Weekly Newsletter: Vol. 1 Issue 52

Let's stay connected...






Wednesday and Thursday 4 pm
Zoom Link Meeting ID: 946 7851 1368  Passcode: MCBRIP
3/31 Luke Deary (Wang lab), Kali Smolen (Kettenbach lab)
4/1 Sarah Lee (Christensen lab)



Wei Wang has been with the Dunlap & Loros labs for longer than anyone except the PIs.  With little science training, Wei responded in early 2007 to our posting for a part time lab aide, at a point when she was looking to productively fill time when her daughter Mindy was in school.  She began doing unskilled work, but over the years, as things needed done, her quiet competence continued to fill gaps and roles continually expanded. In 2009 she began helping with experiments under supervision, then to helping with the mouse colony, then to being in charge of the mouse husbandry, and finally moving into the lab manager position, as Mindy moved off to college. Wei is invariably cheerful, respectful, respectable, well-respected, and always totally responsible, in all, a treasure.

Vicky Marlar is our lab manager, research technician, and lab mom (especially to our precious fruit flies), among many other things for the Bosco and Ahmed labs.  She has basically run the Ahmed lab since 2006 and the Bosco lab since 2012, when we opened here at Dartmouth. Vicky was born and raised in New Hampshire; aside from running away from the cold Northeast and living in Puerto Rico in years past, she now lives in NH and is a true New Englander. Vicky loves to cook and listen to music.

Bethany Malskis, a graduate of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, drove up from Georgia in August 2020 to join the Halpern lab as a new technician. She arrived just as the water was being turned on the first recirculating tank system, and has weathered storms, ceiling leaks and water main breaks to provide consistently exceptional care of the new Vail zebrafish facility. Bethany is a natural leader and skilled problem solver. Stop her in the hallway to learn of her experiences as a high school student in Malawi, Africa  where she volunteered in a community health clinic, or her undergraduate research on a ciliary protein in Chlamydomonas. The fish love Bethany and so does everyone else who meets her! (Photo courtesy of Kurt Wehde)


Laurent Perreard works with the Biorepository Core in the Center for Molecular Epidemiology on the 6th floor of the Williamson building. He grew up and studied in the French Alps before moving to the US 20 years ago. With particular attention to conserving and maximizing the utility of precious human biospecimens, Laurent’s skilled hands end extensive experience make him an essential partner in evaluating and implementing new and complex protocols in population sciences research. When not in the lab, He enjoys skiing and hiking with his wife and 2 kids. With his daughter he recently started running and biking again. During the lockdown, Laurent tried his hands at making bread and particularly enjoyed making tasty sourdough loafs.

Saiko Ikeda graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Meiji University in Tokyo and earned her master’s degree in biology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Since 2014 she has been the chief lab technician and resident rodent brain surgeon for the Gulledge laboratory. Aside from her work in the lab, Saiko is a gourmet chef, a gardener, and mother to three who enjoys mystery novels and long walks on the Lebanon Rail Trail. She is known for her infectious sense of humor and has been described in a student’s thesis dedication as “one of the funniest people I know.” (Just don’t call her crazy!)

Meijie Li, Has been a technician for the Hermes Yeh lab and the Allan Gulledge Lab. In 2011 she joined the Luikart lab where she learned the skills of molecular cloning and viral packaging.  During this time, she has cloned thousands of constructs and packaged and purified over 600 retroviral, lentiviral, and adeno-associated viral preparations.  She has earned 6 manuscript co-authorships.  In each of these manuscripts she created and packages a novel viral reagent.  Some of these constructs have been awarded the red flame on Addgene with over 50 requests.  She is currently the cornerstone of the Bryan Luikart and Jennifer Hong laboratories.

Andrew McCray, a graduate of Colby College, joined the Wang lab in the summer of 2020. Since joining the lab, Andrew has thrived and become the go-to person in the lab, especially for our rotation students. Andrew is a perfectionist and naturally he has become the new Western Blot Master and Cloning Master in the Wang lab. Growing up in Seattle, Andrew is a big fan of soccer and soup dumplings (Xiao Long Bao).

It would have been hard to imagine the impact of Alison Young’s decision years back to sell her dairy herd, close up the barn, and embark on a new career in research. Now an AALAS technologist with decades of experience, few at NCCC can say that they have not benefitted from Alison’s experience and generosity at some point over the years. Having been fortunate enough to work with Alison these last years, I can say without question that none of what we’ve accomplished could have been done without her. A true New Englander, Alison’s workday ends when all the work is done. From there she can be found tending her garden, crushing the competition on the Pickleball court, or simply enjoying the natural world.

Sabrina Oliveira received her B.Sc. in Biotechnology from University of New Hampshire, whereas an undergraduate research assistant she investigated roles of two transcriptional regulators in promoting pancreatic cancer metastasis. She joined the Leach Lab as research technician in May 2020, met her initial zoom-based training during the COVID-19 shutdown with enthusiasm, and quickly became an exceptional zebrafish-whisperer and manager of the Williamson zebrafish facility. Sabrina brightens the Leach Lab every day with her infectious energy, while simultaneously holding all lab members to her high standards of care and organization; it is hard to imagine how we ever managed without her! While originally from Brazil, Sabrina has embraced New England winters and can often be heard saying “It’s so cold out – but I love it!” She is especially fond of skiing but is enthusiastic about hiking and outdoor activities in all seasons. Though the pandemic has kept her in New England this year, Sabrina loves to talk about travel and dreams for future adventures.


Pamela Yeh, has been the Lab Manager since 2005. Pam is the de facto "go-to" person. She upholds the Yeh lab’s "open door" policy for sharing of reagents and equipment and does so cheerfully, making sure that everyone uses the facilities effectively and efficiently. Pam also devotes significant time and effort to training undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Her reliability and innate sense of responsibility are key to a cooperative working environment that optimizes research productivity and collegiality.

