EMBL Barcelona: Lab-warming Party!!

It’s 7 months since we moved into our new spaces here at the PRBB in Barcelona. Although I must say that it feels a lot more! Maybe it seems a bit late for a lab-warming party, but believe me – we’ve been busy during those months…

Our new EMBL Barcelona lab spaces were completed by June of last year, and my own group moved in during July. Eerily empty spaces at that time, but they’re looking much more lived in by now – we’re rapidly growing: The admin team – headed by Amaranta Amador – has been our key to success from day 1, and has grown during the year into a wonderful team of 4, running everything from purchasing to PR. Last July our first newly recruited Group Leader arrived – Miki Ebisuya, from the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research in Kobe. She’s been bringing her group across gradually – two more members of the lab will be arriving here in a couple of months. A few months later (October) our next group leader started – Vikas Trivedi, arriving from his post-doc in Cambridge. Both groups have been recruiting staff, and we also welcomed EMBL Barcelona’s first 3 new PhD students!

At the same time the Mesoscopic Imaging Facility got seriously underway – Jim Swoger (head of the facility) recruited 2 more staff, so the unit has a full complement of 4 (with a diverse array of backgrounds from physics to biology) – they’re ready and waiting to scan your favorite tissue, embryo or organoid.

This period has been both challenging and exciting. Trouble-shooting the new labs, getting our purchasing system up-and-running, testing and installing new equipment – and getting to know each other. One of the key biological features we’re studying is self-organisation of multicellular systems. This is a great metaphor for how we ourselves are functioning! Like a true “self-organizing system” everyone is pitching in, helping each other, working as a team, so that together this great new project is rapidly emerging into reality. Happy Lab Warming!

James Sharpe (Head of EMBL Barcelona)



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