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									    The BUZZ
The official newsletter of the Burnham Science Network
Holiday Special Edition 2009
Issue #11

            10 years BSN:
          Happy Birthday!
Editorial Commentary
Welcome to the BSN Birthday Special Edition of the BUZZ! We are happy to announce BSN’s
10th anniversary! That means 10 years of networking, 10 years of social and scientific activities,
10 years of great scientific events, 10 years of happy hours, opera trips, winery and brewery
tours, and much, much more.

This is a good time to recapitulate what our mission was back in 1999, and what it still is today:
“Our mission is to bring postdoctoral fellows and graduate students together for discussion and
to facilitate scientific and social networking among young researchers at the Burnham Institute
for Medical Research, and other institutes on Torrey Pines Research Mesa and nationwide.”

Looking back to these past 10 years, we are proud of what we have accomplished. Many of the
events that BSN organized brought together postdocs and graduate students and fostered an
environment for fruitful discussions and socializing. We at BSN continue our efforts for
enriching the scientific and networking experiences for all at BIMR, and look forward to all of the
challenges and opportunities that lay ahead in the future! Remember that BSN is made up of
motivated and dedicated BIMR scientists who volunteer to organize and execute all of these
events. However, BSN is nothing without you! This is a great opportunity to get involved and
join BSN! Take control of your experience at BIMR, meet some fun and energetic colleagues,
and have fun doing it! We all know doing research can be hard sometimes, so it can be relaxing
and very rewarding to organize scientific or non-scientific events. After all, this is also an
opportune and direct avenue to building your personal network!

The importance of BSN’s mission is further emphasized by just looking at some important
events that happened during 2009. Earlier this year, the Burnham Institute acquired the former
SKCC (Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center) building (now Building 12), and along with it, some
former SKCC staff. This included also postdocs – to whom we paid
a warm welcome along with other new hires (see BSN Welcome
Lunch). Furthermore, we witnessed the “Birth of BSN Lake Nona”,
and we are very excited to now work with our colleagues in Florida.
With all this growth of the Institute, we believe that it is important to
foster networking and collaboration efforts, which BSN will continue
to encourage and promote. Certainly, the absolute highlight of BSN
activities in 2009 was the very successful 8th annual BSN poster
symposium, which for the very first time, was held off campus at the
beautiful Catamaran Resort Hotel in Mission Bay (more details to be
reported in the next issue). The 2009 outstanding scientist seminar
with Dr. Richard Morimoto was yet another hallmark event for BSN.

Traditionally, around this time of the year BSN elects and
announces the new leadership team: We welcome Amy Howes, a long-time dedicated BSN
member, as the new co-chair, and Eric Lau as the new chair! Congratulations on their election!
With this, Martin Denzel stepped down and we would like to take this opportunity to thank him
for his leading role in BSN and his earnest commitment to its goals. We wish him all the best for
an exciting future!

Coincidently, we are also celebrating the BUZZ’ 5th anniversary! The BUZZ was and still is the
primary forum from and for postdocs. There is no intent to compete with the Zeitgeist, the
Burnham report, etc. because we want to hear YOUR stories, from the postdoc and graduate
student perspectives! Thus, we wish to cordially invite everyone to contribute photos, articles,
ideas, and cover images. Discover your non-scientific writing talent in an absolutely non-
competitive and non peer-reviewed environment (we don’t even charge page fees for
publication -!). Obviously, the more authors and contributions we have, the more often you will
be able to hold a new issue of the BUZZ in your hand. Hopefully you will enjoy this special
edition and we are already looking forward to the next issue.

We wish everyone very Happy Holidays and all the best for 2010!
Your BSN

                                                         The BUZZ #11
Editorial Commentary                                                                         1
Contents                                                                                     2
Outstanding Scientist Seminar 2009                                                         3-4
News from Florida: Birth of BSN Lake Nona                                                  5-6
Fishman Awards 2008 and 2009                                                               7-9
BSN goes to the Opera - Rigoletto                                                           10
Laboratory Highlight: Duc Dong’s Lab                                                        11
BSN Welcome Lunch                                                                           12
Sloshball Challenge                                                                     13-14
National Postdoc Appreciation Day                                                           15
Recycling at Burnham/LEED Update                                                        16-17
Summer Bash                                                                                 18
Informal Seminars                                                                           19
Events Calendar                                                                             20
Acknowledgments                                                                             21
 2009 BSN Outstanding Scientist Seminar Speaker Dr. Richard I. Morimoto, Northwestern
 University, presented his work on stress signaling: "Stress Responses and Proteostasis
 Networks in Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease", Fishman Auditorium, July 21st 2009

                             How cells and scientists
                             cope with stress
                             By Fabian V. Filipp

