Lab News

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Laura's review on mRNA dormancy

20 Mar 2024

Big congratulations to Laura for getting her review published on ‘The molecular mechanisms underpinning maternal mRNA dormancy’! In this review, Laura summarizes the mechanisms in place to ensure that a protein is made in the right place at the right time. While these mechanisms contribute to the control of gene expression in all cells, they are of particular importance during the egg-to-embryo transition when maternal mRNAs must be temporarily stored and translationally repressed in the egg. Congrats to Laura on taking the lead on writing this review and getting it into its final shape!

Here is a link to the review

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Welcome to Jörg

01 Mar 2024

A very warm welcome to Jörg, joint bioinformatician between the Obenauf and Pauli labs!

Jörg is no newcomer to Vienna, having performed his PhD in Ivo Hofacker’s lab at the University of Vienna, followed by postdoctoral work in Peter Stadler’s Department for Mathematics and Informatic at the University of Leipzig, Germany. Jörg will be supporting multiple projects in the lab with his genomics and bioinformatics expertise, and we are very excited to welcome you back home!

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DevStem Symposium 2024

01 Mar 2024

to come…

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Welcome to Amy

01 Mar 2024

A very warm welcome to Amy, new postdoc in the Pauli lab!

Amy (Amena Nabih) did her PhD in Stefanie Jonas’s lab at the ETH in Zürich, Switzerland, where she investigated the mechanism of gene-specific transcription regulation by the Integrator complex. In the Pauli lab, Amy will be studying the molecular basis of age-related changes in developmental competence in zebrafish. We are really excited to have you on board!

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Iceskating in front of the Vienna City Hall

21 Feb 2024

A fun outing with members of the Pauli lab to try out our iceskating skills at one of the arguably most beautiful and special icerinks in the world - the ‘Wiener Eistraum’ right in front of the Vienna city hall. As a special treat, our Pauli lab alumnus Krista, who happened to be visiting us, showed and taught us some special iceskating tricks. It was a fun evening out with some lab members showing exceptional perserverance and motivation on the ice until the closing of the icerink!

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Welcome to Ida

01 Feb 2024

A very warm welcome to Ida, new postdoc in the Pauli lab!

Ida did her PhD in Melina Schuh’s lab at the MPI for Multidisciplinary Science in Goettingen, Germany, where she investigated the function of cytoplasmic lattices in mammalian eggs. In the Pauli lab, Ida will be studying the fascinating phenomenon of embryonic diapause in Killifish. We are really excited to have you (on top of killifish as a new model organism) on board!

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A very Happy New Year!

31 Dec 2023

A very Happy New Year from the Pauli lab!

As it’s already a little lab tradition, we’ve looked back ‘in pictures’ what 2023 was about, and there were plenty of pictures to choose from. All the best for an exciting and fulfilling 2024!

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Talents-for-Future Minisymposium & Iceskating

29 Dec 2023

Time flew past for our Talents-for-Future “Summer” students from Ghana, who spent the past 2.5 months at the Vienna BioCenter. In a closing Mini-Symposium all three students, Martin, Victor and Sarah, presented their research to us, and it has been amazing to hear how much they’ve accomplished and learnt during their time at the VBC. I can safely say that launching the Talents-for-Future program with our Ghanaian students has been a huge success. This program builds on Victoria’s successful initiative 3 years ago, where she invited a student (Eduardo) from El Salvador for a research stay into our lab over the summer. On a personal note, it has been fantastic to see our Ghanaian students grow as scientists and persons, and we could not have wished for a more motivated group of students: they were willing to dive into new research experiences and embrace our very different culture from day one! Their stay with us was topped off with a week of beautiful snow in Vienna (the first snow for our Ghanaian friends!), Christmas market visits and even some ice-skating that sparked real ambitions in some to become the first ever Ghanaian Olympic ice-skater. It has been amazing to have had you join us here in Vienna – thank you for being so openminded, kind and full of smiles, optimism and determination to reach your dreams of becoming scientists!

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Good bye to Marcus

21 Dec 2023

We are really sad to say good-bye to Marcus who is looking for some new adventures! Marcus joined us 2.5 years ago, initially on a part-time half-year contract to work with Laura. Yet since Marcus really liked it with us, and we really liked him both on a scientific and personal level, we were super happy to keep Marcus with us for much longer than initially planned. We wish you all the best for your future – wherever it will take you! With all your skills in- and outside of the lab, we have zero doubts that you will find a new adventure that you will enjoy!

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Laura's paper published in EMBO Reports

16 Dec 2023

Big congratulations to Laura for getting her master-work on eIF4E1b published in EMBO Reports! Laura led this study from start to end with key experimental help from Marcus, and several other lab members contributing. In this work, we show that eIF4E1b binds to the mRNA caps of maternal mRNAs containing short polyA tails. In contrast to its canonical paralog eIF4E, eIF4E1b does not promote translation since it does not interact with the key translation-promoting factor eIF4G. Importantly, eIF4E1b is essential for normal development of the female germline in zebrafish, and fish lacking eIF4E1b sex revert and develop into males.

If you are interested in knowing more, please check-out the following links:

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IMP/IMBA Christmas party

12 Dec 2023

This year’s IMP-IMBA Christmas party took again place at the ‘Prater Alm’ with typical Austrian food, speeches, party and a Christmas tombola, for which the money is donated to ‘Stiftung Kindertraum’. This year we even managed to secure a table for everyone from the Pauli lab together!

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Escape room and Christmas dinner

28 Nov 2023

Great team work and lots of fun in solving riddles ensured that we all made it out of our Escape Rooms in which we were locked up (the bunker, the prison, or – very fittingly – the lab) just on time to get a Gluehwein at the Spittelberger Christmas market before dinner and our by now already traditional ‘White Elephant’ Christmas present exchange. It was a fun evening out with lots of laughter and smiles!

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Lauwers Award for best Monday seminar to Josef

10 Nov 2023

Big congratulations to Josef for winning this year’s Lauwers Award for the best Monday seminar presentation in the past year!

The winner of this award is selected by their own peers, meaning fellow Vienna Biocenter PhD students, and presented to the winner by the Lauwers family at the PhD Symposium, which makes this award even more special. We are really proud of you, Josef, for winning this year’s award and bringing it for the first time to the Pauli lab!

To read more about Josef’s research and the Lauwers award, check out the link.

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Pumpkin carving & Halloween!

31 Oct 2023

This year some Pauli lab members, with great support and enthusiasm from our students from Ghana, showed their skills in pumpkin carving and dressing up. While designs and costumes ranged from traditional to exclusive ones (from “who is that bear?” to creative fish- and fertilization pumpkin designs), everyone had great fun!

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Welcome to our Talents-for-Future 'Summer' student Sarah

15 Oct 2023

We are really excited to welcome Sarah Ashitei from the WACCBIP at the University of Ghana to our lab! Sarah was selected as part of the new Talents-for-Future program of our Vienna Biocenter summer school, and together with her fellow Ghanaian students Martin Asare, who will join the Tanaka lab, and Victor Kornu, who will join the Penninger lab, will be with us in Vienna for the next 2.5 months. In our lab, Sarah will be mentored by Victoria. We are very glad that we could finally get you and your fellow students here to dive into some molecular biology research!

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Rabitsch Award to Frieda

05 Oct 2023

Big congratulations to Frieda for winning this year’s Rabitsch Award for her PhD thesis!

The Rabitsch Award, established in 2006, celebrates the accomplishments of a recently graduated PhD student from IMP or IMBA. This year, the scientific advisory board of the IMP selected Frieda as the recipient of the award for her research on dormant ribosomes in the embryo.

To read more about Frieda’s research and the Rabitsch award, check out the link!

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Welcome to Johannes

01 Oct 2023

A very warm welcome to Johannes, our newest PhD student in the Pauli lab!

Johannes is joining our fertilization team, and we are really excited to have him on board since he will strengthen our team with his biochemical expertise that he acquired in Regensburg during his studies and also during his master thesis in the Vannini lab at the Human Technopole in Milan. We are glad to have you on board!

Picture: Johannes together with his fellow 3 PhD students from the Pauli lab, already fully integrated into the lab after the 1st days here at the IMP - thanks to the whole lab for making Johannes feel so welcome from day one!

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Collaborative paper on DNA methylation in zebrafish-medaka hybrids published in NAR

26 Aug 2023

Published in Nucleic Acids Research (NAR): a new collaborative paper led by Ozren Bogdanovic’s lab with first author Sam Ross on the evolutionary conservation of embryonic DNA methylome remodelling in medaka and zebrafish. Thanks for allowing us, in particular Krista who provided the essential zebrafish-medaka hybrids, to contribute to this interesting work!

Congratulations to all authors!

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Frieda defends her PhD

25 Aug 2023

Immensely proud of Frieda for defending her PhD with flying colors! Big congratulations to Dr. Leesch for a brilliant PhD defense on the ‘Characterization and function of maternal ribosomes during development’.

During her PhD, Frieda launched the entire area of biochemical and structural exploration of translation during zebrafish embryogenesis in a lab with very little expertise in these fields, and did this with great determination, efficiency and success! Thank you for forming a fantastic team with your ‘partner in crime’ in the lab, Laura, and for all your contributions in and outside of the lab, including for introducing us to your favorite hobby, the mushroom ‘hunting’ around Vienna! We wish you all the best for your future postdoc, whereever it will take you!

