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EMBL Australia, learning, growing, networking
Dear Sir/Madam

After seven short years as the Scientific Head of EMBL Australia, I would like to bid farewell to my Australian friends and colleagues. As most of you are aware, I am heading back to Maine, USA to begin an exciting and challenging new phase in my career as Science Director of the Jackson Laboratory.  

Although I am physically leaving EMBL Australia as the Scientific Head, spiritually I will always remain part of it– it would be hard not to.  Helping secure the first Associate Membership of EMBL outside of Europe has been one of my greatest career achievements.  I will be always be grateful for the opportunity offered to me to lead, learn and develop relationships at all levels here and I will continue to be committed to building collaborations and connections with EMBL and my EMBL Australia colleagues in the future.  I have devoted so much of myself here and many of the people I have met, both colleagues and friends, have left such a large imprint on me.   

Reminiscing on my arrival to Australia, I was welcomed with such warmth and enthusiasm by the local scientific community.  I immediately felt a part of the life sciences research fabric.  Everyone has been very supportive of my vision and I am grateful for their professional and personal support.  I will certainly miss the ‘I can do’ disposition of my friends and colleagues.  I have made many life-long friends and will continue to collaborate with many of the Australian science fraternity on many exiting new projects.

I look forward to continuing to share fine Australian food and wine as often as I can on my return visits, which I am hoping will be not too far apart.  I will certainly miss many things Australian. I’ve grown very accustomed to the relaxed attitude and Australia has certainly fuelled my appreciation for good food and fine wine and amazing coffee (second to Italy of-course!)

So, farewell my friends, staff and colleagues, I am so humbled to have been part of this amazing time in Australian science and a part of EMBL Australia.  I want to wish you every success and I look forward to seeing you all in the future. 

On a final note, I want to wish everybody happy holidays and hope that you will look me up if visiting the US.   

Nadia
 
Professor Nadia Rosenthal
Scientific Head, EMBL Australia

Please note that all replies to this newsletter go to info@emblaustralia.org. If you wish to email me directly, my address is nadia.rosenthal@emblaustralia.org.

In this month's newsletter:

Thanks to support from the EMBL Australia Bioinformatics Resource, CSIRO’s Annette McGrath attends GOBLET and secures 2016 GOBLET AGM


The EMBL Australia Bioinformatics Resource supported the recent trip of Dr Annette McGrath, Principal Research Scientist, Life Science Bioinformatics at Data61, CSIRO to attend the GOBLET (Global Organisation for Bioinformatics Learning Education and Training) AGM in Cape Town, South Africa.  GOBLET was established in 2012 by a group of international and national societies and networks to offer an umbrella organisation for bioinformatics, bio curation, biocomputing and computational biology (B3CB) learning, education & training. Held over 15-20 November, these events offered Annette a great opportunity to share and discuss with international colleagues common issues surrounding bioinformatics training such as sharing material and datasets, developing eLearning strategies, defining core competencies in bioinformatics training and train-the-trainer workshops.

With the recent Australian visit by Dr Niklas Blomberg’s (Director, ELIXIR) it was a very timely opportunity to learn further about recent innovations in life sciences data management and sharing (see below for summary of his visit).  Many of the Europeans that work in the ELIXIR nodes were present at the GOBLET event and GOBLET and ELIXIR have a training partnership (http://www.elixir-europe.org/system/files/goblet-elixir_partnership-final.pdf).  

With joint sponsorship from the EMBL Australia Bioinformatics Resource, Bioplatforms Australia and CSIRO, Annette successfully made a bid for the 2016 GOBLET AGM and workshops to be held in Australia. They will be held in conjunction with the annual bioinformaticians’ (ABACBS) conference in Brisbane in November 2016. Workshops to be run at the 2016 GOBLET meeting will be aimed at both bioinformatics trainers as well as biologists.

The GOBLET foundation provides a global, sustainable support and networking structure for bioinformatics educators/trainers and students/trainees (including a training portal for sharing materials, tools, tips and techniques; guidelines and best practice documents; facilities to help train the trainers; and offering different learning pathways for different types of learner).

If you would like to learn more be in touch with Annette email annette.mcgrath@csiro.au.

Congratulations Annette and well done on bringing these GOBLET activities to the Australian research community.

Global Organisation for Bioinformatics, Learning, Education and Training logo. Data 61 and CSIRO logo

Dr Vicky Schneider announced as Deputy Director, EMBL Australia Bioinformatics Resource

Congratulations to Dr Vicky Schneider who was recently appointed as Deputy Director, and Associate Professor at EMBL Australia Bioinformatics Resource, and will be taking up her appointment in early February 2016. 