                              Too much stress can turn your hair gray, but a little stress can be
                              a positive thing. This year's outstanding scientist seminar speaker,
                              Dr. Richard I. Morimoto, presented recent findings on molecular
                              mechanisms of stress response. Exposure to mild stresses such
                              as caloric restriction or thermal stress, leads to protection of
                              proteins from being misfolded and may increase your life span.
                              During his visit
                              at the Burnham
Institute, Morimoto took the time to talk with
junior researchers in a special lunch after his
presentation about crucial steps to launch
their independent academic careers.
Morimoto looked back at his own graduate
work at the University of Chicago: "I felt that
the entire institution was my playground. You
have to meet people and find out what their
world looks like." For his postdoctoral
mentor, Morimoto chose distinguished             BSN Chair Martin Denzel announcing the
Harvard Professor Matthew S. Meselson:               2009 OSS speaker Dr. Morimoto.
"That was extraordinary as I experienced
one generation of true gods of science, who discovered the replication of DNA, the ribosome,
and the messenger RNA!" Morimoto encourages young scientists to take advantage of their
research environment: "You are surrounded by such amazingly talented scientists - your job is
to get to know to them! That is the reason why there are happy hours. There is nothing better,
than what you have learned from watching your mentors. If you are clever about it, you are able
to extract the very best ideas of it."
For postdocs, attaining sufficient independence and resources to set up one’s own laboratory
comprises major challenges, but at the same time, represents the pinnacle of being a scientist:
"While you have the chance to make your ideas work, you have to be flexible and continue to
take in information. You have to realize that your hypothesis can be wrong, and move with it.
Being an independent researcher requires a lot of hard but yet enjoyable work, because you are
getting to do what you wanted to do. There are very few professions where you get to pick
almost every single part of your professional life!"
The field of protein misfolding-related diseases is often referred to as molecular medicine.
However, Morimoto rather motivates his research by asking fundamental questions: "What is it
about stress that makes folding protection factors to become elevated? How does a damaged

protein regulate certain genes?" He points out: "It is a fascinating moment in science. There are
hundreds of human diseases with completely different names affecting different tissues but they
nevertheless might have the same common molecular defects." The field of protein folding and
misfolding has incorporated many concepts from chemistry to the disease, however, this is not
how a M.D. is trained to think. Morimoto explains: "Medical school trains you to be hepatologist,
a cardiologist, or a neurologist. Here, whether the cell is a liver cell, a cardiac epithelial cell, or a
motor neuron, the stress response will be the same when proteins are damaged or aggregating.
That is exhilarating because it really is a new way of thinking and becomes the true meaning of
                              systems biology" says Morimoto, "if we think about it as an
 "In an academic              integrated entity."
 career, it is              The field comes together with the realization that when proteins
 important to find          start to misfold, folding-helpers, so-called chaperones, bind to them
 out if your true           very quickly to prevent damage. Morimoto sums up: "Regulatory
                            elements, transcription factors, are released and activated to make
 love for science
                            more chaperones to titrate out all the occurring damage." In the
 is what                    mid-nineties, an important transition for the field took place, when
 motivates you."            the question arose: how stress-related protein folding protection is
                            related to protein misfolding disease. Thermal stress response, its
control by transcriptional switches, and clinical phenotypes caused by protein damage are
essentially the same thing.
For the packed Fishman auditorium, Morimoto had prepared a take-home message and came
back to the fundamental freedom of researchers: "In an academic career, it is important to find
out if your true love for science is what motivates you. Only scientists can wake up and ask the
question that they wanted to ask. As a scientist you can choose to be a structural biologist, you
can become a cell biologist, or you can do mathematical modeling of systems." Morimoto
contrasts a university teacher to a clinician: "Do you think a neurosurgeon has any choice when
the list of patients is given to him the night before? The first surgery will be at 6 A.M." Morimoto
points out, "As a professor you choose to educate young researchers. It is the duty of a principal
investigator to build the next generation of scientists."

               Special postdoc and graduate student lunch with Dr. Morimoto.

     BSN is grateful for the generous support of the 2009 BSN Outstanding Scientist
           Seminar by Cell Signaling Technologies and New England Biolabs.

