Meet Sep (& his current focus)

SepI am currently in my 3rd year as a PhD student in the Li Lab, and I am ecstatic to be a part of our efforts to develop colorimetric assays for a wide range of biologically relevant targets. I am currently working on the development of diagnostic assays that will enable detection of important cancer biomarkers.

-Sep

A Busy Week of Holiday Festivities

The Li Lab came together to participate in the departmental ginger bread house contest, coming up with a 2 part winter wonderland gingerbread house and Eiffel tower. Congrats to us on winning 1st place! Check out the rest of the details at the BBS Facebook Page.

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Christmas 2015 2

Everyone also came out to the annual Li Lab Christmas lunch.

Christmas 2015

Finally, our 2nd annual Secret Santa was also a huge success and a lot of fun!

Li Lab Runs Around the Bay!

Last Sunday March 29th, five members of the Li Lab ran Hamilton’s Around the Bay Road Race, the oldest race in North America. Kha, Shahrzad and Zohaib ran in the 5 km race, while Dingran and Rachel joined Fazmin from the CMCB in running the 30 km race. The event was exciting and these members of the lab were thrilled to finish and receive medals celebrating their accomplishments. They’re looking forward to surpassing their times in next year’s race!

Thesis in Three Minutes!

This year, the Li lab was proud to have three graduate students represent them at McMaster’s 3-minute thesis competition. On February 11th, Sepehr, Dingran and Rachel all presented their research to a non-specialist audience in less than three minutes. These three students made up three quarters of those representing the Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences Department. Although none of them made it to the finals, they found it an interesting and engaging experience.

-Rachel

Santa came to the Li Lab!

The holiday season was  busy time for the lab. As snow piled up outside, the Li lab decided to spice up the winter with the perfect combination of mystery and excitement – a Secret Santa party! Although Dr.Li offered to give the best gift of all time (designing a figure for any upcoming journal publication) unfortunately he was not able to attend the party due to a conference in Singapore. As the Li lab spends a lot of time with each other in the lab on daily basis, we saw each others’ inner playfulness reflected in our gifts. Kha received a colour-changing mug from Jim in which showed a molecular beacon figure when containing hot water.Some of us received mini Lego sets, stuffed animals and even a kitten book for bed time. Most of people did a great job disguising themselves and really made it challenging to guess the identity of their secret Santas. The party ended in everyone’s laughter and a group photo. We thank Dora and Qian for their enthusiasm to organize and host the event and we hope all our readers enjoyed a great holiday and a Christmas full of laughter!

-Dora H

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Li Lab at Spectrum’s Pitch Competition

SepI represented the Li Lab at Spectrum’s Pitch Competition this past Monday evening. After presenting our innovative colour-based assay for heavy metals, I was selected as one of the 12 finalists out of 40 groups that presented. The finals is this Monday November 24th, at 6 to 8pm at TwelvEighty in McMaster University. There are prizes for up-to 2500 dollars for the winners of the competition. Everyone is encouraged to attend. Myself and everyone at the Li Lab hope to see you there.

-Sep

Li Lab at the Innovation Showcase

Metal detectionMembers of the Urease Group from the Li Lab attended this year’s Innovation Showcase this past Wednesday. In addition to a keynote address, technology presentations, and round-table discussions, there was a poster presentation competition in which the Li lab displayed two posters.

Throughout the day, the audience showed tremendous enthusiasm towards our projects, and provided some valued feedback that will guide our future directions. The audience’s fascination in our projects eventually attracted the reporters at the event, leading to both Sepehr and Qian being interviewed by multiple news networks about their respective projects, including CHCH news and Ignite news.

Sepehr’s poster presentation, put together with the help of Dingran, Kha, and Qian, was selected as one of the finalists out of the 50 presenters at the event.

In the finals, Sepehr presented a captivating 2-minute pitch, describing the kit we’ve developed for the color-based detection of heavy metal toxins. After judges convened, we were selected as the runner-up for the commercialization-ready category.

Following success at this event, we will be presenting at similar competitions in the near future. Come see our next presentation at the Spectrum Standup Pitch Competition November 24th.

Trick or treat? It’s Halloween!

It is a Li lab tradition to attend thIMG_6239e Halloween costume and pumpkin carving competition hosted by the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University every year. This year, Rachel organized a movie night for The LEGO Movie, which inspired the Li lab to dress as Lego characters for the event. In order to create winning outfits, everyone from the Li lab was eager to show off their artistic side and really demonstrated just how many ways in which cardboard boxes, Bristol board, tin foil and paint could be manipulated. In the end, 12 characters from the movie were made, and the Li lab took home 1st place for best costume and 2nd place for best pumpkin. It was awesome!

– Dora H

Run For Your Bum!

This week in the Li Lab, several members of the lab participated in the Wellwood Walk/Run for Colorectal Cancer on October 19th. Dingran, Kha, Qian, Rachel, and Dr. Li himself all ran an invigorating 10 km race, both beginning and finishing at McMaster’s Student Centre. Several members took home medals for finishing in the top three in their gender and age category; Kha finished first, and Dingran and Dr. Li both received second-place medals. In addition, these lab members supported another friendly face – CMCB’s Fazmin Nizam – who finished an impressive second overall! Congratulations to all involved for a race well run. Next year, they challenge ALL of the lab members to participate!

– Rachel