A huge thank you also to Frieda’s examiners Elif Cenik (Austin University, Texas, USA), Elif Karagöz (Max Perutz Labs, Vienna) and Sebastian Falk (Max Perutz Labs, Vienna) for their insightful questions and discussion during the defense.

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Catch-up in Woods Hole

29 Jul 2023

A little Pauli lab reunion in ‘magic’ Woods Hole: Super fun to catch up with former PhD student Jessica, who is doing her postdoc with Carrie Albertin at the Marine Biological Labs (MBL) in Woods Hole on cephalopod neurodevelopment! Krista, Andreas and Andi used the opportunity of being close by or anyways in Woods Hole (to teach/TA in the annual zebrafish course at the MBL) to re-connect with Jessica and learn all about life as a postdoc (and how difficult it is to inject those cephalopod eggs)! Glad we only had to teach students to inject zebrafish eggs ;-)!

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New pre-print by Victoria & Andreas on sperm fertilization factors forming a trimer

29 Jul 2023

We are super excited about our new pre-print led by Victoria & Andreas in which we discover a conserved fertilization complex that mediates sperm-egg interaction in vertebrates. Using AlphaFold-based structural predictions to screen for protein-protein interactions amongst known fertilization factors and other gamete-expressed membrane or secreted proteins, we identified a trimeric complex consisting of the known sperm fertilization factors Izumo1 and Spaca6, and the newly discovered sperm factor Tmem81. We show that Tmem81 is indeed a newly identified essential fertilization factor in fish and in mice (a big thank you to our amazing collaborators Yonggang Lu and Masahito Ikawa at Osaka University, Japan). Crucially, AlphaFold Multimer predicts that this conserved trimeric complex on sperm interacts with the egg protein Bouncer in fish and JUNO in mammals, providing a molecular link between sperm and egg during fertilization. Big congratulations to everyone who contributed to this important work!

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Pauli lab at the GRC Fertilization

25 Jul 2023

After a Covid-related gap of four years, Victoria, Andreas, Krista and Andi were excited to be back in person for the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on fertilization and activation of development at Holderness School, New Hampshire, USA.

This meeting provided an amazing opportunity to reconnect with the scientific community, and allowed Victoria and Andreas to present their newest work on the discovery of a protein complex connecting sperm and egg membranes in vertebrates in the form of a platform talk, which turned out to be one of the highlights of this meeting based on the feedback we received! And last but not least, this meeting provided a great opportunity to meet up in person with our collaborators Yonggang Lu and Masahito Ikawa from Osaka University, Japan, catch up with old friends from the community and make new ones!

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Krista defends her PhD

19 Jun 2023

Immensely proud of Krista for defending her PhD with flying colors - big congrats Dr. Gert for a brilliant PhD defense on Bouncer’s role in determining compatibility between sperm and egg in fish!

During her PhD, Krista discovered Bouncer’s species-specificity between zebrafish and medaka gametes, and established medaka as a new model organism in the lab. Moreover, Krista single-handedly established a zebrafish-medaka reverse hybrid system as a powerful tool to study parental contributions during embryogenesis. Krista stood out for her full dedication to her research, which culminated in a total of 8 (!!) manuscripts - a heroic body of work with key findings addressing the mechanism of fertilization and zygotic genome activation. Thank you for all your contributions in and outside of the lab! We wish you all the best for your future postdoc, whereever it will take you!

A huge thank you also to Krista’s examiners Carmen Williams (NIH, USA), Manfred Schartl (University of Wuerzburg, Germany) and Uli Technau (UBB, University of Vienna, Austria) for their insightful questions and discussion.

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Krista's Bouncer match-maker paper out in NatureCommunications!

14 Jun 2023

Big congrats to first author Krista!! (more to come soon…)

If you want to know more about Krista’s work, check out these links:

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New pre-print by Laura on eIF4E1b

11 Jun 2023

We’ve shown before how ribosomes are kept dormant in the egg, but what about all the mRNAs that need to be stored as well? In a new pre-print from the lab, Laura, teaming up with Marcus and other current and former people from the lab (Beni, Frieda, Carina) as well as our Mass-spec facility (Michi Schutzbier and Gerhard Duernberg), reveals a special role for the non-canonical cap-binding protein eIF4E1b during oogenesis in zebrafish. Similar to canonical eIF4Es, eIF4E1b binds to the mRNA cap and thus prevents decapping, yet it does not interact with the translation promoting factor eIF4G. This function of eIF4e1b is required for oogenesis in zebrafish since fish lacking eIF4e1b do not develop into females but instead revert to fertile males. Big congratulations particularly to Laura for this important work!

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Collaborative hybrid paper on bioRxiv

24 May 2023

Big congratulations to our collaborators from the Bogdanovic lab, in particular first author Sam Ross, as well as our own Krista, for putting together this interesting pre-print on the evolutionary conservation of embryonic DNA methylome remodelling in medaka and zebrafish!

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Andi with LAMP team in Ghana

18 Apr 2023

As part of an international collaboration formed during Covid-times to bring the simple, home-made VBC LAMP assay to countries where it could really make a difference for diagnostic testing, Andi spent 10 days in Ghana, Africa, together with the 2 students that had spearheaded the VBC LAMP assay here in Vienna as well as international collaborators from Ghana (WACCBIP), Cameroon, Cambridge UK and Nigeria. More to come soon!!

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DevStem Symposium at the IST

03 Mar 2023

This year’s DevStem symposium at the IST Austria brought again the broader Viennese science community interested in development and stem cells together. The Pauli lab was well represented with Frieda giving a talk on dormant ribosomes, two posters by our fertilization teams (Victoria and Jonne; Andreas and Laurine) and Josef and Jakob participating as well. It was again a successful and very stimulating event particularly for master students, PhD students and postdocs to discuss about science, exchange ideas and get to know also other peers in the wider Vienna area and our new direct neighbors at the IMP from the Pinheiro lab!

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Welcome on board to our 4 international master students

01 Mar 2023

This is a first in the history of the Pauli lab to have not only one or two but four international Master students join us this spring! We are really excited to welcome

  • Jonne from the Cancer, Stem cells and Developmental Biology master program at Utrecht University, Netherlands; Jonne is supervised by Victoria and is working on fertilization;
  • Jakob from the Regenerative Medicine and Technology master program at Utrecht University, Netherlands; Jakob is supervised by Josef and is working on Dap1b/Dap’s role in translational regulation;
  • Laurine from the master program on Epigenetics, Genetics and Cell Biology at Montpellier University, France; Laurine is supervised by Andreas and is working on fertilization;
  • Roksolana who already knows the campus from her internship with Yasin Dagdas’s lab at the GMI; Roksolana is supervised by Anastasia and is working on mitochondria during embryogenesis.

Welcome on board!

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A very special Pauli lab beer hour

17 Feb 2023

Back to the 2000s - and Paris Hilton’s birthday (on the 17.2.) - was this year’s motto for our Pauli lab beer hour. This involved getting a live-size version of Paris Hilton printed by our graphics department (thanks Tibor and Hannes!) and a photobooth with Paris Hilton, dressing up according to the 2000s, memorable music from the ‘good old past’ and lots of dancing from the entire Pauli lab! It turned out a huge success and a great opportunity to catch up with the ‘extended Pauli lab family’ with former Pauli lab members that have moved on to other positions on campus. After cleaning up from the party, the Pauli lab has a new problem to solve: what do we do with the live-sized version of Paris Hilton (options range from putting her up in the lab or at the microscope versus getting rid of her).

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Frieda at Weizmann Institute Embryo conference

13 Feb 2023

Frieda’s abstract on the discovery of dormant ribosomes in zebrafish and Xenopus eggs was selected for a talk, which gave Frieda the opportunity to present her work alongside eminent scientists from all over the world at the Early Embryogenesis and Epigenetics Embryo 2023 meeting at the Weizmann Institute in Israel. Frieda’s talk was well-received by the scientific community and gave her the opportunity to connect with scientists working on different topics to find out about the newest and most exciting research in other areas of research.

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SLAMseq paper published in Cell Reports

08 Feb 2023

And finally it is out! What took us quite some time, we are really happy to see our SLAMseq analysis during zebrafish embryogenesis published in Cell Reports. Using time-resolved RNA sequencing, we provide a comprehensive view of the embryonic transcriptome in a maternal/zygotic-aware manner in zebrafish. This work was a fantastic collaboration between the Ameres and Pauli labs, led by PhD student Pooja Bhat from the Ameres lab with experimental contributions from our own PhD student Quio.
Big congratulations to all authors!

If you want to read more about the story, please check out the news posts by the IMP and Max Perutz labs.

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Ribosome paper published in Nature

18 Jan 2023

A great start into the new year: Our dormant ribosome paper is published in Nature!

Big congratulations to the two master-minds behind this work, PhD student Frieda and postdoc Laura, who joined forces to lead this collaborative and interdisciplinary work, in which we went all the way from developmental biology and genetics in zebrafish to biochemistry and structural biology. A huge thank you to our key collaborator David Haselbach (IMP) and his lab (particularly Irina Grishkovskaya) for contributing and sharing their expertise in CryoEM. Obtaining structures of the dormant egg ribosomes in zebrafish and Xenopus was crucial for finding out that Dap1b ‘plugs’ the ribosome by being inserted into the polypeptide exit tunnel. A big thank you also to all other members of the Pauli lab (Carina, Josef, Anastasia) who contributed to this story, and all other collaborators from the VBC campus, including our fantastic mass-spectrometry facility (Karl Mechtler, Elisabeth Roitinger, Manuel Matzinger), structural biologist Anton Meinhart (Clausen lab) and Xenopus-expert Tzi-Yang Lin (Tanaka lab), for sharing their expertise. And last but not least, thank you to the reviewers and everyone else that helped along the way!

