Visitor of the Week: Seda Arat

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Meet Seda Arat of The Jackson Laboratory in Farmington, CT. Seda is a postdoctoral associate in the field of Computational Genetics and Systems Biology, and is a part of Greg Carter's lab. She made her first trip to CSHL for the 2017 Foundations of Computational Genomics course. 

What are your research interests? What are you working on?
My long-term research interests involve analyzing high-throughput sequencing data and computational modeling of biological systems. I am currently working on understanding the molecular regulation of mammalian meiosis from a computational analysis perspective.

Was there something specific about the Foundations of Computational Genomics course that drew you to apply?
My current projects require deeper understanding of analysis of protein-DNA binding and histone modifications. And since I am a mathematician by training, I wanted to have a fundamental and comprehensive understanding of sequencing techniques and computational methods in genomics.

What is your key takeaway from the Course?
It was something Jeff Leek, one of our instructors, said: “Look at your data." And to do so in each and every step of the analysis. 

Seda with fellow course trainees finalizing their end-of-course group project.

Seda with fellow course trainees finalizing their end-of-course group project.

How many CSHL courses have you attended? Any plans to attend a near future CSHL course and/or meeting? 
This was my first CSHL course, and I plan to attend Statistical Methods for Functional Genomics and/or Advanced Sequencing Technologies & Applications next year.

If someone curious in attending a future iteration of this course asked you for feedback or advice on it, what would you tell him/her?
It is a fast-paced and intense course, which consists of a very nice blend of lectures, hands-on workshops, and group projects. I would definitely recommend bringing your own data and biological questions so you're able to conduct more investigations and learn different perspectives and approaches from others. 

What do you like most about your time at CSHL?
My time at the course was, I think, one of the most productive periods of my life! I love being able to focus on nothing but learning, applying, and collaborating and, since I didn't have to worry about commuting or cooking, I was able to do just that during my time here - that was great!

Thank you to Seda for being this week's featured visitor. To meet other featured scientists - and discover the wide range of science that takes part in a CSHL meeting or course - go here.

Visitor of the Week: Lei Lei

Photo provided by Lei Lei

Photo provided by Lei Lei

Meet Lei Lei, an associate editor at Nature Plants since September 2016. On campus for the 2017 Plant Genomes & Biotechnology: From Genes to Networks meeting, Lei and other fellow meeting-goers celebrate the great progress the plant science field has made over the last two decades while they also discuss upcoming and exciting advances in plant genomes and biotechnology. Lei obtained her Ph.D. degree in Plant Biology from the Pennsylvania State University. Her previous research covers the regulatory mechanisms of cellulose biosynthesis, microtubule organization and embryo development in plants. As a member of the editorial team of Nature Plants, Lei handles manuscripts regarding plant metabolism, physiology, cell biology and ecology. She is based in the New York office of Springer Nature.

What areas of plant research is your journal most interested in?
Nature Plants covers the full range of disciplines concerned with plants. More details about the aims and scope can be found here.

What is your key takeaway from the Meeting?
There is already so much fantastic progress achieved in crop breeding and metabolic engineering, while more incredibly novel approaches and applications are oncoming.

How many CSHL meetings and/or courses have you attended? Will you be attending any other near future CSHL courses and/or meetings?
This is my first one. I will be looking forward to any future CSHL meetings related to plant sciences.

Was there something specific about this meeting that drew you to attend?
I am particularly interested in some topics covered in the meeting like Metabolism, Biotechnology, Biodiversity. I also received a kind invitation from Ullas Pedmale a few months ago that helped me make up my mind.

If someone (for example, another editor) is curious in attending this meeting were to ask you for feedback or advice on it, what would you tell him/her?
I would strongly recommend it. CSHL is so close to our office and we have plenty of travel options. Prior to the event, the digital meeting package (including maps, parking permit, train info, shuttle schedule, and registration details etc.) is super helpful to schedule my travel plan. The meeting itself is perfectly sized and very well-organized. No need to emphasize more on the fascinating science talks and discussions in the meeting, I would say that CSHL is like a science camp that anyone who has deep love in science (not only plant science) should come and see.

What do you like most about your time at CSHL? 
The campus is scenic and historical. Living and dining on the beautiful campus made it an excellent time to make new friends :)

Thank you to Lei for being this week's featured visitor. To meet other featured scientists - and discover the wide range of science that takes part in a CSHL meeting or course - go here.

Visitor of the Week: Yi-Jyun Luo

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Meet Yi-Jyun Luo of Harvard University. Having recently graduated from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (Japan), Yi-Jyun joined Mansi Srivastava's lab this past September as a postdoctoral fellow. He is affiliated with the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and returns to CSHL to attend his second CSHL course in two years. This year, Yi-Jyun is training at the 2017 Scientific Writing Retreat which is held annually in the Banbury Conference Center. 

What are your research interests? What are you working on?
I am interested in evolutionary developmental biology, and my research interests are in animal body patterning and cell fate regulation during evolution. I am working on stem cell regulation in a new regeneration model: acoel Hofstenia miamia.

Was there something specific about the Scientific Writing Retreat course that drew you to apply?
Writing is an essential aspect of doing science in terms of getting publications and grants. As a non-native English speaker, I am always working to improve my English writing and to better communicate my ideas and research. From my past experience of attending CHSL meetings and courses, I knew this course would be an excellent opportunity for me to learn scientific communication skills.

What is your key takeaway from the Course?
The diversity in the attendees, and the encouraging environment fostered by the Course to share and speak with those from different fields, are awesome. I have picked up a lot of new ideas on how to deliver my work to a target audience and to lay people. 

