Perhaps it is telling that I am not updating the blog for 2021 until the first week of 2022... First and foremost, I am full of gratitude for my incredible team as they continued to rally together and support one another in lab and life during the pandemic. I could not ask for a smarter, more compassionate, creative, or thoughtful group than the 2021 Hamilton lab team! We gained multiple team members- Kaitlyn and Gloria are two exceptional research specialists, Noor- our newest GI fellow, and Daana- veterinary student, in addition to three (!) summer undergraduate researchers- Hritik, Jenna, and Catherine. We pushed our next major paper, led by postdoc Patrick, across the finish line and are currently awaiting news about our revised manuscript submission. We were awarded an additional year of funding from the Lisa Dean Moseley foundation to study stem cells in human IBD and are awaiting news on a couple more pending proposals. The lab had our 4th annual retreat around the birthday of the Hamilton lab (July 1), which included a 2-day "retreat" with a state-of-the-lab address, goal setting exercises, a picnic celebration, and an enlightening team-building session in which we learned our "bird-types" (eagle, owl, parrot, dove). Spoiler-alert: we have a lot of "owls" in the group, a couple "parrots", and one "eagle" (me). We really enjoyed the exercise and learned a lot about each other's communication styles. On a bitter-sweet note, we were excited to see Lauren off to her new job as a nurse at CHOP after completing her accelerated BSN degree. We are also bursting with pride at Patrick's new position in the American Association for Cancer Research executive office as a Research Analyst. As two of the lab's founding members, it was hard to see them go. But there is nothing more satisfying than helping folks learn, grow, and "fly" after their time in the Hamilton lab. So far, I can share that 2022 will bring multiple new papers from the lab, a new lab manager, some rotation (and hopefully permanent) PhD students, more funding, collaborative projects, and some new directions. Cheers, and happy new year!
Louis and patrick represent the lab at the 2019 FASEB GI Meeting: “The Gastrointestinal Tract XVIII Conference: Integrated Biology of the GI Super-Organ.”
Our lab embarked upon a new, joint venture with our CHOP GI colleagues in launching the CHOP Gastrointestinal Epithelium Modeling (GEM) Program in July, 2019. As part of this exciting new initiative, we were ecstatic to recruit the talented Dr. Tatiana Karakasheva to serve as the GEM Program's Associate Director. Stay tuned to learn about all of the exciting work coming out of the GEM Program in the years to come.
We've had a great 2019 so far, with our first lab paper accepted to EMBO Reports this spring, graduate student Louis passing his prelim exam, and everyone making significant experimental headway on all of our exciting projects. We took some time in mid-June to reflect upon year 2 of the Hamilton lab during our day-long lab retreat. We started the day with a "State of the Lab Address", where we discussed milestones from the past year, the highs and lows, and goals for the upcoming year. We also took the time to discuss each others' individual accomplishments and set our intentions for the upcoming year, which includes professional and personal growth for all! The morning portion of the retreat concluded with the kick-off of the summer writing challenge! Seeking to up the ante from last year's reading challenge, we decided this year to push ourselves to define goals for our individual writing projects and commit to daily writing (minimum 15 minutes). Of course there is a prize(s) if everyone stays on track for the summer, so stay tuned.
We are happy to announce our first review out of the lab, with graduate student, Louis, and postdoc, Patrick, serving as co-first authors. We are very proud of this review as it highlights a topic that we discuss often in the lab: how intestinal stem cells are regulated at the post-transcriptional level and why it is important to study this emerging paradigm. Check it out over at one of our favorite journals: AJP-GI&L!:
Our lab is happy to teach researchers at any career stage. We take great pride in our ability to train people in one of our favorite areas of expertise- the generation and culture of 3D enteroids and colonoids (sometimes referred to as organoids). Over the past year, we have provided hands-on demonstrations, protocols, and advise to multiple laboratories in the Philadelphia area. Our most memorable "trainee" from the past year was none other than my postdoctoral advisor and mentor, Dr. Anil Rustgi from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Over the course of an afternoon, graduate student Louis Parham provided Dr. Rustgi with a hands-on tutorial and was able to discuss and obtain feedback on some of his own exciting enteroid data. In addition to the training, Dr. Rustgi took the time to meet with other Hamilton lab trainees to provide feedback and career advice. The visit concluded with a lab dinner (see photo below). Dr. Rustgi's visit got us thinking about how valuable it would be for our lab to host additional, seasoned investigators to share our expertise and receive wisdom and advice, both individually and as a team. If you are a senior researcher in (or visiting) the Philadelphia area and would like to spend a little time in the Hamilton lab, please reach out to us!
Our lab loves hosting summer undergraduate students from the Penn Undergraduate Student Scholars Program (USSP)- we get to teach them about our exciting research and they bring energy and enthusiasm to the group. This summer, we a pleased to host two USSP students: Gabrielle Largoza from Trinity University and Michael Sun from Johns Hopkins. It's going to be a fun and productive summer!
Dr. Hamilton's final publication from her postdoctoral work, a collaborative effort with graduate student, Priya Chatterji, was accepted for publication in Genes and Development on June 4th, 2018. Be on the lookout for epub soon!
Priya Chatterji, Kathryn E. Hamilton*, Shun Liang, Sarah F. Andres, H. R. Sagara Wijeratne, ReiMizuno, Lauren A. Simon, Philip D. Hicks, Shawn W. Foley, Jason R. Pitarresi, Andres J. Klein-Szanto,Amanda T. Mah, Laurianne Van Landeghem, Brian D. Gregory, Christopher J. Lengner, Blair B.Madison, Premal Shah, and Anil K. Rustgi *co-first author: The LIN28B-IMP1 post-transcriptional regulon has opposing effects on oncogenic signaling in the intestine. Genes and Development. June 2018. Accepted.
Kate is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. She is the main author of this blog, where she shares updates from her research lab.