If you want to know more about our work, here are some links:

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Happy New Year from the Pauli lab

31 Dec 2022

What happened during 2022 in the Pauli lab?

A little review in pictures of the wonderful people that made 2022 another special year. Thank you to each one of you for your commitment and for being who you are!

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RNAclub social at Vienna Christmas market

19 Dec 2022

A trip to one of Vienna’s local Christmas markets is already a little tradition of our VCB RNAclub, though in the past two years Corona did not make it possible. We were glad to head out this year again to Karlsplatz Christmas market to pick up this tradition, and enjoy some ‘Gluehwein’, freshly baked bread, bratwurst and waffles! A big thank you to the RNA Society for sponsoring our VBC RNAclub over the past years and also this and the coming year again!

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IMP/IMBA Christmas party

15 Dec 2022

For this year’s joint IMP/IMBA Christmas party at the Prater Alm, there were not only directors’ speeches, food, drinks and dancing, but also a little ‘special performance’ by all PIs of the two institutes. Though it’s unclear whether the audience or the PIs themselves had more fun, it’s clear that the modified ‘Happy Christmas’ and ‘Last Christmas’ songs were a great success!

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Goodbye to our Master student Hannah

07 Dec 2022

Time to say goodbye to our Master student Hannah, who had joined us for the past year to explore the activation of mitochondria during embryogenesis, working under the direct supervision of Anastasia. It was great to have had you in our lab, not only because of your motivation and scientific contributions but also for your positive energy and ability to easily connect with and bring together people. We wish you all the best in the future!

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End-of-the-year celebration

06 Dec 2022

For this year’s Christmas celebration we played a round of 3D-neon-Minigolf before having a relaxed dinner with Raclette and Gluewein at Andi’s place. And of course, the highlight was ‘as every year’ a round of White Elephant!

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Welcome to Lalitha

15 Oct 2022

A very warm welcome to Lalitha Veleti, our newest PhD student in the Pauli lab! Lalitha is not a complete new-comer to our campus though since she has performed her Master thesis in Clemens Plaschka’s lab. For her PhD project, Lalitha is excited to explore mechanisms that contribute to the increase in translation during the first hours of embryogenesis. We are glad to have you on board!

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Germ Cells meeting in CSHL - and horseshoe crabs

12 Oct 2022

Andi, who co-organized this year’s Germ Cells meeting at the CSHL together with Shosei Yoshida and Mark van Doren, brought back not only interesting new findings from ‘everything Germ Cells’ but also a ‘special’ treat for the lab (to the delight particularly of Hannah, Karin and Marcus): not sweets like usual but molts of horseshoe crabs that were super abundant at the local CSHL beach!

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Pauli lab retreat in Eisenerz

26 Sep 2022

This year we headed to Eisenerz for our 3-day Pauli lab retreat to combine science, outdoor-activities, cooking together and some fun! Between kajaking on the Salza (to Andi’s great dissappointment our guide did not manage to make us capsize, despite trying really hard), hikes and mushroom hunting in the woods, there was something in the mix for everyone. Particular thanks to Frieda and Josef for helping to organize this year’s retreat!

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ERC Consolidator beer hour

09 Sep 2022

Something to celebrate: Four ERC Consolidator grants for labs of all four ViennaBiocenter research institutions, namely for Joao Matos (Max Perutz Labs, ERC CoG 2021), Nicolas Rivron (IMBA, ERC CoG 2021), Yasin Dagdas (GMI, ERC CoG 2022) and Andi Pauli (IMP, ERC CoG 2022)!

We took it as the perfect reason to justify an ‘ERC-themed beer hour’ and invited everyone of the ViennaBiocenter community for a heart-felt THANK YOU for all the help and contributions from lab members, colleagues, scientific facilities and administration. This would have not been possible without the fantastic community we have on site!

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Goodbye dinner with our students Clara and Fatma

26 Aug 2022

Time flies! It’s hard to believe that we will soon have to say goodbye to Clara and Fatma. Both Clara and Fatma worked on aspects of fertilization. Clara Veal-Phan joined us as a Master student from Paris and has been working under the direct supervision of Victoria for the past five months, while Fatma Afify joined us as a VBC summer student from Egypt and has been working under the direct supervision of Andreas for the past two months.

We wish you all the best whereever your future career will take you!

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Pauli & Obenauf Lab outing in the Prater

10 Aug 2022

To strengthen ties and get to know our ‘bay-mates’ from the Obenauf lab better, the Pauli and Obenauf lab headed for a relaxed afternoon out to the nearby Prater for some pizza, games, and socializing.

What a fun afternoon out!

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Pauli lab at Woods Hole

03 Aug 2022

After two years of no Woods Hole and no US trips, Pauli lab members were finally back again in action at this year’s zebrafish development and genetics course at the Marine Biological Labs in Woods Hole, US. For Frieda and Karin is was the first time TAing at the course in the injection module that Andi tought together with Becky Burdine this year.

While it was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with old zebrafish friends and colleagues, we also had plenty of opportunities to ‘catch up’ with our Viennese neighbors, namely members of the Gerlich lab and Manuel Zimmer who were at the same time in Woods Hole! Small world ;-)!

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Krista & Victoria @SSR

29 Jul 2022

Krista and Victoria represented the Pauli lab at this year’s Society of Reproductive Biology Conference in Spokane, US. Krista was selected to present her PhD work on species-specificity of Bouncer in the form of a talk, which was a great opportunity to get feedback on this nearly finished story! They were able to catch up with friends and collaborators from the fertilization community, including with our long-term collaborator Masahito Ikawa (who also took the picture of Krista and Victoria - thank you Masa for sharing it!!).

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Toddler paper published in Science Advances

26 Jul 2022

Just in time to still celebrate together before Jessica’s heading off to the US for her postdoc, Jessica’s Toddler paper was published in Science Advances!

Big congrats to Jessica, Tomas, Friederike and our fantastic collaborator Edouard Hannezo (IST) for getting our Toddler-story finally out!

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Victoria @LindauNobel and @SDB Meeting

21 Jul 2022

Victoria was invited to attend this year’s Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, of which the best part has been to meet amazing scientists.

Victoria also attended the Society of Developmental Biology meeting in Seattle to deliver her awardee talk as recipient of the 2022 SDB Outreach and Communications award. Combining great science and outreach - the future of developmental biology is bright!

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Laura @EMBO RNA localization meeting

21 Jul 2022

Laura presented her newest developing story from her postdoc on the regulation of RNA translation during the egg-to-embryo transition at the EMBO meeting on RNA localization in Italy. What a great opportunity to get feedback on a ‘story in progress’! Thanks to the organizers and all conference attendees for the open and interesting dicussions!

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Goodbye to Jessica

13 Jul 2022

It’s time to say goodbye to our one-and-only Jessica with a final dinner in Vienna. A big THANK YOU for having been a wonderful lab member, rigorous and inspiring scientist and patient teacher to all new-comers in the lab! We will dearly miss you in the Pauli lab, but wish you all the best for your postdoc in Carrie Albertin’s lab at the Marine Biological Labs in Woods Hole, working with cephalopods!

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PhD/Postdoc Day

28 Jun 2022

A day full of interesting science - from scientific talks to poster presentations and informal discussions with PhD students and postdocs across the IMP and IMBA. And in the end a fun, long-awaited and well-deserved ‘Australian Christmas party’!

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Jessica defends her PhD

16 Jun 2022

Immensely proud of Jessica for defending her PhD with flying colors - big congrats Dr. Stock for a brilliant PhD defense on Toddler’s role during gastrulation!

A huge thank you also to Jessica’s examiners Lila Solnica Krezel (Washington University, St. Louis, USA), Roberto Mayor (University College London, UK) and Uli Technau (University of Vienna) for their insightful questions and discussion.

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GRC on cell-cell fusion

07 Jun 2022

After 2 years of waiting, the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Cell-Cell Fusion took finally place at Stonehill College in Massachusetts, US. This conference brought together a diverse group of scientists studying anything related to fusion - from highly mechanistic studies on intracellular fusion driven by SNARE proteins, the use of nanodiscs and membrane modeling to viral and cellular fusogens, the role actin cytoskeleton in cell fusion and more big-picture biological observations of fusion of myoblasts and other cell types (hybrid cells in cancer, Drosophila epithelia etc).

Beyond discussing the newest science, it was fantastic to interact again in person with old friends from the fertilization field (e.g. Beni Podbilewicz & Nico Brukman, Bill Snell & Jennifer Pinello, Amber Krauchunas), make new connections (e.g. Ori Avinoam, Douglas Millay, Pablo Aguilar) and interact with both established investigators and PhD students & postdocs from other labs. This has been really missing in the past two years, and we from the Pauli lab (Theresa, Andreas and Andi) had a blast!

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Pauli Lab in Boston

04 Jun 2022

Before heading to the GRC on cell-cell fusion, Theresa, Andreas and Andi spent a day in Boston, including an obligatory visit to Andi’s postdoc lab site at the Harvard BioLabs. While the Schier lab is no longer there, we could at least visit the Rhinos!

