Another New Beginning

I sense a theme.

Henry’s just posted about the arrival of his new book, and Richard about that of his and Jenny’s new son. Athene’s Moving on to Pastures New and its companion, Moving On (Part II) are similarly about change. Going back a few more weeks, we find Jenny picking up her lab and moving it. Everywhere you look at Occam’s Typewriter, it’s all about the new.

Never one to avoid easy blogging by riffing on what everyone else is doing, I’ll jump on this bandwagon with our very own lab move from our home of the past eight years at the MaRS Discovery District, to the brand-new, shiny Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning. Adventures in Wonderland readers with long memories may remember my post from early 2012, about Mr. Gilgan’s announcement of a $40 million donation to what most people were still calling the Research and Learning Tower. A year and a half later, the ribbon was cut, in a touching ceremony featuring the young patient profiled in this video. Last week, I moved in to my office, and today marks the end of the move for the laboratory and the rest of our 70-odd person staff.


The move results in the mind-bending problem of having to remember to press “13”, rather than “14” in the elevator, although this really isn’t such a big problem as the three floors from 13 to 15 are joined by stairwells leading to an open atrium. Getting off at thirteen also provides a reminder of the tremendous efforts of Tim Hockey, who not only spearheaded the fundraising campaign, but also chose to make a personal donation to support our floor. Tim’s connection with our hospital, and in particular medical genetics research, goes a long way towards explaining his involvement.

Although the labs were still vacant until the equipment and people moved this week, the offices have been occupied since last Wednesday, and along with myself, our administrative staff, the students and postdocs, and the informaticians all moved in. Blanketed with warm, fuzzy wireless and surrounded by network infrastructure ten times faster than in the old building, we were set to go.

Lab, awaiting
The lab, last week – awaiting its occupants.

Bioinformaticians, hard at work outside my office.

And now, things are piling up in the lab, with service technicians scurrying around our fleet of sequencers, microarray scanners, robotics, and other instruments. Students, postdocs, and technicians are carving out their bench space, and the happy babble of discussions about genes and mutations and experiments and analysis is filling the building’s airy, light and inviting interactive spaces. The grand opening events of September the 17th are a pleasant memory, and the work of making this new space work for us is just beginning. Arrivals and beginnings, indeed.

DNA Sequencing I


Molecular Translation

Watchword - Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning

Black and white photographs: Voigtländer VF-101 with Ilford XP2 Super film. Colour image: Nikon D5000 and Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G. More photographs in this Flickr set.

About Richard Wintle

I am Canadian by heritage, and a molecular biologist and human geneticist by training. My day job is Assistant Director of a large genome centre, where I do various things along the lines of "keeping the wheels on". In my spare time, I tend to run around with a camera, often chasing horses, race cars, musicians, and occasionally, wildlife.
This entry was posted in Photography, Science and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Another New Beginning

  1. cromercrox says:

    Installing a new lab must be like installing a new kitchen, only 100000000000 times worse.

  2. John Gilbey says:

    Glad to see you are using XP2! I have a roll in my Nikon F3 at this very moment. It is the film of champions, in my humble view. I’m not a champion yet, of course, but one day…. 🙂

    • This is the first time I’ve used it, and I am very pleased with the results. I will probably try it in 120 format next. Makes a much more convenient alternative to traditional silver B&W films (but you know that already!).

      • John Gilbey says:

        Yup, having a B&W film that is C41 process does streamline things nicely if you are away from home. XP2 scans nicely too – and I’m sure there is even more data in there that I can’t see @ 4000 DPI…

  3. Ken says:

    I’m emerging from my underground lair into the bright sunlight, and have missed the whole move. Congratulations on the new digs.

  4. CM Doran says:

    Congratulations on the new space……much planning….and many meetings later…..ah! enjoy it!

    Your pictures are great….especially the COLLABORATION one.

    • Thanks, Cindy. I have another with two scientists talking with the big COLLABORATION sign in the background, which is a nice story-telling photo, but I haven’t posted it publicly.

      That sign was temporary, and is now gone. Shame really, but not everybody liked it.

Comments are closed.