News from the East Coast:
The Brand New Burnham Building & Birth of BSN Lake Nona
                                                                    By George Kyriazis
On October 8th, 2009 the Burnham campus at Lake Nona (LN) officially opened its doors
with an impressive dedication ceremony which also marked the opening of Orlando’s
Medical City.
It seems like yesterday when we first occupied our new 175,000 square-foot facility in mid-
                                                 May of this year. I still remember the
                                                 orientation tour at a building that looked more
                                                 like a construction zone than a world-class
                                                 research center. At that moment, none of us
                                                 could see beyond the empty benches,
                                                 unfinished floors, hanging wires and the
                                                 swarm of construction workers. “No way! It’s
                                                 not going to be ready!” you could hear people
                                                 saying as we were touring the facility. Well,
                                                 our hypothesis was disproved. Our new home
                                                 was ready on time, and apart from some
                                                 minor construction that took place the first
                                                 month, the move went smoothly with no major
                                                 disruptions of our work. But that’s not the
                                                 whole story. The building continues to evolve.
                                                 New equipment and technologies have been
                  Second floor                   installed and are running, while many others
                   Burnham                       are still in progress. It couldn’t have been
                    warriors                     more exciting than that. This facility has
                ready for battle!                become a scientist’s playground. One could
                                                 think that this kind of infrastructure alone is
enough for success. At a closer look, though, what is really unique about this building is its
superb design: The environmentally friendly, energy-efficient building is designed to
accommodate around 40 open labs allocated on three floors. All labs, offices, and
conference rooms are visually transparent surrounded mainly by glass. At first, the ingenuity
of this design is not apparent. It took a while for all of us to get used to the all-around open,
accessible space and the lack of privacy that goes along with it. But that was exactly the
purpose for such a design; to encourage constant interaction of scientists with their
colleagues and make technologies more accessible. “Because of the open space, I chat with
people from other labs daily”, said Ola Martin, postdoctoral associate in the Kelly Lab. “It
creates a sense of community and a very
friendly atmosphere”. The building’s entire
design is based on connectivity. All core
facilities and technologies, from the vivarium to
the robotics of the Conrad Prebys Center for
Chemical Genomics, are just a flight of stairs
away. Apart from the formal labs and office
space, there are a number of lounges
surrounded by walls designed as whiteboards
for spontaneous scientific brainstorming. Every Break room with
floor has its own open-space “break room”,                       ….free coffee
supplied with kitchen amenities, free coffee and                      ….and a beautiful view.
a long bar-style table. “It isn’t hard to realize
why this has become the central hub of interaction for the research staff here at Burnham”
said Joseph Mazar, postdoctoral associate in the Perera Lab.
Nevertheless, fancy buildings and advanced technologies do not mean a lot without people;
it is the Burnham scientists and staff that bring this unique facility to life. Over the past two
years, Burnham LN has brought together a total of 72 scientists, of which 19 are

postdoctoral associates/fellows. The science personnel are also supported by
42 administrative staff, bringing the total number of employees to 114. And this is just the
beginning. We are actively recruiting more nationally-renowned faculty to support the
existing strong pool of Burnham investigators. I joined the Burnham team a little more than a
year ago when there were almost half the current employees. It does feel great to be a part
of this effort from the beginning, especially when the Institute’s potential is so promising.
                                               Everyone at Burnham LN likes the feeling of a
                                               close community and agrees that it should be
                                               preserved as we expand.
                                               During my last year’s trip to La Jolla for the
                                               BSN poster symposium, I had the chance to
                                               meet and interact with many of the BSN
                                               members. It became apparent that organizing
                                               BSN at Lake Nona would be critical in
                                               preserving the interaction and collaboration
                                               among science staff and postdocs as we rapidly
                                               expand. Indeed, a little while after we settled in
                                               our new facility we had our first organizational
                                               meeting with the support of both faculty and
                                               administration. One of the first BSN activities
                                               was to initiate bimonthly informal meetings
    Celebrating the birth of                   where postdocs and staff can casually present
                   BSN at Lake Nona.           their projects during lunch. “The setting is
                                               informal, facilitating open discussions and
constructive criticism”, said Bindu Ramachandran, research associate in the Gulick Lab.
BSN members also volunteered to participate and coordinate outreach programs that were
organized by Deborah Robison, Director of Communications at LN. At one upcoming event,
we will host 50 high school science teachers from Florida to educate them on Burnham
research and to promote science. Because BSN is not only about science, we recently had
our first social food fest. This event also celebrated the birth of BSN LN, which coincided
with the 10 year anniversary of BSN in La Jolla. It was “a great opportunity to just unwind
from a busy work day and enjoy each others’ company”, said Arianna Mangravita-Novo,
research associate in the Pharmacology Core and organizer of the event.
While addressing our social lives at Burnham
LN, it is important to point out that, unlike the
majority of Medical Cities around the country,
this one is built in a wealthy neighborhood
where there is huge potential for commercial
development. Lake Nona is located south of
Orlando and before the arrival of Burnham and
the opening of the Medical City it was only
known for its golf courses. It is now slowly
developing into an inviting and comfortable          Drs. Joseph Mazar (left) and Satyabrata
residential area that will harbor the 30,000 plus    Sinha (right) of the Perera lab in action.
projected employees of the Medical City and
surrounding businesses. Most of the postdocs and science staff reside in Lake Nona, which
translates into a 5-10 minute commute to Burnham over country roads, free of traffic lights
and congestion. “The beautiful environment and quietness of nature surrounding Lake Nona
are refreshing for mind and eyes”, said Khandaker Siddiquee, postdoctoral associate in the
Smith Lab. None of us who work at Burnham LN and observe the progress can hide our
excitement. We are pioneers in the area and the center of attention for both media and the
local community. We began by setting a high bar for the Medical City and we will continue to
work together delivering on our promises. That’s all for now, gotta get back to the bench!