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Pauli lab surprise for Andi's tenure

24 May 2022

The Pauli lab managed to catch me completely by surprise: Instead of heading to a regular 1:1 meeting with a student, they had organized a surprise get-together to celebrate my tenure at the IMP with new Pauli-lab shirts for everyone and a fantastic photo-book with memories from the past 6.5 years at the IMP!
I love my lab ;-)!

A huge and heartfelt THANK YOU to my entire lab, for all your drive, hard work and motivation to push the science ahead, for bringing in your own ideas & creativity to shape your projects, for creating a stimulating working envirnoment where everyone can thrive, and for being such great people to work with and mentor. Thank you for trusting in me to join the lab in first place!

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Joint Pauli-Vastenhouw-lab day

17 May 2022

The Vastenhouw lab was visiting us here in Vienna ahead of the EMBO meeting on zygotic genome activation for a joint Pauli-Vastenhow-lab day of scientific exchange, discussing ideas and having fun! Thanks to everyone for participating, whether by presenting your projects in the form of chalk talks or by contributing to the discussion. Special thanks go to Hann and Krista for preparing the zebrafish-jeopardy for everyone’s entertainment in the evening (I thought I would know most answers but you proved me completely wrong!), and to EMBO YIP for providing funding for this joint lab day.

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Andi's promotion to tenure

09 May 2022

The big day: Anna Obenauf and Andi received the official letter of being offered tenure at the IMP! While this was still kept as a secret at this point (we had not yet officially accepted the offer), we managed to take a quick picture of us not only looking like but being super happy PIs! Really excited to continue to contribute to the vision of IMP and the VBC in the years to come!

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Jessica's last lab meeting

06 May 2022

A final lab meeting by our one and only Jessica. Jessica took the opportunity to look back at the scientific journey that led her to discover how Toddler really works and to reflect on the different stages during her PhD (1- Exploration; 2- Reality check; 3- Enlightening; 4- The puzzle; 5- The finish line). On top of it, Jessica provided valuable advise from a senior graduate student to everyone else in the lab. While this might have been the - at least for the moment - final Toddler lab meeting, there will be a final chance to hear the full Toddler story again at Jessica’s PhD defense - the finish line is super close!

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Vienna DevStem Symposium

06 May 2022

Our regional Development and Stem cell (DevStem) meeting was finally back again at the IMP with a day of exciting science and catching up with our friends and colleagues in the Vienna area! This year we had a strong participation from the Pauli lab, with 6 posters presented by Victoria and Clara, Andreas, Theresa, Frieda and Josef, Krista and Hannah (mentored by Anastasia) (from top left to bottom right).

Particular thanks go to the organizers of this year’s symposium, Edouard Hannezo, Noelia Urban, Oleg Simakov and Martin Leeb, and to the Elling lab for organizing the social hour afterwards!

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Microsymposium on RNA biology

06 Apr 2022

After a year off and last year only online due to the pandemic, the Microsymposium on RNA Biology finally returned for an in-person meeting in the IMP lecture hall! For most of us this was the first in-person meeting post-pandemic, and we organizers as well as all participants were very happy to not only share the newest discoveries but also interact with scientists from all over the world. The Pauli lab was scientifically represented by Laura, who talked about her newest findings on translational regulation during the egg-to-embryo transition. Thanks also to all helpers from the Pauli lab who helped in running the event!

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1st RT-LAMP paper published

01 Apr 2022

Though it took a while, our first RT-LAMP paper is finally not only on bioRxiv but is ‘officially’ out in Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences! This has been an amazing collaborative effort with Julius Brennecke and Andi joining forces during the pandemic to lead a team of students who spearheaded the development of a cheap, open-access and sensitive RT-LAMP-based SARS-CoV-2 assay for laboratory and home-based testing during the pandemic.

Congratulations to all authors, particularly first authors Max Kellner, Julian Ross and Jakob Schnabl, and all of our campus-wide (VCDI initiative) as well as national & international collaborators (Manuela Foedinger & team, Andrew Straw, Luis Aries-Menendez), and a big thank you to our institutes’ directors for supporting our efforts throughout the pandemic!

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Pauli lab beer hour

18 Mar 2022


After a long break due to the pandemic, Friday Social Hours are back at the VBC! Although not everyone was able to join (well, the pandemic is sadly not yet over…), those that could had lots of fun and enjoyed fishy puns, good (non-fishy) food and our ‘under-water party’ going strong till midnight! Thanks to everyone from the lab who helped to organize it and make it a big success!

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ERC Consolidator Grant for the Pauli lab

17 Mar 2022

Congratulations to Andi and the entire Pauli lab for securing one of this year’s 313 ERC Consolidator Grants (big congrats also to Yasin Dagdas from the GMI for making it two for the VBC campus)!

The Pauli lab aims to use the 2 Million Euros of funding over the next 5 years to shed light on the underlying mechanism of fertilisation in vertebrates. A particularly focus will be on uncovering the molecular basis of sperm-egg recognition and fusion, with the long-term vision of reconstituting a functional fertilization interface in vitro.

To read more about this year’s awarded grants and the news announcements, please check out the following links.

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Contribution to Leeb-lab paper in G&D

06 Mar 2022

How does nonsense-mediated RNA decay (NMD) regulate ES cell differentiation? We are very happy to have been able to contribute to the discovery of a feedback loop between NMD and translational regulation via a truncated form of the translation initiation factor eIF4E2. Congratulations to the entire Leeb lab (Max Perutz Labs), all collaborators and our own contributors to this interesting story, Anastasia and Frieda!

Link to the

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Welcome to Josef

01 Feb 2022

We are very happy to welcome Josef as our newest PhD student recruit to the Pauli lab! After having already worked at the IMP in Luisa Cochella’s lab as a bachelor student, Josef is returning to the IMP after his Master thesis in Amsterdam to work on translational regulation (not only in embryos - stay tuned!!) for his PhD. We are excited to have you on board, Josef!

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SDB Communication and Outreach Award for Victoria

19 Jan 2022

Big congratulations to Victoria who won the 2022 Society of Developmental Biology (SDB) Trainee Communication and Outreach award! The award recognises the outreach and mentoring efforts of its junior members (PhD students or postdocs). We are super happy that Victoria was selected from the international jury for her many outreach initiatives and stellar mentoring of undergraduate students, both during her PhD at Duke University and now as a postdoc at the IMP in Vienna.

To read more about the SDB Trainee Communication and Outreach award, the awardee Victoria and one of her prime outreach activities at the IMP, namely the El Salvador-Austria internship program, check out the links.

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SPACA6 paper published in Frontiers

03 Jan 2022

What a wonderful start into the New Year with having our Spaca6 paper published in Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology!

The story behind this paper has been one of the highlights of the past year: Under the fantastic mentoring of Victoria, two highly motivated and gifted students, Mirjam Binner and Anna Kogan, who joined our lab to gain lab-experience during the time of Corona, took the lead not only on the experimental side but also in writing the paper. Despite Mirjam and Anna having both moved on to new positions in spring 2021, their dedication and excitement, together with regular zoom calls between Vienna, Finland and Russia over the past 9 months and additional help from Karin and Alex Schleiffer made it possible to have our story about the requirement of Spaca6 for fertilization in zebrafish ‘in the books’!

Big congratulations to all authors, in particular to Mirjam, Anna and Victoria for carrying this project through from A to Z and making it happen!

Link to the

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Happy New Year

31 Dec 2021

Happy New Year from all of us in the Pauli lab! Despite the pandemic not allowing us to interact with other researchers around the world as much as we would have liked and limiting our celebrations and social activities, it’s been an exciting, fun and successful 2021.

We are curious what 2022 will bring along!

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SPACA4 paper published in PNAS

24 Sep 2021

It’s been a while in the making, and it’s great to see it finally out in PNAS! In collaboration with Yoshitaka Fujihara and Masahito Ikawa’s lab, we discovered an interesting evolutionary twist in vertebrate fertilization: While we previously identified egg-expressed Bouncer in fish as essential for sperm-egg membrane interaction (Herberg et al., 2018), we report here that its mammalian homolog SPACA4 is expressed in sperm and necessary for zona pellucida penetration. Hence, Bouncer and SPACA4 present a fascinating example of homologous proteins that have evolved different mode of actions to ensure efficient fertilization in vertebrates. Congratulations to all authors, in particular Sarah who started the project, and Andreas and Karin from the Pauli lab as well as Yoshi from the Ikawa lab who took it over and finalized the research!

Link to the

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All the best to Eduardo

31 Aug 2021

This week we also said goodbye to Eduardo, a Salvadoran undergraduate student who worked with Victoria this summer. Eduardo was the first student to take part in our initiative to provide a world-class research experience to a talented student from a developing country. We are extremely proud of the work he did in our lab and wish him the very best on his return to El Salvador! We are looking forward to keep providing a space for talented aspiring scientists to grow and flourish. Thank you, Eduardo!

For more information on Eduardo’s stay and on the Austria-El Salvador initiative, check out this news post.

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Goodbye to our VBC summer student Mireia

30 Aug 2021

The summer is coming to an end and unfortunately we have to say goodbye to our VBC summer student Mireia Codina. Over the last two months Mireia worked with Jessica on investigating how Toddler regulates mesodermal cell migration. During the final symposium of the VBC summer school Mireia gave an excellent talk and was one of three speakers to be awarded for her work and presentation.