How many CSHL courses and meetings have you attended?
This is my third time at CSHL but this is my first time at the Banbury Center. I attended the Biology of Genomes meeting in 2015 and the Programming for Biology course in 2016.

If someone curious in attending a future iteration of the Scientific Writing Retreat course asked you for feedback or advice on it, what would you tell him/her?
I highly recommend this course as it is very rewarding in terms of scientific and personal experiences. The course is exceptional for learning written communication know-how from the best, and it is also an excellent networking opportunity to meet editors face-to-face. Also, the Banbury Center is a lovely setting for this course.

What do you like most about your time at CSHL?
I really enjoy the unique and inspiring atmosphere at CSHL. Both the Banbury Center and Main Campus are full of natural scenery and academic history, and are all about cutting-edge technology and science communication. Also, people are friendly and there are plenty of opportunities to interact with fellow scientists and journal editors.

Yi-Jyun received a stipend from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to cover a portion of his course tuition. On behalf of Yi-Jyun, thank you to NIGMS for supporting and enabling our young scientists to attend a CSHL course where they expand their skills, knowledge, and network.

Thank you to Yi-Jun for being this week's featured visitor. To meet other featured scientists - and discover the wide range of science that takes part in a CSHL meeting or course - go here

Visitor of the Week: Paola Silveira

Photo provided by Paola Silveira

Photo provided by Paola Silveira

Meet Paola Silveira of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Paola is a member of Amilcar Tanuri's molecular biology lab in the Department of Genetics and in March 2018 will be defending her thesis. Paola is on campus to attend her first CSHL course, 2017 Advanced Sequencing Technologies & Applications.

What are your research interests? What are you working on?
I'm interested in HIV and other endemic viruses affecting Brazil. Currently, I’m working on the next generation sequencing technologies to elucidate the origins and epidemiology of Zika virus, and determining whether there is a viral genetic basis of adverse fetal outcomes resulting from in utero ZIKV infection. 

Was there something specific about the Advanced Sequencing Technologies & Applications course that drew you to apply?
I wanted to gain more knowledge on new sequencing platforms and applications; particularly learn data processing and master bioinformatic tools that are available to me but I wasn't familiar with. The course met these needs and has since broadened my view of the genomics field. I have acquired data analysis know-how, and will confidently apply these new skills when I return to my home institution.

What is your key takeaway from the Course?
I’m looking forward to the next years of the genomic era. The advancements in DNA sequencing technologies and in the bioinformatics field are expanding our knowledge, and turning previously-unimaginable scientific and novel biological applications into achievements.

If someone curious in attending a future iteration of Advanced Sequencing Technologies & Applications course asked you for feedback or advice on it, what would you tell him/her?
For those interested in this course, I would strongly recommend this amazing opportunity. You will learn and you will be learning from the best who are each enthusiastic, supportive, and vested in your learning.  

What do you like most about your time at CSHL?
I’m delighted with the landscape of CSHL campus. Here you're surrounded by green and always be surprised by science sculpture. Additionally, I have met a great group of people here.

Paola received a stipend from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to cover a portion of her course tuition. On behalf of Paola, we want to thank HHMI for continuing to support and enable young scientists to attend a CSHL course to expand their skills, knowledge, and network. 

Thank you to Paola for being this week's featured visitor. To meet other featured scientists - and discover the wide range of science that takes part in a CSHL meeting or course - go here

Visitor of the Week: Yvanka de Soysa

cshl-visitor-yvanka-de-soysa-2017

Meet Yvanka de Soysa of the University of California, San Francisco. Yvanka, a Sri Lankan national and graduate student in Deepak Srivastava's lab at the J. David Gladstone Institutes, is on campus for the 2017 Single Cell Analyses meeting where she presented a poster titled "Single Cell Transcriptome Analysis of Early Cardiogenesis and its Perturbation Upon Hand2 Loss".

What are your research interests? What are you working on?
I am interested in the molecular mechanisms of embryonic heart development with my main question being: What are the important genes and cell types that form the embryonic heart, and how does incorrect activity/behavior of these genes/cell types lead to babies being born with heart defects? 

Was there something specific about the Single Cell Analyses meeting that drew you to attend?
Being that I am new to computational biology and have only been working with single cell transcriptome data for less than a year, this meeting presented a great opportunity to learn more about single cell analysis and technical methods. Also, my abstract was chosen for a poster presentation and I was eager to share and discuss my work in the poster session to get feedback from the experts in this field. The response I received and and the conversations around my poster from the other meeting attendees were very encouraging and exciting.

What is your key takeaway from the Meeting?
I am really excited by the diversity of methods for probing molecular features of single cells. I am primarily working with single cell transcriptomics, and this meeting has taught me a lot about the different types single cell proteomics and epigenomics methods as well as single cell imaging modalities. 

How many CSHL meetings have you attended and any plans to participate in a future CSHL meeting or course?
This is my very first meeting at CSHL, and I am interested in applying to attend the course on Chromatin, Epigenetics and Gene Expression.

If someone curious in attending a future iteration of Single Cell Analyses meeting asked you for feedback or advice on it, what would you tell him/her?
I would definitely recommend that they attend the next Single Cell Analyses meeting and make sure to spend time at the bar at the end of each day because my most insightful and valuable scientific discussions came from chatting and brainstorming with other attendees over drinks. 

What do you like most about your time at CSHL?
During the breaks between sessions, I've been taking short walks to explore the campus. It is truly a beautiful space and the views across the water from the campus are breathtaking. I am also a huge fan of the Waltz of the Polypeptides piece that is on campus. 

Thank you to Yvanka for being this week's featured visitor. To meet other featured scientists - and discover the wide range of science that takes part in a CSHL meeting or course - go here