George Kyriazis, Postdoctoral Associate in the Tyrberg Lab

Fishman Fund Awards 2008 and 2009
                                                                 By Lars Pache & Melanie M. Hoefer

In 2001, philanthropists Mary Bradley and Reena Horowitz established the Fishman Fund in
honor of Dr. William and Lillian Fishman, the founders of the Burnham Institute. Each year the
postdocs at Burnham Institute are invited to submit their applications for the Fishman Fund
Award. This award recognizes the postdocs’ commitment to basic biomedical research and is
intended to further their education and career development. Thanks to the generous donors that
support the Fishman Fund, each award winner receives $5,000 that can be used for travel
expenses, conferences, courses, books, computers, or in any other way that enhances the
postdoctoral training and career development.
The central part of the application is a statement addressing five questions that focus on the
personal career goals of each postdoc.
The 2008 selection committee consisting of Drs. Eva Engvall, José Luis Millán and Huong
Huynh selected five recipients of the Fishman Fund Award:

Melanie M. Hoefer, Ph.D. Under the direction of Dr. Robert Rickert, Dr. Hoefer investigates the crosstalk
between the immune system and bone metabolism. She hopes to decipher the underlying causes of
rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Jochen Maurer, Ph.D. studies cancer stem cell biology in Dr. Robert Oshima’s lab. He is establishing a
line of breast tumor initiating cells, which will be an invaluable tool to screen for proteins or small
molecules that can change the cell’s fate. The goal is to find a compound that cures breast cancer.

Elizabeth Rico, Ph.D., working under the direction of Dr. Dieter Wolf, has been looking for small
molecules that prevent the loss of the protein p27. Loss of p27 directly correlates with tumor progression
and poor prognosis in several cancers including breast, colon and prostate cancer. Rico has identified
three small molecules that restore normal levels of p27 in prostate cancer cells, and is designing and
testing similar molecules.

Maria Cecilia Scimia, M.D. has been working with Dr. Pilar Ruiz-Lozano to analyze ways to protect the
heart against stress. The team has discovered a cell surface receptor protein that may be a promising
target for new therapies. Dr. Scimia also works with Dr. Mark Mercola to better understand cellular
signaling in the adult heart and cardiac regeneration.

Chih-Cheng Yang, Ph.D. works in Dr. Dieter Wolf’s lab studying NKX3.1 protein loss in prostate cancer.
NKX3.1 is a prostate specific tumor suppressor that is highly unstable and easily degraded during
prostate cancer. Dr. Yang is working to identify the cellular pathways that degrade this protective protein
and find drugs that can short-circuit that pathway to increase the amount of NKX3.1 available in cells to
suppress prostate tumors.

The 2008 winners of the Fishman
Fund Award: Maria Cecilia Scimia
Melanie M. Hoefer, Jochen Maurer
(back row), Elizabeth Rico, and Chih-
Cheng Yang (left to right), with
Reena Horowitz, Mary Bradley and
Lillian Fishman (front, left to right).

 Lillian Fishman explaining something               Jochen Maurer, Maria Cecilia Scimia, Melanie
 important to Jochen Maurer.                        M. Hoefer, Elizabeth Rico, and Chih-Cheng Yang
                                                    (left to right).

This year’s committee consisting of Drs. Eva Engvall, Craig Hauser and former Fishman Award
winner Ramon Diaz reviewed the submitted applications and selected five postdocs as the 2009
recipients of the Fishman Fund Award:

Pilar Cejudo-Martin, received her Ph.D. from the Universitat de Barcelona. She works with Dr. Sara
Courtneidge to understand the roles Tks4 and Tks5 proteins play in mammalian development. Her work
may also be applicable to Frank-Ter Haar syndrome, in which Tks4 is mutated and patients do not live
beyond their teens.

Martin Denzel received his Ph.D. from Dresden University. He works with Dr. Barbara Ranscht to
understand how different organs communicate with each other. Specifically, he is analyzing the
cardiovascular role of adiponectin, a hormone secreted by fat tissue.