It was such a pleasure to have Mireia in the lab, and the Toddler team will miss her dearly!

For more information on the Vienna BioCenter Summer School, check out this website.

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Annual Review about Sperm-Egg Fusion

26 Jul 2021

A lockdown project came to a very fruitful end: It’s great to see our Annual Review in Cell and Developmental Biology about “The Fertilization Enigma: How Sperm and Egg Fuse” out online!

Big congratulations to Victoria, who was very much the brain behind this review and took the lead on writing. In this review, we ‘merge’ the current knowledge of the fertilization field, with a main focus on mammalian sperm-egg interaction, with ideas and concepts from cell-cell and viral-cell fusion.

We hope that this review will provide a fresh view on the big open questions in the field of fertilization.

A (not-yet-final) version of the review is already available online. Happy reading!

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Salvadoran internship program in the Pauli lab

21 Jul 2021

We are very happy that our newly launched El Salvadoran internship program has been off to a great start! In June, we welcomed our first scholar, Eduardo Isaac Martinez Barrios, who is a bachelor student at the University of El Salvadore. This new initiative, namely to offer one Salvadoran student per year the possibility to experience and perform top-notch research in one of Europe’s leading research institutions, was initiated by our very own Salvadoran postdoc Victoria.

Over the past two months, Victoria has done a trememdous job in mentoring Eduardo - in fact so good that Eduardo asked us whether he can extend his stay for another month - a request we gladly accepted given that we could not have wished for a more motivated, eager to learn and truly interested first student! It’s been a wonderful experience for both sides - mentor and mentee!!

To read more about our Salvadoran internship program and Eduardo’s stay with us, check out this article on the IMP news page (thanks Mehdi!).

(picture credit to Mehdi Khadraoui)

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Welcome to Mireia, our VBC Summer Student

01 Jul 2021

We are very happy to welcome Mireia, who has joined us from Barcelona as part of the international VBC Summer Students program! Mireia will be mentored by Jessica in our lab, and will investigate how Toddler regulates mesodermal cell migration during zebrafish gastrulation. Welcome on board, Mireia!

General information about the VBC Summer Student program that is funded by the Max Birnstiel foundation.

(picture credit to Mehdi Khadraoui)

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Christine Beattie Award from IZFS for Jessica

22 Jun 2021

Jessica won this year’s Christine Beattie Award from the International Zebrafish Society (IZFS). The award recognises a promising junior researcher who excelled in working with zebrafish. Big congratulations to Jessica, who was selected for this award for her PhD research and presentation at the International Zebrafish Society Meeting on “A self-generated Toddler gradient directs mesodermal cell migration during zebrafish gastrulation”!

To read more about the Christine Beattie Award and the awardee Jessica, check out the links.

(picture credit to Benedikt Mandl)

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BBQ at Andi's

21 Jun 2021


A long-overdue get-together at Andi’s place for a summer-BBQ and celebrating that we can finally get together again not only for work but also for much-needed social events!

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Andi elected as EMBO Member

08 Jun 2021

Congratulations to Andi, who is one of this year’s 64 newly elected EMBO Members!

To read more about the announcement by EMBO and Andi’s take on it, check out the links.

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First post-Covid-lockdown drinks

04 Jun 2021

We used the first opportunity that presented itself (post Andi’s (virtual) talk at the RNA Society meeting) to head out for a drink in the finally re-opened restaurants after months of lockdown in Vienna. Great to sit together (all tested but without masks) to enjoy a drink and nice company!

In the picture: Eduardo (summer student from El Salvador working with Victoria), Andi, Andreas, Carina, Frieda and Hannah (intern with Anastasia).

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1st Prize PhD student talk for Frieda at MicroSymposium

23 Apr 2021

This year’s MicroSymposium happened virtually, yet featured international scientists from all over the world who enjoyed two days of discussing great science. And in the end all participants voted on the two best PhD student talks: Big congratulations to Frieda who won the first prize for her talk about ‘Storage and function of maternal ribosomes depends on conserved ribosome-associated factors’ (picture credit to Benedikt Mandl)!

More information on the MicroSymposium

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Jessica's review on self-organized cell migration published in Development

06 Apr 2021

Big congratulations to Jessica on leading the write-up of this insightful review on self-organized cell migration. The idea for this review originated during the first lockdown in Austria about one year ago - one year later, being in our third (or forth?) lockdown, it’s great to see it published! Thanks to all the constructive feedback from reviewers and colleagues that helped us to improve the paper, and particularly to Katherine Brown, editor at Development, for making this publishing experience really enjoyable!

If you want to know more about self-organized cell migration, check out Jessica’s review here: “Self-organized cell migration across scales – from single cell movement to tissue formation.”

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Spring is here!

31 Mar 2021

Spring is here - finally! We have officially opened the terrace season at the IMP with some birthday cake along the way. Looking forward to a hopefully nice summer and enjoying some time outside in Vienna!

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Bye-bye to Anna

31 Mar 2021

Today we had to say good-bye to Anna (Kogan), our post-Bachelor pre-PhD student who spent the last six months working under the mentorship of Victoria on Spaca6 and on developing a method to identify new factors important for sperm-egg interaction. After a well-deserved break, Anna will be off to start her PhD in Oxford this fall.

We wish you all the best for your future career, and hope to see you back one way or the other!

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Welcome to Ziya

01 Mar 2021

Welcome to our new lab member Ziya! Ziya has performed his Master studies in India and will be working with Anastasia on the activation of mitochondria during embryogenesis. Welcome on board!

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Quio's Ski7 paper accepted in PlosGenetics

18 Feb 2021

Big congratulations to Quio and all co-authors (Alex Schleiffer, Karl Mechtler) on getting our Ski7-paper accepted in PlosGenetics! Thanks also to the constructive comments from the reviewers that helped us to improve the paper, and everyone else that helped on the way.

If you want to know more what Quio found, check out Quio’s great tweet-story and read our paper: “Zebrafish Ski7 tunes RNA levels during the oocyte-to-embryo transition.” Or - for anyone who wants to practise their Spanish - here is an article that was published in Revista Ciencia about Quio’s work.

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Anna got into Oxford University for her PhD!

05 Feb 2021

Big congratulations to Anna (Kogan) for getting accepted as a DPhil student at Oxford University! Having come to us with a Bachelor’s degree from St. Petersburg University to gain additional research experience, we could not be more proud of you!

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Welcome to our new interns Anna (Bandura) and Lisa

01 Feb 2021

Welcome to our new interns Anna and Lisa! Lisa is taking over from Friederike (Schlumm) and will be in charge of our collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim. Anna (Bandura) is taking over from Mirjam and will be helping everyone in the lab with genotyping zebrafish. It’s great to have you both around!

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Bye-bye to Friederike, Mirjam and Sara

29 Jan 2021

Today we said a big and heartfelt bye-bye to Friederike (Schlumm), Mirjam and Sara. Over the past years, Friederike has been in charge of our collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim, and on top of it worked with Jessica on the analysis of cell migration in the zebrafish embryo. Mirjam started initially as ‘zebrafish genotyper’, yet caught soon interest in doing some real research herself. Under the fabulous mentoring of Victoria, Mirjam has worked over the past 6 months on the characterization of a fertility mutant in zebrafish. Mirjam is now off to perform her Master research studies in Finland. Sara joined us as an intern in fall after having gotten to know the Vienna Biocenter Campus during her time as a VBC summer student in 2019. Sara worked with Andreas on the characterization of another fertility mutant in zebrafish, and is now off to finish her Master degree at the University of Glasgow.

All the best to all of you for your future career!

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Dr. Quio!

27 Nov 2020

The Pauli lab proudly presents: Dr. Quio!!

Big congratulations to Quio for successfully defending his PhD thesis on post-transcriptional gene regulation during the oocyte-to-embryo transition.

You and your fantastic PhD hat (thanks, Jessica and Krista) rock!

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Pumpkin-carving & Halloween

31 Oct 2020

From unicorn to pumpkin, witch, and of course Toddler & Bouncer - the Pauli lab had great fun with custumes for our very first Halloween & pumpkin carving party. Thanks Victoria for the invite, great initiative, Halloween-style food and expert pumpkin-carving tools which made it easy for us to go wild with our creative pumpkin carving designs.

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Benni got his Master!

21 Oct 2020

Big congratulations to Benni for successfully defending his Master thesis on proteomics during zebrafish embryogenesis!

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Welcome to our new students Theresa, Anna and Sara!

01 Oct 2020

Theresa is a PhD student, Anna and Sara joined as interns. All three will work on different aspects of fertilization. Welcome!

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Pauli lab retreat - not in Corona after all :-)

24 Sep 2020

Ironically we had planned to go to a hut in Corona (!!) for our this year’s lab retreat. Due to Covid-19 restrictions we had to change our plan last minute and decided instead to stay in Vienna for a day out in Prater. This turned out a lot of fun, with perfect weather, great science presentations and discussions about ‘your dream future project’, and fun games. A perfect opportunity for everyone to catch up with new and old lab members!

