFM". Thanks for the invitation!
23.05.2018: We hosted Prof. Alex Buell from the Institute for Physical Biology, University of Düsseldorf today for the weekly Physical Chemistry seminar. He gave a seminar entitled, "The kinetics and driving forces of ordered peptide and protein self-assembly". Thanks for visiting Alex!
8.05.2018: We hosted Prof. Ashutosh Chilkoti from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University for the ETH D-BSSE seminar this week. His seminar was entitled, "Genetically encoded polypeptides that exhibit phase behavior and self- assemble across multiple length scales". Thanks for visiting and presenting your exciting work!
24.04.2018: Michael traveled to the Adolphe Merkle Institute at the University of Fribourg and delivered a research seminar entitled "Engineering multi-enzyme complexes using single-cell and single-molecule studies". It was great getting to know the colleagues there. A special thanks goes to Prof. Nico Bruns for arranging the visit. Thanks Nico!
10.04.2018: Michael attended the Microfluidics Symposium organized by Prof. Petra Dittrich from ETH D-BSSE and sponsored by Lab on a Chip in Basel today. It was a great meeting and very exciting to hear about the exciting work in this field.
03.04.2018: Today we welcome Dr. Philippe Herman as a postdoc to the lab. Philippe joins us from the lab of Yves Dufrene at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. His PhD focused on studying surface adhesin proteins from S. Aureus using single-moleucle and single-cell force spectroscopy. Welcome to the group Philippe!
03.04.2018: Our article describing posttranslational assembly of mechanical proteins using Sortase and Sfp transferase was accepted for publication in Small Methods! Congrats to Haipei and Tien for this nice piece of work.
26.03.2018: Yannik Weber who is performing a 9-week nano block practical course in our lab celebrated his birthday today and in accordance with the lab rules he brought a cake for his office mates to enjoy. Yannik really went above and beyond expectations with this by bringing a cake related to his research theme: smart magnetic nanoparticles made of frosting! Amazing and completely non-toxic! Thanks Yannik!
Nanoparticle-themed birthday cake from Yannik
15.03.2018: The official ribbon cutting ceremony (Einweihungsfest) happened this evening for Building 1096 in Biopark Rosental. Local politicians, university administrators, general big shots and collaborators from ETH D-BSSE all descended on our building to listen to speeches and toast the opening of the building. They even put stand-up posters for each research group in the hallways (ours shown below). Thanks to Olaf Lips for organizing the event. Tom Ward and Valentin Köhler both deserve a lot of credit for this building. Thanks guys! And now, science please! Here are some impressions of our new building:
Left: Posters were put up for the opening ceremony. Right: View from the east with the neighboring cafeteria in green. Image credit: Adriano A. Biondo
After renovations. Photo credit (upper left) Adriano A. Biondo
During the renovations.
13.03.2018: Our new rheometer for measuring hydrogel viscoelastic properties was installed in the analytical lab today. We opted for the MCR 302 from Anton Paar with temperature controller, solvent trap and a couple other bells and whistles. We will make good use of this thing!
02.03.2018: The group kicked off the month with a happy hour on Friday evening. Highlights included heated debates on the merits of social media, the Swiss Röstigraben, and of course beer and peanut M&Ms. Thanks for the nice evening everyone!
Sorry for the framing Ivan!
14.02.2018: Our lab renovations are completed (after 1.5 years)! Our AFM lab how has full biotech capabilities including a biosafety cabinet, sink and cold storage. We are happy to finally be done with moving from Klingelbergstrasse and can enjoy this wonderful space for the next several years. Thanks to the University of Basel Department of Chemistry and the NCCR-MSE for making building 1096 at Biopark Rosental a reality! Here are some impressions of the building:
13.02.2018: Mariana celebrated her birthday today by bringing a cake to the lab for the whole group to enjoy. Michael unfortunately was hung up with a cold and couldn't join - too bad for him. Congratulations Mariana, we wish you many more happy returns of this day!
12.02.2018: Alfred Bazin started in our lab as a masters student from the Institute of Chemistry, Polymers, and Materials at the University of Strasbourg (ECPM-UniStra). He has experience in polymer chemistry and previously completed an internship at the R&D Department of Continental Tires in Hanover, Germany. His masters project involves enzyme-mediated hydrogel reactions. Welcome to the group Alfred!
19.01.2018: Joanan Lopez Morales joined the lab today as a PhD student. Joanan studied Biotech Engineering at Instituto Politécnico Nacional and earned a Master's in Microbiology and Biochemistry from the University of Göttingen / Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen. He is pursuing his PhD as part of a project funded by the Swiss Nanoscience Institute in cooperation with Prof. Sai Reddy's Lab (ETH Z D-BSSE). He will be working on directed evolution of protein receptors. Welcome Joanan!
15.01.2018: Keerthana Thamboo (Uni. Basel Chemistry) joined the group today as a master's student. Keerthana holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Basel. She will be working with Tien on ELP engineering. Welcome to the lab Keerthana!
08.01.2018: Tien and Haipei both celebrated birthdays over the holiday break, so they brought their mandatory office cake today for all to enjoy. Congratulations on surviving another year of life guys, and thanks for the cake to break up our Monday!
14.12.2017: The group celebrated the holidays at Kohlmann's in Basel. Our dinner concluded with a white elephant gift exchange which was a tremendous success. Many thanks to Mariana for printing name tags for each team member on our 3D-printer, and also to Ivan for organizing the event. See you next year!
The white elephant gift exchange was a great success!
13.12.2017: Our recently published paper came out in final form today at the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS). We were even chosen for the journal cover image and featured in a spotlight editorial! Below is our winning cover art. Many thanks to Tobi and Rafael for all their hard work on this project!
29.11.2017: We hosted Prof. Ben Schüler from the University of Zurich, Department of Biochemistry this week. He delivered the Physical Chemistry Seminar and gave a great lecture on single-molecule FRET on intrinsically disordered proteins. Thanks for coming Ben!
24.11.2017: Several members of the team traveled to EPFL in Lausanne for the Bioengineering day conference. Michael presented currently unpublished work on enzyme-mediated hydrogel reactions. Tien presented his recently published in Nano Letters paper on magnetic separation/enrichment of ELPs, and Rosario presented his work on enzyme-mediated hydrogel reactions. Valentin and Zhaowei came along as well. What a great day! Many thanks to Sai Reddy for the organization and invitation. Here are some impressions:
We were the first ones who arrived for coffee!
Michael presented on enzyme-mediated hydrogel reactions.
22.11.2017: We met with Prof. David Weitz from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, who is in Switzerland delivering the Dreyfus lecture series. He delivered some impressive lectures on "Dripping, jetting, drops and wetting in microfluidic systems" and a second lecture the following day on "Droplet microuidics for single cell studies". Thanks for coming Dave, we wish you continued success!