Nevena ‘Nena’ Ognjenovic is an RA and lab manager and has been a member of the Raman lab since November 2017. Nena has knack for making sure everything is the lab is clean and in working order and all supplies and reagents are well stocked. In addition to maintaining the transgenic mouse colony entirely on her own, she is an expert in mouse mammary gland dissections, holding the lab record of harvesting glands from a whopping 16 mice in one go (followed by a full day of experiments!). She is the lead author on the lab’s first paper that was recently published in Developmental Cell. She is friendly and helpful to everyone she encounters and maintains contacts with a network of sales reps from whom she constantly avails great prices and discounts for lab supplies. Her scientific and organizational skills are matched only by her baking skills, with her cheesecakes being a lab favorite. Ask anyone in the lab and they will tell you that Nena is the glue that holds the lab together!

Maryam Fathi joined the McKenna lab in the summer of 2019 as the lab’s first researcher. She came to Dartmouth after completing her Cell and Molecular Biology master’s degree at Tehran Azad University as well as an additional two years at biotechnology companies. Since arriving at Dartmouth, she’s dived head-first into CRISPR genome engineering and synthetic biology, creating new lineage tracing approaches using Cas9 base-editing, in addition to keeping the McKenna lab running smoothly.
Maryam’s excited for future summer trips to see family in Montreal and friends in Boston.

Is this you when it comes to grants?
If yes (or even no) check out Grant Proposal Support Initiative GrantGPS.

They can:

  • Identify internal and external funding opportunities
  • Learn to write competitive proposals and prospectuses
  • Secure expert external reviews and edits of your work
  • Navigate the complex landscape of research support
  • Connect you with potential collaborators on campus
  • Develop a map for your research and career trajectory

They offer:

  • Private consultations
  • Grant-writing workshops
  • Development of opportunity lists and timelines

Upcoming Changes to the Biographical Sketch and Other Support Format Page for Due Dates on or after May 25, 2021

What's changed?
Biographical Sketch Format Page             

  • Section B ‘Positions and Honors’ has been renamed ‘Positions, Scientific Appointments, and Honors’.
  • For the non-Fellowship Biosketch, Section D. has been removed.
  • For the Fellowship Biosketch, Section D has been updated to remove ‘Research Support.’
  • As applicable, all applicants may include details on ongoing and completed research projects from the past three years that they want to draw attention to within the personal statement, Section A.

Other Support Format Page        

  • The format page has been re-organized to separate funded projects from in-kind contributions.
  • Signature block added, for Program Director/Principal Investigator or Other Senior/Key Personnel to certify the accuracy of the information submitted. Each PD/PI or senior/key personnel must electronically sign their respective Other Support form as a PDF prior to submission.


What To Watch


Mud (2012)
Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland,
Reese Witherspoon

What To Read

Five charts that will change everything you know about mud

Glop. Mire. Ooze. Cohesive sediment. Call it what you want, mud—a mixture of fine sediment and water—is one of the most common and consequential substances on Earth.

What To Listen To

Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones - Baby Please Don't Go
Live At Checkerboard Lounge


Mud Activities for Kids:
7 Creative Ways to Have Fun with Mud
Playing with mud engages all the senses, encourages creativity, and creates long-lasting childhood memories.


No Bake Cookies – aka Mud Pies




  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 5 tbsp cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup fine coconut
  • 3 cups quick cooking oats


  1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, milk, shortening, cocoa, salt and vanilla. Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat.
  2. Stir in the coconut and oats. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a piece of waxed paper
  3. Let sit until set.

Mudslide Cocktail



  • Chocolate syrup, for glass
  • 4 oz.vodka
  • 2 oz.Kahlua
  • 2 oz.Baileys
  • 1/4 c.heavy cream
  • Ice
  • Chocolate shavings, for garnish
  1. Add chocolate syrup to inside of two cocktail glass.
  2. Add vodka, Kahlua, Baileys, and heavy cream to a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake until well chilled.
  3. Strain into glasses and garnish with chocolate shavings.

Serves two.


I have received a COVID vaccine. Do I need to continue testing?

Yes. Vaccinated individuals are required to continue ongoing testing as directed by Occupational Medicine. Experts are still working to learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide, and everyone who receives a vaccine should maintain precautions such as wearing a face covering, physical distancing, handwashing, and avoiding travel and gatherings.

COVID Testing: Are you a Lone Pine or a Big Green?

The college updated the COVID testing frequency for employees working on-site as of January 2021. Each employee is now categorized as either Lone Pine or Big Green testers, each with their own testing frequency.

If you work on-site, or will begin working on-site this year, please review the Employee COVID-19 Resources pagehttps://www.dartmouth.edu/hrs/covid/index.html to learn the details.


How and where to get COVID-19 vaccine in New Hampshire

All Granite Staters age 16 and older will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination next week!
How and where to get COVID-19 vaccine in Vermont

Students call Dick's House, at 603-646-9400.

Faculty and staff call Axiom Medical at 877-502-9466 or primary care provider.

Do not visit Dick's House or your primary care provider without calling first.
Health screening guidelines.

Website Links for your Reference:
Schedule your COVID test: https://health-clinics.dartmouth.edu/
Dartmouth COVID information: https://covid.dartmouth.edu/
COVID Testing FAQs:  https://www.dartmouth.edu/hrs/covid/index.html
Employee Testing Policy:  https://www.dartmouth.edu/hrs/pdfs/eetestingcovid.pdf

Coronavirus Information

S T A Y   I N F O R M E D