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A quick, easy and open-source SARS-CoV-2 test

25 Jul 2020

When institutes had to shut-down during the pandemic mid of March, many scientists across the VBC campus joined forces to help to fight the virus. Over the past five months, Julius Brennecke (IMBA) and Andi (IMP) worked together with a team of three PhD students, Max Kellner (PhD student at the LMB), Jakob Schnabl and Julian Ross (PhD students at IMBA), to develop a rapid, highly sensitive and inexpensive isothermal SARS-CoV-2 test. The final push was geared towards making the reaction open-access: any molecular biology lab in the world can now produce the enzymes required for the reaction. This is a major step forward towards making testing possible at population-scale and accessible also to low-resource countries.

This work would not have been possible without the help of our on-site biochemists Irina, Benedikt and Johannes and the continous support from our institutes and labs.

Check out our preprint on bioRxiv: “A rapid, highly sensitive and open-access SARS-CoV-2 detection assay for laboratory and home testing.”

The preprint can be found here.

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Welcome to our interns Mirjam, Lena, and Lorena!

01 Jul 2020

A somewhat belated welcome to our interns Mirjam, Lena and Lorena! Mirjam is working with Victoria and already fully hooked on fertilization and microscopy. Lena has been introduced by Anastasia into the complicated life of mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell. And Lorena has most recently joined Krista to work on fertilization, or rather on what happens if two species that should not mate mate. It’s great to have you all around!

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HFSP postdoc fellowship for Victoria

26 Mar 2020

Congratulations to Victoria who was awared a prestigious HFSP (Human Frontier Science Program) postdoctoral fellowship. Victoria was selected as one of the 50 recipients world-wide out of the pool of 544 applications, and plans to study the molecular basis of gamete binding and fusion in zebrafish. Big congratulations Victoria!

A press release for the 2020 HFSP postdoc fellowships can be found here.

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HFSP Young Investigator Award

26 Mar 2020

Delighted that my lab will join forces with Verena Ruprecht (coordinator) at the CRG in Barcelona, Spain, and Liu Yan-Jun at Fudan University, Shanghai, China, in a HFSP Young Investigator Grant to study biophysical aspects of fertilization. Our project is one of eight Young Investigator Grants chosen for funding in the latest call of the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP). Having been awarded this grant means that I/my lab have benefited from continous funding from the HFSP since 2010 (postdoc fellowship, Career Development Award, Young Investigator Grant), and we are extremely grateful for this continous support of our research. Thank you HFSP!

More information on the Young Investigator Grant can be found here:

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Quio's Ski7 paper on bioRxiv

20 Mar 2020

Check out the latest preprint from the Pauli lab on bioRxiv: “Zebrafish Ski7 tunes RNA levels during the oocyte-to-embryo transition.” Congratulations to the first author Quio!

The preprint can be found here.

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First virtual Lab Meeting in the books

18 Mar 2020

The Pauli lab’s first virtual lab meeting is in the books! With everyone working from home due campus-/Vienna-/Austria-wide social isolation measures in light of Covid-19, this turned out a successful experiment. Thanks to Victoria for being our guinea-pig in giving it, and to everyone for ‘zooming in’ and actively contributing!

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BIF PhD fellowship for Andreas

17 Mar 2020

Congratulations to Andreas who was awared a BIF (Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds) PhD fellowship for his graduate studies in the Pauli lab! Wonderful news, and congrats on becoming part of the BIF community!

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Weintraub Award for Victoria

03 Mar 2020

Fantastic news from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle: Victoria was awarded the prestigious international Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award for her “outstanding achievements during graduate studies” in Stefano Di Talia’s lab at Duke University. Victoria will attend a symposium of Weintraub Award winners in May at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to share her doctoral work. Big congratulations for this well-deserved award!

More information on the award and Victoria’s graduate student work can be found here:

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DevStem 2020 at the IST

28 Feb 2020

Many members of the Pauli lab took part in the 3rd regional DevStem meeting, this year hosted by the IST. A wonderful day of top-notch science presented by the leaders of tomorrow (= PhD students and postdocs from institutes and universities in the Vienna area). AND a fantastic talk by Jessica from our own lab on Toddler signaling during gastrulation!

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Double success at Marie Curie postdoc fellowships

07 Feb 2020

Last week brought double success for the Pauli lab: With Anastasia Chugunova and Laura Lorenzo Orts not only one but two postdocs received the fantastic news from the European Commission that their Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowship applications had been successful! Big congratulations to both of you! You can read more about it here.

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Review on species-specific fertilization

04 Feb 2020

What are the mechanisms that match a specific species’s sperm to the same species’s egg? If you are curious about knowing more about this fascinating topic, check out Krista’s review on ‘Species-specific mechanisms during fertilization’.

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Crystal Award for Frieda!

24 Jan 2020

Who would have thought that a PhD student from the Pauli lab would be awarded a ‘Perutz Crystal Award’ for her excellent research in structural biology? Big congratulations to Frieda, who suprised quite a few members of the VBC structural community about her structural studies during zebrafish development. This is a first for the Pauli lab, and only possible due to a fantastic collaboration with David Haselbach and his lab, as well as Laura in our own lab. Congratulations to Frieda and the whole team!

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Happy New Year

31 Dec 2019

Happy New Year from all of us in the Pauli lab! It’s been an exciting, fun and successful 2019, which saw the first Pauli lab PhD student (Sarah) graduate and a new PhD student (Andreas) as well as three postdocs (Anastasia, Laura, Victoria) join. We are curious to see what 2020 will bring along!

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Winning picture by Victoria Deneke in MBL image contest

23 Dec 2019

Congratulations to Victoria Deneke whose picture of a regenerating zebrafish tail-fin was selected for the 2020 MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) calendar! Victoria took this picture as a student of the MBL zebrafish course this summer in Woods Hole as part of a class on fin regeneration by Ken Poss. To see all pictures that were selected for the MBL calendar, check out the website. You can order the 2020 calendar here.

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Huygens Image prize for Karin Panser

23 Dec 2019

Congratulations to Karin Panser who won the 3rd prize in the international scientific image contest by Huygens for her stunning confocal image of somites of a 2-day old zebrafish larva. Actin (phalloidin) in orange, nuclei (DAPI) in blue. To read more about the prize and to see all winning pictures, check out the website.

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SFB grant 'RNA-DECO' funded

12 Dec 2019

We are happy to join a diverse group of RNA biologists across Austria (from Vienna, Innsbruck and Klosterneuburg) as part of the newly funded SFB grant RNA-DECO. Congratulations to everyone who contributed to the success of this team-effort!

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EMBO postdoc fellowship for Laura

10 Dec 2019

Congratulations to Laura for having been awarded a prestigious EMBO long-term postdoctoral fellowship. Big congratulations for this well-deserved award!

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Lab Xmas outing

06 Dec 2019

Before the year is over it’s a good time to say a big THANK YOU to everyone - it’s great to see how our lab has grown together (apart from having literally grown…) over the past months. Keep up the great work, team-spirit and motivation, and let’s see what 2020 will bring for us!

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Gingerbread baking

01 Dec 2019

LOTS of sperm, eggs, ribosomes, an exosome, mitochondria, fish, flies (and a ginger bread house as well)… Not the usual type of cookies you would think of for gingerbread baking, but lots of fun and amazingly creative designs! Great team-work in coming up with a ‘special cookie’ for every lab member - way to go, Pauli lab, this was lots of fun!

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Time to celebrate!

08 Nov 2019

At this year’s PhD symposium prize giving the Pauli lab had not only one but two reasons to celebrate: Congratulations to Sarah Herberg, the Pauli lab’s very first PhD student graduate, for winning a VBC PhD student award for her PhD thesis, and to Krista Gert for winning the poster prize of the symposium! Well done and congratulations to the ‘2018 Bouncer-team’!

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ReConnect PhD symposium

07 Nov 2019

This year’s VBC PhD Symposium ReConnect marked the 25th anniversary of the Vienna Biocenter PhD program. Alumni from all years had been invited back to the campus to join current PhD students to celebrate this special occasion. The diverse program included scientific talks by alumni, career workshops by alumni for current students, a reception at the Viennese city hall and a special ‘25 year VBC PhD program’ tram, a VBC QuizShow, graduation ceremony and the VBC PhD student band ‘the pellets’ at the final party. ReConnect was a great success!

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Dr. Chugunova!

04 Nov 2019

Congratulations to Anastasia, who successfully defended her PhD thesis back in Moscow, Russia. Now it’s finally also officially Dr. Chugunova!

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SNF postdoc fellowship for Laura

26 Oct 2019

Laura, who did her PhD in Michael Hothorn’s lab in Geneva, Switzerland, was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the SNF (Swiss National Science Foundation). Big congratulations for this well-deserved award!

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VIP2 postdoc fellowship for Anastasia

22 Oct 2019

Anastasia was awarded a VIP2 postdoctoral fellowship, a newly launched international fellowship program at the Vienna Biocenter co-funded by the European Union’s 2020 Horizon research and innovation programme. Big congratulations for this well-deserved award!

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DOC fellowship for Krista

25 Sep 2019

Krista was awarded a DOC fellowship from the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OEAW) for her PhD studies in the Pauli lab. Krista is interested in investigating the role of Bouncer in species-specific fertilization. Big congratulations to this well-deserved award!

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Lab retreat to Mariazell

18 Sep 2019

For this year’s lab retreat the Pauli Lab headed to the Mariazeller mountains in Styria, Austria. Thanks to the contributions of everyone, we had a great mix of science, sozializing and activities, including a visit to the famous Pirker Lebkuchen manufacturer, hiking through Austria’s ‘Gran Canyon’ (Naturpark Vorderötscher) and to the summit of the Gemeindealpe before heading down the moutain in ‘mountaincarts’. The question ‘when will we have our next lab retreat?’ when heading back to Vienna shows that this retreat was a success. What a fun three days with stimulating discussions and great company!