Fabian Filipp received his Ph.D. in biophysics from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and the
University of Heidelberg. Working with Dr. Jeff Smith, he uses magnetic resonance spectroscopy to take
a “snapshot” of all metabolically active compounds in a cell. This novel approach can identify diagnostic
markers for clinical use and suggest new drug targets for cancer therapies.

Lars Pache received his Ph.D. from the Freie Universität Berlin. He works with Dr. Sumit Chanda to
develop improved treatments for HIV and influenza. The laboratory selectively silences cellular genes to
determine how these genes aid or perturb viral infection. This work may eventually lead to new
treatments for numerous pathogens.

Nai-Ying Michelle Yang received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside. She works with
Dr. Elena Pasquale investigating Eph proteins in prostate and breast cancer. These proteins have been
shown to promote or suppress tumor progression under different circumstances and understanding these
processes could lead to new treatments.

  The 2009 winners of the Fishman Fund
  Award: Martin Denzel, Pilar Cejudo-Martin,
  Lars Pache, Nai-Ying Yang, Fabian Filipp
  (left to right).

While the award ceremony in 2008 - as in previous years - was held in Chairmen's hall,
the 2009 awards were presented to the five winners during a nicely organized awards
ceremony and reception in the Fishman Auditorium.

                                                        Reena Horowitz presenting Malin
                                                        Burnham with a picture signed by
                                                        previous Fishman Fund Award

Reena Horowitz first honored Malin Burnham who is stepping down as the chairman of
the Board of Trustees for his commitment to the Burnham Institute. Following remarks
by John C. Reed and Greg Lucier, CEO of Life Technologies and the new chairman of
the board, Reena Horowitz and Jeanne Jones of the Fishman Fund introduced the
award recipients and gave them the opportunity to briefly present their fields of
research. After the ceremony all attendees walked over to Chairmen’s Hall for a
reception that concluded the evening.

Reena Horowitz, Fabian Filipp,
Pilar Cejudo-Martin, Nai-Ying
Yang, Lillian Fishman, Martin
Denzel, Jeanne Jones, Lars
Pache, Greg Lucier, John C.
Reed (left to right).

Burnhamites going to the San Diego Opera:

                                                                         By Ramses Agustin

In the early spring, unusually dressed-up Burnhamites enjoyed an evening performance of
Giuseppe Verdi’s “Rigoletto” with the San Diego Opera. Rigoletto (Georgian baritone Lado
Ataneli), father to Gilda (Slovakian soprano
L’ubica Vargicova), is the hunchbacked court
jester to the lecherous Duke of Mantua (Albanian
tenor Giuseppe Gipali). Set during the Italian
Renaissance, the opera tells the story of a curse
on Rigoletto that comes to fruition when the Duke
decides to seduce Rigoletto’s daughter.
Prior to the curtain rise, we were treated to an
extended backstage tour that gave us insight into
the subtle and varied preparations necessary to
produce an opera of international caliber. For
those who missed the pre-opera lecture, the
performance magazine helped with the synopsis
of the opera, cast biographies, as well as an historical perspective describing Verdi’s problems
                                                    with Austrian censorship. Strong vocals and
                                                    musicianship, supported by detailed sets,
                                                    lavish    costumes,     and     a   wonderfully
                                                    atmospheric lighting design, made for an
                                                    outing not easily forgotten. “La donna é
                                                    mobile,” sung by the Duke, is perhaps the
                                                    most instantly recognizable aria from
                                                    More importantly, within the context of the
                                                    opera, a later reprise of this song reveals to
                                                    the eponymous hunchback the tragic irony of
                                                    his bargain with the assassin Sparafucile. Also
of note was American mezzo-soprano Kirstin Chávez’s singing as Maddalena, almost eclipsing
the other principals. Ultimately, it was a great opportunity to enjoy opera with the camaraderie of
friends at Burnham outside of Burnham.
Afterwards, a few of us even went to House of
Blues for appetizers and drinks! Events such as
this strengthen the Burnham community, and we
hope to continue offering similar events in the
Thanks to everyone who attended and special
thanks to Peter Teriete for organizing this
wonderful BSN event!

                                             ~ 10 ~
New Laboratory Highlight: Duc Dong’s Lab
By Julia Chang
In this issue of the BUZZ, we would like to introduce the Dong Lab: Dr. Dong is an
Assistant Professor of the Sanford Children's Health Research Center.
                                       Duc Si Dong earned his Ph.D. in Cell and
                                       Molecular Biology at the University of
                                       Wisconsin, Madison in 2002. His graduate
                                                                                      Julia interviewing Dr. Dong
                                       work in the lab of Grace Boekhoff-Falk
                                       (formerly Grace Panganiban) identified the role of transcription factors in
                                       appendage specification and hearing sensory organ development in fruit
                                       flies. He then did his postdoctoral training at the University of California,
                                       San Francisco in the laboratory of Dr. Didier Stainier. While there, he
                                       helped to establish the zebrafish model
                                       for studying pancreas and liver
 Dr. Dong and his zebrafish team       progenitor biology. Dr. Dong was
                                       recruited to the Burnham Institute in 2008.
He uses the zebrafish as his model system to understand how transcription and
signaling factors regulate organogenesis. More specifically, progenitors of the
pancreas, liver, and intestine with the aim of curing diseases associated with
these tissues.

