Ben passes his QE!

And then there were three! A big congrats to Ben Oakes, who passed his PhD qualifying exam with flying colors!

Welcome aboard Rob!

Rob Nichols, a first year student from the MCB graduate program, has decided to join the lab. Rob will work on the basic science of cyanobacteria regulate and catalyze carbon assimilation. 

Avi passes his QE too!

A big congratulations to Avi, who passed his PhD qualifying exam today! Onwards and upwards!

Sean passes his Qualifying Exam!

A huge congrats to Sean, who passed his PhD qualifying exam with flying colors! Here is Caleb's call of the exam:

Though his committee tried to quench his excited state, Sean's LOV engineered a glowing response!

A goodbye party for Poh

Best wishes to Poh as she makes the leap from academics into industry! Poh will be moving to Solar Junction, a leader in high-efficiency solar cell production, where she will work in their intellectual property group. Thanks for all of your hard work Poh. You will be missed!

Dueber Lab narrowly escapes with Ultimate win

In a rematch of the 2012 Hildebrand Cup, the Dueber Lab again defeated the Savage Lab in ultimate frisbee. Down early, the Savage Lab mounted a valiant comeback but couldn't muster enough to get over the hump, and the Dueber Lab escaped with the win, 18-16. Watch out next year Dueberites!


A new paper from Rayka!

Congratulations to Rayka on her new paper in Photosynthesis Research describing our methodologies for imaging cyanobacteria. This paper gives context to the potential for live-cell imaging of cyanobacteria and also goes into great detail on all of our 'trade secrets' for how we carry out our experiments. We hope the field finds it useful!

Yokoo, R., Hood, R. D., & Savage, D. F. (2014). Live-cell imaging of cyanobacteria. Photosynthesis Research. doi:10.1007/s11120-014-0049-x

Check out our new paper on Cas9!

A big congratulations to Ben for his recent paper describing our initial efforts at engineering the RNA-directed DNA nuclease Cas9. This paper describes some of Ben's initial work at constructing genetic screens to interrogate and engineer Cas9 function. Hopefully this will be the start of many interesting things to come!

Oakes, B. L., Nadler, D. C., & Savage, D. F. (2014). Protein engineering of Cas9 for enhanced function. Methods in Enzymology, 546, 491–511. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-801185-0.00024-6

Group pictures 2014

We took a few minutes from the bench to snap some group pictures of the lab as it was in the fall of 2014. Enjoy!

Updates from Cold Spring Harbor

Dave and Rayka just finished up another successful summer of instructing at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory course on Synthetic Biology! The course is an immersive, laboratory based approach for exposing students to the practical and theoretical underpinnings of Synthetic Biology. It was developed by Dave and three faculty colleagues, Karmella Haynes (ASU), Julius Lucks (Cornell), and Jeff Tabor (Rice) and had it's inaugural debut in 2013. More details can be found at:

Welcome to new graduate students!

A big (belated) welcome to new graduate students Sean, Ben, and Avi, who are joining the lab from the MCB PhD graduate program!

Announcing the 2014 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory course in Synthetic Biology

This summer, Dave will be teaching a course on Synthetic Biology at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. This course is aimed at developing a core curricula in the area and for bringing new graduate students and postdoctoral fellows into the field. You can read more about it at CSHL and the 2014 Course website:

If you are interested in applying, please contact Dave!

Dave named a NIH New Innovator

Dave was recently selected as a 2013 New Innovator by the National Institutes of Health! This 2.5 million dollar award will enable our work in constructing novel fluorescent biosensors to measure the metabolism of cellular disease states. More information can be found at:

Welcome Katie Kortright!

A big welcome to Katie Kortright, who joins us as a research associate! Katie recently finished up her studies at UC Davis and will help us engineer the next-generation of fluorescent biosensors.


Benz passes his orals!

A big congratulations to Benz, who recently passed his PhD qualifying exam in the Chemistry graduate program. Onwards and upwards!

Ski Trip 2013

Here are some pictures from our recent trip up to Soda Springs and Sugarbowl for a weekend of skiing and scientific retreat. Dave also delivered the 2013 State of the Lab (SOL2013) address, highlighting that our exponential increase in restriction enzyme usage will require an entire RO1 dedicated to cloning by 2017. Better start writing those grants!