Stimulated by the post on Mike Springer’s new lab, Peng Yin sent me these pictures of his burgeoning lab at the Wyss Institute. Peng joined Harvard in January as an Assistant Professor in the Department and a Core Member of the Wyss, and his lab is located in the Wyss. A major focus of Peng’s lab builds on his work as a post-doc in the Pierce and Winfree labs at Caltech, where he developed a clever new strategy to use RNA and DNA hairpins as programmable elements. The hairpin structure hides some sequence elements and reveals others: when a hairpin reacts with just the right partner, new elements become visible, which can then act as partners for the next hairpin, and so on ad infinitum. There seems to be no limit to the structures that can be built in this way. The Yin lab aims to use programmable self-assembling molecular systems such as this to address problems in imaging, therapeutics and biotechnology.
When Peng arrived, the Wyss was just getting started in temporary space in the Harvard Institutes of Medicine building. They have now moved into beautiful new space on the 5th floor of the Center for Life Sciences Building (CLSB), the new building on Blackfan Circle (one building down from Bertucci’s).
Joining Peng in exploring the many possibilities of self-assembly are Wei Sun, Bryan Wei and David Zhang (post-docs), Adam Marblestone, John Sadowski and Joanne Ho (graduate students) Amy Guan (undergraduate student), and Elizabeth Haney (staff assistant). And many friends and collaborators.
So now pizza is not the only reason to go to Blackfan Circle. Go and visit, you’ll be amazed.