                                                                                  The true heroes in the Dong lab

Interview with Duc:                                      1. The low hanging fruits could be just as sweet as the
                                                            high ones.
                                                         2. When your data do not make sense, also question
What brought you into science?                             your assumptions.
The desire to become a “mad scientist”.                  3. Pace yourself, especially if you’re in it for the long haul.
                                                            Stressing and long work hours are counterproductive
What was your least favorite subject in school?             – it dampens your ability to think clearly and
I think that when you have a very passionate teacher,       creatively!
even your least favorite subject can become              4. Avoid instant messaging while you are at work… you
interesting.                                                should be thinking about your projects -.
One thing about you nobody would expect?                                *** But most of all, have fun! ***
I have been a Chinese Martial Arts student and               Work life balance – what do you do to relax from
instructor (Tai Chi & Wu Shu) since 1993 and took
Grand Champion award at the U.S. 2000 Nationals.
                                                             Actively engaging in martial arts (teaching and as a
(BUZZ: Watch out for the Tai Chi classes available
                                                             student) helps to create a more balanced work-life.
at the Burnham!)
                                                             Also important is spending time with my family.
What was your very first job (you earned money
                                                             Your most favorite place in San Diego?
                                                             My home.
Working at the back of a dry cleaners. I wasn’t even
allowed to work up front and interact with people            The last movie you saw?
because only girls got to do that.                           Star Trek. With kids, I don’t have much time for movies!
Why the Burnham?                                             Your favorite book?
So I can focus on my science and be surrounded by            Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
good science.
                                                             If you had $1,000,000 to spend on whatever you
Do you have any recommendations for postdocs                 wanted, what would you do with the money?
what to do or not (to be successful)?                        With greater financial security, I would like to have
                                                             more kids.

   The Burnham Science Network Welcome Lunch
                  By Fabian V. Filipp
                             The 2009 Welcome Luncheon of the Burnham Science Network was
                             a great success - almost 50 new hires joined the BSN executive
                             members (Yunfei Wen, Eric Lau, Melanie Hoefer, Ya Chen) for a
                             social get-together.
                             Scientist come and go, many of the Burnham Institute's members
                             having just arrived from a foreign country, most of them from a
                             different culture. Life inside and outside the of lab is often new and
                             very fast. We’ve all been through these exciting, but often scary and
                             overwhelming times. BSN invited newly hired postdocs and graduate
                             students to an informal BSN Welcome Luncheon to help them with
                             getting started and to connect them to the existing network:
                             BSN regularly holds poster symposia, outstanding scientist
                             seminars, institute happy hours, as well as inter-institute networking
                             events to stimulate collaborations across institute borders. In the
                             past year the Burnham Institute also served as nucleus for the San
                             Diego Postdoctoral Association - a consortium of engaged
                             postdoctoral scholars of neighboring research institutions in the
                             Torrey Pines Science Mesa, who organize scientific workshops and
                             social events together. BSN further organizes various trips, including
                             longer trips, such as a 2-day excursion to Catalina Island.
                             Yapos Catering helped to bring the luncheon to a sweet finish with
                             an Italian Gianduia - a delicious chocolate cake with white chocolate
                             chip and hazelnut topping.

If you missed the introductory event, please join one of the
next events or regular meetings! This is also your chance
to gather our famous BSN mug!!!

BSN Sloshball Challenge                         By Jochen Maurer
On Sunday, June 7th, 2009, a couple of
scientists embarked on an adventure of
the sporty kind. Meeting with other
researchers from around the globe at the
Mira Mesa baseball field they all
entered the great BSN Sloshball
challenge. The Scripps team was the
one with the most players
(outnumbering everybody else 3:1).
Burnham was represented by
approximately 9 of the finest minds the
Institute has to offer. Also one has to
mention a single but very brave
individual from UCSD -. Eventually,
35-40 players were present on this
beautiful and sunny day. Additionally,
members of the press showed up shortly
after the first game started (thank you

Quite simply,
Sloshball is a combination
of kickball and kegs.
       The games were a lot of fun and as
         can be seen from the pictures, this
     is a exceptionally challenging sport.
       After the first couple of innings the
             game gained momentum, very
        likely due to increased beer intake
     on the first base. In the end, Scripps
       won the most games, but Burnham
          players were pretty satisfied with
        the outcome. We fought heroically
            against an ever so strong force!
     Results of the day: lots of fun in the
             sun, two kegs of beer emptied
             (well, almost -), a few minor
      injuries and scratches, and overall a
         very communicative, friendly and
       exciting game day which gained us
        lots of new fans for this wonderful
     sport. We will meet Scripps and Co.
         again on the field soon. Be part of
              of the game! BSN needs you!