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Congrats to Victoria, runner-up for the Max Birnstiel award

15 Sep 2019

Big congratulations to Victoria for being amongst the ‘honorable mentions’ for the 1st International Max Birnstiel award, a prize awarded annually to outstanding doctoral students for their PhD research conducted outside of Austria. Victoria receives this honor for her PhD work in Stefano Di Talia’s lab at Duke University, USA. Fantastic start at the first day as a postdoc in our lab!

More information about this year’s awardees can be found here.

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Welcome to our new postdoc Victoria

15 Sep 2019

Welcome to our new postdoc, Victoria Deneke! Victoria obtained her PhD in Stefano Di Talia’s lab at Duke University, USA, where she studied cell cycle synchronization in Drosophila development. In the Pauli lab, Victoria will join the fertilization crew to investigate mechanisms of gamete binding and fusion. Welcome on board!

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Welcome to our new postdoc Laura

01 Sep 2019

Welcome to our new postdoc, Laura Lorenzo Orts! Laura obtained her PhD in Michael Hothorn’s lab at the University of Geneva where she worked at the interphase of plant biology, translational regulation and structural biology. In the Pauli lab, Laura will join the translational team to investigate the secretes of translational regulation during embryogenesis. Welcome on board!

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10th anniversary of the VBC summer school

30 Aug 2019

Over the past two months we had James Kiraly from the University of Texas at Austin, US, joining our lab as a VBC summer student. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the VBC summer school, which we celebrated with a symposium where alumni and current students presented their research. It was a great opportunity to catch up with former summer students (Tiago Alves from Brazil, VBC summer student in the Pauli lab in 2017), and inspiring to see 1) what students can achieve within 2 months of summer school, and 2) what former VBC summer school students have been up to in the meanwhile (anything from being postdocs/PhD students at Stanford, Caltec, MIT and the VBC to working at NASA etc.). Keep up your passion for science and the great work!

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Zebrafish Course at MBL in Woods Hole

06 Aug 2019

If you are a scientist and have been to the Marine Biological Labs in Woods Hole in summer, you will always want to come back to this buzzing environment full of eminent scientists and positive vibe :) This year was a first for the Pauli lab to take part in the zebrafish course in three different roles: as ‘student’ (future postdoc Victoria Deneke), as ‘TA’ (current PhD student Jessica Stock), and as faculty (Andi). Irrespective of our role, we had a fantastic time!

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June/July = conference time!

29 Jul 2019

The Pauli lab was well represented at meetings which reflect the breadth of topics that we are interested (in a wider sense…) in the Pauli lab:

  • Frieda represented us at the RNA Society meeting in Krakow, Poland
  • Jessica represented us at the Society of Developmental Biology meeting in Boston, US
  • Krista and Victoria (postdoc to-be), together with Andi, attended the Gordon Conference for Fertilization and Activation of Development in New Hampshire, US
  • Andi was also presenting the newest on Bouncer and more at the Zebrafish Disease Model meeting in Boston, the Society of Reproductive Biology meeting in San Jose and at talks at Stanford University and USC, Los Angeles (thanks to Tonia Hafner and Oli Bell for hosting!).

I think it’s safe to say that we have learnt a lot, got new ideas, had many fruitful discussions and expanded our scientific network (and met old friends on the way!).

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Bouncer paper highlighted in F1000prime

05 Jul 2019

Bouncer made it into F1000prime! “…This wonderful research indicates that studies in model organisms, even on species-unique genes, continue to provide paradigms that can be used to guide work in more complex mammalian systems.” You can read the full recommendation from Hila Toledano here.

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Welcome to James

01 Jul 2019

Welcome to James, who will join us as a VBC summer student for the next two months to figure out everything we don’t yet understand about translation in the early embryo (well, quite some work waiting for you, James ;-)!)! Welcome on board of the Pauli lab!

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Welcome to Andreas

15 May 2019

Welcome to our new PhD student Andreas, our newest addition to the team! We are very happy to welcome you on board of the Pauli lab!

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Good-bye and Welcome

16 Apr 2019

Time to say good-bye to Sarah, and welcome to Anastasia! Sarah, we wish you all the best for your future endavors, wherever it will take you.

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Dr. Herberg!

11 Apr 2019

It’s been a very special day for the Pauli lab: Very proud of Sarah, the very first PhD graduate from the Pauli lab. Big congratulations, Dr. Herberg! It’s been an extremely productive and successful 3.5 years discovering Bouncer’s function in fertilization. While you will leave us soon, your initial findings have opened up new projects in the lab that will surely keep other students/postdocs busy for the next few years…

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Welcome to Anastasia

15 Mar 2019

Welcome to Anastasia, the newest member of our team! Anastasia did her PhD at Lomonosov Moscow State University and Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology in the laboratories of Prof. Petr Sergiev and Prof. Olga Dontsova. Welcome on board of the Pauli lab!

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PCF11 paper published in Molecular Cell

25 Feb 2019

We are very proud to have contributed to uncovering the function and mechanism of the transcription termination factor PCF11 in vertebrates. This has been a highly successful collaboration led by Kinga Kamieniarz-Gdula in Nick Proudfoot’s lab at Dunn School, Oxford University. Congratulations to all authors, particularly to Karin Panser from our lab who performed the zebrafish experiments!

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Dr. Schlumm!

15 Feb 2019

Congratulations to Friederike, who successfully defended her PhD thesis that she worked on in Alipasha Vaziri’s lab. Now it’s officially Dr. Schlumm!

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Bye bye, Tomas and Lisa

31 Jan 2019

Time to say good-bye to Tomas and Lisa - you will be missed from the toddler team! We wish you all the best for your new adventures!

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Welcome to Benni as a Master student

02 Jan 2019

Benni, who has already worked in the lab as an internship student, will stay with us and continue his research as a Master student. Great decision, Benni!

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Happy New Year

01 Jan 2019

Happy New Year from all of us in the Pauli lab! It’s been an exciting, fun and successful 2018 - am curious to see what 2019 will bring along!

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Finding the hidden clues

11 Dec 2018

The Pauli lab demonstrated some great teamwork and riddle-solving capabilities at an escape room. Every team managed to find the hidden clues to escape from their room (though the prisoners made it extra thrilling with only 2 seconds left…) and had lots of fun on the way!

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Andi selected to become an EMBO Young Investigator

20 Nov 2018

Andi is one of 26 researchers selected to become an EMBO Young Investigator. For the next three years, Andi and her lab will benefit from the great EMBO YIP community and possibilities to network with other young and well-established scientists.

Read more

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Mattias Lauwers and Science Slam Awards for PhD students from the Pauli Lab

09 Nov 2018

Two success stories from the Pauli lab:

Congratulations to Sarah Herberg for winning the Mattias Lauwers Award 2018! Sarah was nominated by her fellow VBC students for the best Monday seminar presentation of the year.

Congratulations to Quio (Luis Enrique Cabrera Quio) for winning the first ever Science Slam at the VBC PhD Symposium 2018! Among all of the great and creative contributions, Quio’s dancing performance, “RNA Degradation: The Musical,” sung by Krista Gert thrilled the audience and showed off amazing, hidden talents!

Big congratulations to Sarah, Quio & Krista!

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VBC PhD Symposium 2018 "Metamorphosis - Transforming Science"

08 Nov 2018

For this year’s VBC PhD Symposium, an entirely student-led event, students chose the theme, “Metamorphosis: Transforming Science.” The event brought scientists from various disciplines together, ranging from technology and communication, to health and the environment. It was a big success! It also featured the very first (of hopefully many) installation of Science Slam. Jessica Stock was one of the co-organizers of this event, and designed the very creative and beautiful poster.

Great job to all of the organizers for such a successful symposium!

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Paper published in Science!

06 Sep 2018

The first Pauli lab paper is out in Science! We report the discovery of a short protein that acts as the gatekeeper of the oocyte (hence the name “Bouncer”). Bouncer is essential for fertilization in zebrafish, and, most remarkably, expressing a different species’ Bouncer on zebrafish eggs allows the other species’ sperm to enter. Big congratulations to the authors Sarah Herberg, Krista Gert, and Alex Schleiffer (IMP/IMBA).

Full story and more pictures can be found here.

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Summer research in Woods Hole

18 Aug 2018

Over the past five weeks, students of the Pauli lab joined Andi for conducting research projects in Woods Hole, MA, USA. The stimulating environment with plenty of interesting talks and scientific discussions, the openness of everyone and willingness to share and interact, and the amazing range of animals we could get our hands on (from sea urchins to sea stars, iconic horseshoe crabs, cephalopods, and, of course, different species of fish) made our stay a big success. We were sad to leave Woods Hole, but are also looking forward to our home base at the IMP to put some of our new ideas into action!

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First Pauli lab paper accepted

03 Aug 2018

Time to celebrate: The first paper from the Pauli lab got accepted! Very proud of the two PhD students Sarah Herberg and Krista Briedis (soon to be Gert), and Alex Schleiffer from the IMP who helped with the phylogenetic analyses. #Bouncer #proudPI #happyStudents

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Fellowship from the Marine Biological Labs (MBL)

22 May 2018

Andi is one of the 28 international scientists who has been awarded the 2018 Whitman Center Fellowship to conduct research at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA. This fantastic opportunity will also enable students of the Pauli lab to come along to work on their own projects and broaden their horizons at this iconic place.