Dr Schneider played a key role in the creation and establishment of the Bioinformatics Training Network (BTN) which has evolved into the Global Organisation for Bioinformatics Learning, Education & Training (GOBLET). She was the project manager of ELIXIR’s training work package, which developed a pan-European strategy to train the growing and diversifying users of Europe’s public-domain biological databases. Based at VLSCI, a major task for Dr Schneider will be to build on these existing international networks to accelerate bioinformatics training and activity in Australia.

Dr Schneider headed up the 361° Division at the Genome Analysis Centre in the UK. Prior to that she held posts at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) as User Training Coordinator, and Assistant Professor at the University of Bern and the Institute for Aquatic Sciences.  She undertook postdocs at the University of Zurich and University of Rome (Torvergata). She studied biology at the University of Rome and obtained her PhD on the evolution of sex at the University of Leiden (NL) and Lyon (France).

Her appointment will deliver a significant advantage to the Australian bioinformatics community by building on both our national presence and international engagement.

Welcome to EMBL Australia Vicky.

EMBL Showcase planned for early July 2016


Please make a note in your diaries.  We are in the planning stages for an EMBL Australia showcase at the John Curtin Medical School at Australian National University.  At this point, we are hoping it will be in early July 2016.  We would like to thank the school for sponsoring and supporting this important event.   More details will follow on exact dates and speakers attending.  

John Curtin logoANU logo

Announcement of the EMBL Australia, 2016 PhD symposium followed by the success of 2015 Australian PhD symposium, Melbourne


What a triumph it was this year! How inspiring to see all of the presentations and posters from our future science leaders.  Our students never cease to amaze me with their enthusiasm, passion for the work they do and their energy.  It was a great event.  Many students were presenting for the first time and the calibre of the work and presentations were outstanding.  

“Heading back to my PhD re-invigorated!”

“My conference itch has been satisfied”


...were just some of the testimonies from participants of the recent EMBL Australia PhD Symposium held in Melbourne, 25-27th November 2015.

The post-EMBL conference spirit was clear.  Post-graduate students emitted a great sense of gratitude to their mentors for motivating them to continue on in their journey, particularly Professor Peter Doherty (Australian Nobel Prize Winner) and Lezanne Ooi (Uni of Wollongong). The students were also lucky to learn about highly ground breaking research, but with a twist humour.  Speakers repackaged their research such as “Keeping fats on the move-cholesterol research” and “Nitric oxide-the ninja signalling molecule”, which generated great interaction from the audience.  Student involvement was also a highlight of the EMBL PhD symp[osium, with speaker and poster slots available that covered a range of research topics. 

Awards were given out to further encourage brilliance for both poster and oral presentation, with prizes given to Amanda Khoury and Scott Youlten for being the best of the best. If you would like to follow the conference footprints, the conference was captured via social media, using the Twitter handle @EMBLAUSymposium, hash tagged under #EAPS15.

Congratulations to all the organising committee for their herculean efforts and for the support of our sponsors.  The event could not have been such a success without them.  Special thanks to:  
  • Co-chairs:   Anton Kalsbeek (Garvan) and Andrew Lonsdale (University of Melbourne)
  • Co-secretaries: Qian Du (Garvan) and Kate Skulte (Garvan)
  • Co-treasurers:  John Rivers (ANU) and Rachel Jones (UWA)
  • Co-communications officers:  Vicky Burns (UNSW) and Brigitte Phillips (Garvan)
Next year’s EMBL Australia PhD symposium, “Unravelling Nature's Secrets, Using science to see beyond” will be hosted by SAHRMI, Adelaide, 23-25th November 2016.  I am sure next year the PhD symposium will again be a highlight in many of our student’s calendars.

All postgraduate students are welcome (Honours, Masters and PhD).  To keep up to date see: http://eaps.org.au/2016/.

EMBL Heidelberg - seeking highly motivated student to join the Protein Expression and Purification Core Facility


EMBL Heidelberg is looking for a motivated student to experiment with several protein expression and purification methods for different Cas9 variants (e.g. wild type, nickase and deadCas9). After development of a suitable in vitro activity assay, the purified Cas9 proteins will be implemented in vivo in various scientifically relevant cellular systems. 

This project will provide the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of modern recombinant protein expression and purification methods as well as gaining experience with cell biology techniques in the frame of the scientifically hot topic CRISPR-Cas9. 

For more information or applications, please contact Dr Kim Remans by sending an e-mail to pepcore@embl.de.

Internships still available for MSc or PhD students at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals is offering a variety of internships, which are open to EMBL Australia students/staff. Further information can be found on: 

http://www.emblaustralia.org/About_us/news/Internships_at_Merrimack_Pharmaceuticals

If you are interested in joining the Merrimack internship program write to interns@merrimackpharma.com.
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