September 24th, 2009:
The 1st Annual National Postdoc Appreciation Day
                                                       By Eric Lau & Melanie M. Hoefer

On September 24th 2009, Sherri Marinovich, Amy
Terzino and the whole HR team invited all postdocs for
a delicious lunch, served by committed faculty
members: Drs. Levine, Liddington, Salvesen and
Zhang. On top of all this, movie ticket raffle prizes were
drawn and announced by Dr. Huynh. Needless to say,
BIMR’s first National Postdoc Appreciation day
certainly left a most unique and lasting impression—we
indeed felt very much appreciated on this lovely sunny
day in September!

The BSN and all of the postdoc community would like
to thank the BIMR administration and faculty for your
support and creativity in making this National Postdoc
Appreciation Day a wonderful experience for us!              Dr. Huong Huynh, Program
                                                             Coordinator, Office of
                                                             Postdoctoral and Graduate

                                           “We value your contribution to the
                                           research enterprise and success
                                           of Burnham Institute for Medical

 Dr. Robert Liddington serving
 lunch to happy postdocs

                                          ~ 15 ~
               is going green!
OR: The invasion of the blue recycling bins - by Stefan Grotegut

Many of you most probably have seen already those mystical blue bins with the white
triangle shaped by arrows on it. However, haven’t you caught yourself once in a while
asking yourself what these bins are actually good for? Or in case you were even aware of
the purpose of these bins, haven't you ever wondered what items can or can't be placed
into them? Above all, have you ever wondered what happens to the items after you placed
them in there? Amazingly enough, these little blue containers are much more than just
pieces of decoration and are actually part of a much bigger plan!!
Indeed, many items that you handle in the lab every day, which include e.g. empty water
and other plastic bottles, soda cans, papers accidentally printed in double, non-alcoholic
beer bottles, cardboard boxes, rinsed media bottles, or even empty pipette tip boxes)
placed in these bins are valuable commodities and pass through a stringent sorting process
by special Burnham employees Todd Baase and Michael Barden. Both are responsible for
managing all recyclables that come out of the labs and offices and make sure that every
item is sorted according to the material it’s made from. Following, these raw materials are
being sold to a local recycling company, which routes them to the important recycling
process. “The people at Burnham already do a fantastic job in recycling” says Todd, “but of
course there is always scope for improvement!” “Our biggest problem is the contamination
of recycling goods by chemicals or food”, adds Michael. “Often we find banana peels or
apple cores in the recycling bags. Together with some coffee spills they will eventually
start to rot and get moldy. As a consequence, we can’t use
those recyclables any more.” Other items that shouldn’t be
placed in the recycling bins at all include latex gloves or yogurt
cups, further explains Michael.
Most interestingly, the Burnham Institute earns a substantial
amount of money by selling those recyclable items, explains
maintenance manager John M. Reed, who oversees Burnham’s
recycling efforts. Moreover, the company that collects the
normal trash from the Burnham reports that up to 43% of the
trash contains items that could be recycled! When you think
about it, Burnham not only loses quite a sum of money, but also
has to pay for the disposal of these items, which equals a
double loss!      Most importantly, recycling saves space in
landfills, conserves water and energy and helps to reduce air
and water pollution! Did you know for example that recycled Empty containers and
aluminum requires 96% less energy than manufacturing new bottles are collected and
                                                                               the Burnham
aluminum from its virgin material, bauxite! Or to put it into seperated atthem to the
                                                                    to submit
another context: One aluminum can saves enough electricity to recycling process.
light a 60-watt bulb for 5 ¾ hours! Burnham employees can

easily contribute to environmental protection by just using the
blue recycling bins that are often located right next to of the
normal trash cans more often. You can even bring your
recyclables from home in case your community does not support
recycling at all! Better than recycling, however, often is reusing.
The Burnham maintenance crew is really creative when it comes
to avoid trash and costs. Most recently for example, all the saved
styroform peanuts could be used for moving sensitive machines
from building 10 to building 12. Otherwise, the peanuts would
have been bought from the moving company…