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Long night of research in Vienna

13 Apr 2018

The Vienna BioCenter (VBC) opened its doors to the public to highlight some of the research conducted at the IMP, IMBA, GMI and MFPL. Members of the Pauli lab participated with a hands-on station where anyone could observe little zebrafish embryos develop, and watch their beating hearts. It’s been really rewarding to spark the interest in science of so many people from young to old.

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Welcome to Friederike

01 Apr 2018

Welcome to Friederike, a former PhD student in Alipasha Vaziri’s lab at the IMP!

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Welcome to Lisa

15 Feb 2018

Welcome to Lisa, the newest addition to the Pauli lab crew. Lisa has joined us as a Master student - welcome on board!

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Visit to Haus des Meeres

20 Jan 2018

The Pauli lab was treated to an in-depth tour of the Haus des Meeres given by the deputy director and curator, Daniel Abed-Navandi. He taught us a lot about the different species on display, and gave us a behind-the-scenes look of how the aquarium operates. Some of the cool organisms we were able to see included a poisonous cone snail species, lots of little jellyfish, and the aquarium’s thriving seahorse population.

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Be(er) (h)our guest

12 Jan 2018

Once upon a time at the IMP…

On the 12th of January, the Pauli lab turned the IMP into a whole new world when holding their Disney-themed beer hour. With princesses on cupcakes and a magical potion from Merlin’s cauldron, everyone gathered for the evening and enjoyed the bare necessities of life. Hakuna matata!

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IMP & IMBA Christmas Party

21 Dec 2017

Despite adverse weather conditions everyone who made it to the Ice-Skating ring for the IMP & IMBA Xmas party had a great time. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Pauli lab!

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Xmas Scavenger Hunt of the Pauli & Obenauf Labs

13 Dec 2017

Wednesday night saw model organisms gone loose in the Museum of Natural History in Vienna. The Pauli and Obenauf labs teamed up for a Xmas Scavenger Hunt as Drosophila melanogaster, Mus musculus, Ambystoma mexicanum and Danio rerio to take a picture with the scariest animal, rebuild the IMP logo and much more. Thanks to Manuela Steurer for the great questions that made this such a memorable and fun event!

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Visit of students from Rosensteingasse

17 Nov 2017

Students from the HBLVA Rosensteingasse were visiting us today to get a glimpse of working at an international research institute, and of course to see our zebrafish! There were lots of questions and interesting discussions - thanks Karin for helping answer them all! We had a great time showing our visitors around, and it seemed that they enjoyed the ‘lab-outing’, too!

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Lab outing to Gansl dinner

06 Nov 2017

It’s Gansl-season (goose-season) in Austria. The Pauli lab did not miss out and enjoyed a typical Gansl dinner at Rudi’s Beisel. So many geese!

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Welcome to our new students, Krista, Frieda and Xue

01 Oct 2017

The Pauli lab is growing.
Welcome to our three new students: Krista and Frieda, our new PhD students; and Xue, who will be a shared Master student with the Cochella lab.

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Three good reasons for a lab-dinner

28 Sep 2017

We don’t need a reason to meet up for a lab-dinner, but this time there were in fact three!

  • to say goodbye and thank you to our ‘fastest genotyper’ Nina - you have made everyone’s life so much easier by helping with the genotyping! Good luck and all the best for your future career in the office!
  • to say goodbye and thank you to our intern Lisa - have fun in Boston at the Whitehead Institute for your Master thesis!
  • to welcome our new PhD student, Frieda Leesch!

Welcome to Lisa for her internship!

01 Sep 2017

Welcome to Lisa who came ‘all the way from Krems University’ for joining us for an internship!

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Pauli Lab Retreat to Gustav's Castle

12 Aug 2017

The Pauli Lab headed to Gustav’s Castle at the Rax for three days of fun and science. Who would have thought that each one of us would climb up a 20m high pole (and jump down), and hike up the Predigtstuhl? Great team-play!

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July = Conference time for Pauli lab members!

30 Jul 2017

July was conference time!

  • Jessica attended the 10th European Zebrafish Meeting in Budapest, Hungary;
  • Sarah & Andi attended the Gordon Research Conference for Fertilization & Activation of Development at Holderness School, NH, USA;
  • Quio attended the EMBO Conference on RNA localization and local translation in Barga, Italy.

Lots of food for thought and interesting discussions, and great to meet new people and catch up with old friends and colleagues!

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Tiago joins the lab as VBC Summer Student

01 Jul 2017

Welcome to Tiago, who came all the way from Brazil to join us as a VBC (Vienna BioCenter) Summer Student! Tiago = expert in jumping photos :)

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Andi gets the START Grant

21 Jun 2017

Andi was awarded an FWF START Grant for investigating the functions of uncharacterized translated regions during embryogenesis!

Press releases

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IMP wins the Dragon Boat Cup

10 Jun 2017

Karin and Andi were members of the successful IMPerfectos, the already legendary IMP Dragon Boating team. This year, the IMPerfectos managed to put everything on the line and managed to bring the title back to the IMP by a photo-finish! Big congrats to the whole team!

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Krista defends her Master thesis

01 Jun 2017

Congratulations to Krista for successfully defending her master’s thesis at her “home” university (Linköping University) in Sweden!

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March for Science in Vienna

22 Apr 2017

Members of the Pauli lab joined in with colleagues from the Vienna Biocenter (IMP, IMBA, GMI, MFPL) to March for Science in Vienna.

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Official opening of the new IMP

01 Mar 2017

While we have already been happily working here for a few months, today was the official opening ceremony of the new IMP building with high-profile guests including scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier and Austrian president Hugo van der Bellen! Big thank you to Boehringer Ingelheim for the investment into hopefully many more years of exciting science at the IMP!

Krista joins the lab as a master student

15 Jan 2017

Welcome to Krista, the very first master student in the Pauli lab!

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Pauli & Obenauf lab outing

20 Dec 2016

The Pauli and Obenauf Labs joined forces in “Eisstock-Schiessen” at the Danube Canal in Vienna before heading to a well-deserved Christmas dinner.

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Quio is awarded a BIF fellowship

17 Nov 2016

Congratulations to Quio for being awarded the Boehringer Ingelheim PhD fellowship!

IMP is on the move

14 Nov 2016

The whole IMP is moving just around the corner (or in fact ‘across the bridge’) to our new home, the brand-new IMP building! Fantastic effort by everyone involved in the planning, organization and execution of the logistic master-piece.

A note on the side: The Pauli lab has the largest number of ‘members’ in the new building - our ~5000 fish arrived happily in their new facility on the top floor!

Jessica joins the lab as a PhD student

01 Nov 2016

Welcome to the Pauli Lab, Jessica!

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Sarah wins DOC Fellowship

15 Sep 2016

Congratulations to Sarah for winning a DOC fellowship from the Austrian Academy of Science (OEAW)!

Our first paper is online!

12 Aug 2016

The Pauli lab’s first manuscript is online: “Decoding sORF translation – from small proteins to gene regulation”! Congratulations, Quio and Sarah!

Lab-Trip to the USA

09 Aug 2016

Fully in line with the Pauli lab motto: combine science & fun.

Krista joins the lab as a summer student

01 Jul 2016

Welcome to Krista, who will join us for two months as a summer student!

IMP/IMBA Ski-trip

12 Mar 2016

The Pauli lab joins the whole IMP+IMBA for the already legendary yearly skiing-trip. This year we went to Villach for some awesome skiing, snowboarding and sledging! Well done to Sarah and Quio for their first ever snow-boarding/skiing!

PhD course for Sarah and Quio

30 Jan 2016

Sarah and Quio get to know the ins and outs of being a PhD student at the VBC (Vienna Biocenter).

Welcome-2016-dinner at Andi’s place

04 Jan 2016

A good start into the new year with the first edition of a Pauli lab dinner at Andi’s place!

Quio joins the lab as a PhD student

01 Dec 2015

1 + 1 = 2! Welcome to Quio, the second PhD student of the Pauli lab!

Joint lab retreat with the Heisenberg lab from the IST

20 Nov 2015

The Pauli lab joined CP Heisenberg’s lab for a fun+science lab retreat near Renz, close to the Czech border.

Sarah joins the lab as a PhD student

01 Nov 2015

Welcome to the Pauli lab’s very first PhD student Sarah!

IMP gets its very first zebrafish!

29 Oct 2015

Our first fish are here and happily swimming around in their shiny tanks in our brand-new fish facility! With this, IMP got about 3000 new (mostly still underage) members!

IMP gets a fish facility!

30 Sep 2015

A former microscope room at the IMP is converted into a state-of-the-art fish facility. Amazing what one can build within a month! Thanks to Tecniplast and everyone from the IMP who helped together to make this happen!

Launch of the Pauli lab at the IMP

07 Sep 2015

Andi arrives in Vienna, and with the first lab member Karin being already on board, the Pauli lab is officially alive! Let the fun start!

Karin visits Andi in Boston, Harvard University

30 Aug 2015

Karin visits Andi in Boston to learn the ins-and-outs of zebrafish from the master of the Schier lab fish facility, Steve Zimmerman!