Happy Holidays!

Summer time

It has been 3 months again.

Again an intensive time for our professors, with a lot of oral and written examinations to be done. Our Italian PhD student is finishing his time in our lab and also our master students are finishing their thesis work.

Last week we had the public PhD defense of our former colleague, Dr. Evi Petro. She did a very good job.  Afterwards we could offer all the invited people a nice and attractive reception. Congratulations to all the people who helped to make this real!

Next week we are welcoming our Cuban colleague Emilia Lliteras for the last time. She has been here 2 times before. She will be finishing her PhD at the end of the year.

The post doc position has been filled in, our new colleague will start his career at the Gamete Research Centre 1st of September. He will mainly focus on the maternal metabolism and female fertility research line.

We are proud to announce a new BOF project that will follow up the project of Sara. So the future of the mouse repro work is guaranteed.

Last spring the Department of Veterinary Sciences has been visited by an international “visitation committee”. The experts judged the quality of the research of the department. Overall, our research group was graded very well. So, we can be very proud.

Students sometimes think the summer is a relaxing time for ‘the people behind the scenes’ but the opposite is true. The work in the lab just continuous, our professors have deadlines for projects etc … PhD students take the time to ambush their supervisorss with protocols, ideas, papers and more work.

There is an advantage on the summer, there are almost no traffic jams, so we can sleep a little bit longer and are home earlier so we can still take the time to have a barbeque occasionally. Let us only hope the temperature stays +20°C … 

And last but not least, our lab chick Els is getting married in 2 weeks. Congratulations to Els en Tom! 

Silke Andries and Jo Leroy, 18th June 2014

Running Running

Exams are finished, classes has started again. The Partus Project has started for the third bachelor students. And already 3 calves have been born in our stables. In this project, students get the opportunity to follow up a late pregnancy cow and check her for animal behavior, physiological and less physiological issues. Cows are investigated by the students every 4 hours and when the cow comes into labour, one of the partus team veterinarians performs the delivery or the c-section. Students are always very enthusiastic and they learn a lot. It brings a very pleasant vibe in our buildings.

Experiments are running routinely. Anti-oxidants are investigated, ovarian biopsies are made and transplanted, embryos are checked up to the epigenetic level, artificial oviducts are made and embryo toxicity is defined.

We have welcomed Gigi in our lab, he has adapted to our ‘female’ routine. Only our eating hours are still difficult, but he is adapting quickly. Also Stephanie is visiting our lab. She wants to learn everything about cesarian sections and she will stay for two weeks. Next week we will take all our visitors to a Belgium ‘FRITUUR’ for lunch.

We are already preparing for the practical sessions that are scheduled for April.

Also very good news to tell. Sara’s second research paper (fatty acid composition of human follicular fluid) was accepted for publication and also Jo’s review paper (dietary fat in dairy cow ration and the effect on oocyte and embryo quality) was finally accepted.

Finally, the soliciting of the PhD or post doc position for the granted FWO project is over. It was decided by the supervisors to go for a three year post doctoral researcher. We have had very good candidates applying for the job and we are looking forward to welcome the best one in our lab. To be continued.

And in the meantime, a very early spring arrived in our little Belgium. We have exceptionally good weather with very nice temperatures. Let us try to enjoy this.

Silke Andries and Jo Leroy, 10th March 2014

New Year

A new year, new perspectives, new challenges. But, as Prof. Bols said, what if we just do the same and try to meet our expectations as we do each year! Or, let us try to increase research efficiency by doing the same to achieve more or by doing less to achieve the same.

We always start a new year with exams, loads of oral and written exams, what is intensive for our professors.

We will be presenting some of our work at the IETS meeting next week with an oral presentation about the work of Emilia Lliteras, our Cuban colleague, and a poster presentation about the Embryosreen project of Ellen Jorssen. Prof. Bols and Ellen Jorssen will be representing our lab in Reno.

The lab and labchicks are ready to get down. We set off with a lot of new protocols, experiments, new set-ups and deadlines.

We welcome new “male” visiting researchers in our laboratory, finally bringing some testosterone in our group, a real challenge for all the ladies in the lab.

This year there will also be some goodbyes but we are not thinking about that yet.

Some brand new projects, new PhD students and lots of intriguing ideas … looking forward to working on all these new challenges.

Silke Andries and Jo Leroy, 8th January 2014

Happy Holidays

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year!

19th December 2013