Another interesting aspect is that Burnham’s recycling effort is a
vital element of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental
                                                                         Since the recyclable
Design (LEED) certification issued by the U.S. Green Building items                 have     been
                                   Council (USGBC) since 1998. removed from the normal
                                   The Green Building Rating trash, the contractor
                                   System        was      originally picks up the trash only
                                   developed to design buildings once a week instead of
                                                                         formerly twice a week.
                                   or       communities        using
                                   strategies aimed at improving
                                   performance across all the metrics that matter most:
                                   energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions
                                   reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and
                                   stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
                                   The Burnham Institute wants to become a local
                                   outstanding example for sustainability (see BUZZ #9 for
                                   an extensive article about the LEED program) and thus
                                   has worked hard to fulfill all the criteria necessary for the
                                   certification process.      These efforts are currently
                                   reviewed by the USGBC and the findings of the council
Michael says reusing is even are expected to be announced very soon.
better than recycling and suggests Stay tuned for the latest updates on Burnham’s recycling
that labs should send those boxes efforts and LEED certification status!
with free return labels back to the
vendors instead of throwing them
into the trash cans.                                                                Three days
                                                                                    of pressure
                                                                                    in this com-
                                                                                    pactor are
                                                                                    required to
                                                                                    form a nice
                                                                                    bale        of
                                                                                    before it can
                                                                                    be         re-

             San Diego Postdocs celebrate
        at joined Annual Summer Beach Bash
                                                           By Fabian V Filipp

Researchers outside of San Diego often associate postdocking in Southern
California with palm trees, flowers necklaces and fruity drinks—once a
year, at the night of the Annual Summer Bash at Mission Beach's Canes
Club they are most definitely right! "It was great to see so many postdocs
from neighboring institutes celebrate together!", said party organizer and
postdoc Linda Marks. Postdoc Associations from Burnham, Scripps,
UCSD, LIAI, and Salk teamed up to put the event together, brought their
people over, and filled the whole beach club.

A Hawaiian Dance Combo opened the dance floor with moves from the
tropical island, and the crowd enjoyed Salsa and Dance music. Later the
night, a gorgeous roof patio opened up and the Law Boyz DJ Team,
UCSD's Social Chair Christoph "Broken" Burkart and BSN's DJ Fabstar,
dropped Electro House beats together with a live drum performance by the
Hessian. The Beach Bash went by too quickly but no doubt it was a good
night to mingle with colleagues from next door, shake the laboratory stress
of, and make new friends!

Dear Fellow Researchers,

BSN wishes to invite you to participate in our Informal Seminar Series. We are
looking for postdocs and graduate students who have an interesting story to tell
about their research, who are looking for a place and an audience to practice
for that job interview coming up, or who simply wish to improve upon their
public speaking and oral presentation skills, while receiving friendly but
important feedback about their work. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to get to
know your fellow postdocs and graduate students and become aware of what
everyone else does when they put on their lab coats and safety goggles.

We guarantee you won’t find anything but a relaxed and sociable atmosphere
during these 1-hr presentations, with hopes that these forums will be
stimulating and educational as well as fostering new inter-laboratory

Please contact Joaquim Teixeira (jteixeira@burnham.org) or Eric Lau
(elau@burnham.org)to schedule your presentation! We will be happy to set
everything up and be sure to have a gift card ready for you so that you can
celebrate the success of your seminar afterwards.

On behalf of the BSN,

Joaquim and Eric
                     pcoming events calendar

Dec 1, 2009
Networking 101: Where to Start?”
Fishman Auditorium, 3:00 – 4:00pm

Jan 14, 2010
“Resume and CV: Tools for Your Job Search”
Fishman Auditorium, 3:00 – 4:00pm

Feb 18-21, 2010
AAAS Annual Meeting in San Diego

March, 2010
San Diego Lab Management Course

March 10-11, 2010
National Summit on Gender and the Postdoctorate in Philadelphia, PA

March 12-14, 2010
National Postdoctoral Association Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA

Questions? Comments? Suggestions?
Please contact Dr. Huong Huynh (hhuynh@burnham.org)

 Ramses Agustin
 Julia Chang
 Fabian V. Filipp
 Stefan Grotegut
 Melanie M. Hoefer
 George Kyriazis
 Eric Lau
 Jochen Maurer
 Lars Pache
 Joaquim Teixeira

 Melanie M. Hoefer

 Photo Contributions
 Ramses Agustin
 Joshua Baxt
 Beverly Brock
 Stefan Grotegut
 Melanie M. Hoefer

 Chief Editor
 Melanie M. Hoefer
 Fabian V. Filipp
 Stefan Grotegut

 Print issue
 Doug Haynes           21
                                Do you enjoy the BSN Happy Hours?
                                        How about The BUZZ?
                                        The Poster Symposium?

                                       The Outstanding Scientist

Contact any BSN member
or Amy (ahowes@burnham.org)
or Eric (elau@burnham.org).
For more information, check out:

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