It was a pleasure to finish our first six months with a lab Christmas lunch. We are enjoying being team of 4 (plus honorary children!), with 2 more recruits starting in 2023.
We have now mastered most standard assays in the lab using our new equipment. We are also excited to have placed an order for an all-singing-all-dancing high content imaging instrument - its arrival will be heralded soon.
The Caddy Lab was recently awarded an Intercampus Seed Grant to start an official collaboration with Professor Sallie Permar and her team at Weill Cornell.
Vaccines have been developed to prevent rotavirus disease in children, but they do not work well in low-middle income countries. It is likely that maternal antibodies are contributing to poor vaccine responses. Human rotavirus doesn’t replicate well in mice, so at present it isn’t straightforward to study this immunity to human rotavirus in a small animal model.
We aim to use ways to alter the genes of both mice and rotaviruses in order to improve virus replication in a mouse model. We will then be able to study how infant immunity to rotavirus is affected by maternal antibodies. Using mouse models to understand why rotavirus vaccines work poorly in countries where they are most needed, will provide a foundation to develop better vaccines in the future.
This week we turned on our incubators and biosafety cabinets, unpacked our microscope, and defrosted our first cells. It is surprising how much of an achievement this feels after months of planning!
These cells will be used to start growing up stocks of viruses we will work with in the lab. Teething problems are expected, but we hope we can now start gathering momentum. Please look out for future introductions to our three new lab members who will start to arrive shortly!
The Caddy Lab opened its doors on 5th July 2022. As you can see we have plenty of space and plenty of boxes to open!
The next few weeks will be spent buying and organizing everything we need in order to start doing experiments. Our tissue culture hoods, incubators and centrifuges have all arrived and are ready to be installed. No sign of any pipettes yet, but these have been on order for over a month and should be on their way soon!
The support from all the team here at the Baker Institute has been phenomenal so far, and the Caddy Lab is eager to get started. We look forward to posting photos of our first experiments soon.
Baker Institute for Animal Health
Hungerford Hill Road, Ithaca, NY 14850
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