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Lab Life Video Series: Mir Laboratory

Published on · Last Updated 8 months ago


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Lab Life Mir Laboratory

Dr. Mir: My lab develops and applies advanced light fluorescent microscopy technologies to study how genes are regulated during the earliest stages of life when embryos are first beginning to form and establish the future body plan of the adult organism. My name is Mustafa Mir. I'm an Assistant Professor in the Center for Computational and Genomic Medicine here at CHOP. In our lab, we start in the wet lab by designing constructs and doing standard biochemistry, molecular biology approaches to analyze these early stages of life. And then we move to our microscopes where we watch in real time how these molecules that turn genes on and off are actually doing their jobs within nuclei inside of embryos as they're growing and developing.

Samantha "S" Fallacaro: We are an imaging-heavy lab so we get to visualize a lot of biological processes that often aren't visualized and that's because of the very unique technology we have as well.

Apratim Mukherjee: So, we started the lab in January of 2021, came to see this lab start from scratch because Mustafa and I were the first two kind of people to start the lab and this whole floor was empty pretty much. So, it's been quite the journey to see it come from an empty floor, empty rooms, empty wet lab, empty microscope room to something that's flourishing and growing so, so much now. Compared to know where it's like it's exciting in a different way because now we have data, we have microscopes, everyone's working on their projects independently. So the lab meeting is now very data-driven. So to just kind of see the transition from a very discussion-oriented lab meeting to very data-driven lab meeting is something that I think is just so interesting to see and you don't really get to see it all the time because we typically join a lab that's really established. To kind of see a lab that's growing is just something really, really exciting.

Santosh Adhikari: In this lab, we try to understand fundamental biological questions behind workings inside very, very small space inside the living beings. So, in this lab, someone who is willing to tackle a fundamental question that's biology, who is interested in learning how things worked at a very nanoscale level, it will be a very ideal fit in the lab.

Dr. Mir: Being at CHOP provides my lab a unique opportunity to interface with physician-scientists who see patients are making discoveries daily. By leveraging the unique capabilities of our technologies, we can provide deeper insights into what's happening at the molecular scale in these disease conditions, as well as use these models to gain unique insights into what's happening with the basic biology of transcription regulation during development.

Fallacaro: In general we're very excited a bunch. We love what we do and we get super excited to do what we do. So, talking about it before the day starts is always like one of my favorite parts of the day as well.

Dr. Mir: Our lab is very heavily focused on both developing new types of technologies as well as applying them to unique sorts of experiments, technology development especially takes a lot of resources because it takes both time and money to engineer new types of microscopes. But the potential avenues of exploration that these new technologies open up are potentially limitless because they provide a unique view on what's happening at a molecular scale inside of live developing animal embryos.

So, the best advice I can give to young scientists is to follow your passions. This career can be very trying because there's a lot of failures in experimental science, and so you have to have that basic passion and drive to answer the question that you're chasing after to succeed and be happy in a basic science career.