January 10, 2024

Wright Lab Year in Numbers

Now that we have all digested our Spotify Wrapped or Strava Year in Sports, it's time for Wright Lab Year in numbers!


December 8, 2023

Photography in Science

Given the amount of computing power that exists in our pockets, and the need for scientists to document so many results and characteristics, I would posit that there are more pictures taken now for scientific purposes, than at any other time in history. 

Many labs inherently take a lot of pictures, especially those labs that do microscopy. While our lab infrequently uses microscopy, photographic evidence does allow us to revisit things later. And the ability to take lots of photographs, rather than notes on what something looks like, gives others the ability to see things for themselves. 

This month's post demonstrates both our use of photography in and out of the lab. The petri dish images provided an opportunity to count colonies to make sure that our bacterial stocks were still viable. Having pictures also allows these counts to be done via image analysis. The images of downtown Pittsburgh are a contribution of a lab member who walks over the bridge near the lab during their commute, and does a daily snap. Enjoy!

November 9, 2023

Popular AI Suggestions

 It seems that ChatGPT likes what we do in the Wright lab so much, that we corner a third of the suggestions on sequence alignment! You can find DECIPHER here. 

October 6, 2023

Lab Photo 2023-2024

Erik, Nick, Sam (seated), Shu-Ting (standing behind them), Shania and Nishant (center), Aidan (behind), Monica (not shown, because someone has to take the picture). 

The above picture was taken in early October, which if you're familiar with the weather patterns of Pittsburgh, is unique because it was not raining and it was warm. It's possible that this day will be the last nice day of the year. We are also lucky because the building the lab is in, sits right on the river with a small grove of trees next to it. You can just make out a bridge (the Birmingham) and some of the buildings from downtown in the background. These things gave us a great opportunity to take an autumn lab photograph. 

Having lab pictures provides an opportunity to track who was in the lab when. Because students come and go, we can sometimes forget who knows who, and how long students were overlapping with other students and staff. It's a chance to have a visual reminder of the groups and how they worked together. This picture will likely get used on acknowledgement slides for the next year, and serve as the visual representation of the lab during the 2023-2024 academic year. 

September 26, 2023

Summer 2023 Lab Outing

After much jockeying for a date, the students went for a lab outing that involved bowling, karaoke, and a slide! Much fun was had at Pins in South Side Works. 

Many congratulations to Shu-Ting and Aidan for winning their respective bowling groups.

Many requests were made to get video of Nishant going down the slide, but only this picture survived the evening. 
Thanks to the group (and their partners) for a great time. I'm sure everyone can't wait for the next outing. 

August 28, 2023

Department of Biomedical Informatics 2023 Retreat

The Wright Lab attended the Department of Biomedical Informatics yearly retreat on August 24, 2023.

This year's retreat featured Dr. Brian Chapman and Dr. Wendy Chapman, giving their talks "The Informatics Rebellion and the Patient Experience", and "Addressing the Translational Gap for Digital Health Innovation: An Australian Experience", respectively. Both of which were well recieved.

Representing the Wright Lab, Aidan Lakshman, presented his poster "ProtWeaver: Gene Functional Inference at Scale". Congratulations Aidan for doing such a great job!

August 9, 2023


Congratulations to the lab for receiving its first purely bioinformatics grant from the NIH! The new three year grant ("Connecting the universe of proteins to address annotation inequality in the microbial proteome") will develop tools for exploring microbial genomes. Read more here.