The JBD Lab mission and core values are centered around the notion that an inclusive and welcoming environment is essential for the wellbeing, morale, innovation, and productivity of any scientific community. We strive to create this community by holding our lab members accountable to our general lab expectations, which values the mental, emotional, and physical health and wellbeing of our trainees above all else. Everyone deserves the space to authentically and fully show up to lab. Importantly, over the past year, we have also refocused our energy to consistently and proactively ensure the safety of our lab members, especially through the participation in and open dialogue about critical COVID-19 policies and resources. In this regard, we value open and honest communication so that we can maintain trust in each other and help navigate any scientific challenges and resolve conflict if it arises. We also strive to be easily approachable and accessible for discussing ideas, data, and experiments and regardless of one’s level of knowledge or skill in a particular area – science is and should always be fun! We aim to normalize failures and create opportunities to frequently and actively collaborate within and beyond the lab. In this same light, we believe that everyone is or can become a life-long learner. We spend a significant amount of our time fostering meaningful and constructive relationships as educators and mentors to high school, undergraduate, and post-baccalaureate students. Not only do we prioritize mentorship and outreach to young trainees, but we are also committed to the advancement of our lab members through professional development and career training opportunities. Taken together, the Bondy-Denomy Lab is a supportive, understanding, and positive community that aims to consistently and creatively push the boundaries of scientific discovery.
The JBD Lab expects everyone to embody the lab mission and values, actively engage and support your peers, and fulfill your designated lab and career-specific responsibilities. Our lab mission and values hold us accountable to stand up against unjust behavior or actions and consistently be patient, kind, respectful, and understanding. Everyone has, or is coming from, different circumstances and this is especially pertinent with the COVID-19 pandemic. The UC Diversity Officers have curated several helpful and intuitive guidelines for faculty, administration, students, and staff to follow. Our lab also expects everyone to actively participate in lab and subgroup meetings, and beyond these scheduled times, we strongly encourage people to initiate one-on-one conversations about research progress and failures. In this regard, we expect everyone to be open and accessible for communication and collaboration amongst your peers. Ask your fellow lab mates questions about their ideas, science, and protocols – be curious! Everyone in the lab has a different level of knowledge in their particular field and is bound to personally know, or know of someone, who can provide support. As a growing lab, we not only expect everyone to share knowledge, but also resources and space to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to grow and advance in their scientific career. Lastly, our lab expects everyone to effectively perform their designated weekly and general lab jobs (assigned once a trainee has officially joined) and fulfill your respective job responsibilities (e.g. junior specialist or lab manager, graduate student, postdoc, PI). Together, our lab expectations ensure that we maintain a supportive and positive community of scientists.
The JBD Lab believes that every person deserves to authentically and fully show up to lab. To create and maintain such a lab space, we value and prioritize wellbeing of individuals above all else. We also recognize that the past year has been truly devastating with unyielding racism and the COVID-19 pandemic, and in turn, we have refocused our energy in lab into more consistent and pro-active efforts that ensure the physical and phycological safety of our community. We actively follow UCSF’s COVID-19 policies and guidelines and discuss the latest COVID-19 responses and resources. We also acknowledge the stress, fear, and other complex emotions that come with the past year’s events, and we actively check-in on our lab members experiencing undue challenges or burdens. We also encourage trainees to seek professional support for their mental and emotional health as well as financial resources for oneself and their family.
To provide further opportunities to maintain the wellbeing of our lab members, the JBD Lab supports a healthy balance between work schedules and personal lives. While we all have made the active decision to become scientists and share a passion for research, it is essential for every person to take care of their personal health and wellbeing as well as any childcare and family commitments. As a lab, we frequently communicate with one another to help out with experiments on the weekday evenings or weekends, and people often take several weeks off during the summer and winter for holiday vacation. In cases of emergency, we recognize and respect the decision to take extended time off from work and kindly ask for direct communication with Joe and, if necessary, utilize the resources from the UCSF Ph.D. Student Leaves Policy and UC Leave of Absence.
The JBD Lab values open, honest, and frequent communication to maintain trust and create a productive lab environment. We have a BD Lab Slack with designated channels for general lab responsibilities and going ons, critical lab information and COVID-19 procedures, subgroup meetings and cool science, and importantly, our fun lab channel for comedic relief and socially-distanced activities. We encourage people to post questions or directly “@” people to grab their attention. Our lab also utilizes email to communicate with our lab neighborhood’s administrative assistant Ethel Enoex-Godonoo and internal UCSF and external collaborators. However, we also recognize that demands for childcare and family commitments often make Slack and email difficult to maintain. In this case, we may contact each other at odd hours or often communicate with each other on the phone. Whatever the circumstance may be, we ultimately respect everyone’s work-life balance and ask that everyone be pro-active about discussing scientific failures, challenges, and achievements.
The JBD Lab aims to create a supportive, positive, and inclusive environment and values collaboration in and beyond the lab. We recognize that conflict affects lab productivity and morale/wellbeing, so we have several avenues to manage and resolve conflict. In the case that conflict cannot be safely resolved between the involved individuals, Joe is always available to try and address and resolve the conflict at hand. If additional steps need to be taken, we have the opportunity to work with an external facilitator at UCSF’s Office of the Ombuds or a Restorative Justice Circle Facilitator.
The JBD Lab is fortunate to have active and consistent collaboration amongst our trainees since the inception of the lab. Based on our lab values and expectations, we strive to create an open and accessible environment for peers to ask questions, exchange ideas, and discuss data and protocols. We are a part of a scientific team and must support, share, and equitably distribute resources. We do not tolerate adversarial competition. Furthermore, when building these partnerships and collaborations, it is important to be respectful of every individual’s time and personal commitments. If a lab member provided you a lot of support on a research project, they should be included as authors on publications and acknowledged on presentations.
Given our expanding work into the broader field of bacterial immunity, the JBD Lab is open and excited to collaborate with other labs within UCSF, other universities or institutes, as well as industry or biotech. We expect these relationships to be in alignment with our lab mission and values, especially respectful and transparent dialogue. We are supportive of hands-on skill development, including our in lab and the collaborator’s workplace. While we anticipate these relationships to be positive and productive, Joe will always advocate for trainees and manage challenging situations or conflict (e.g. authorship).
The JBD Lab is a passionate and curious team of scientists that believes everyone is, or can become, a life-long learner and teacher. We aim to foster a safe environment for the open exchange and discussion of ideas, questions, and data regardless of one’s level of knowledge or skill in a particular area. To this end, we also encourage people to discuss their failures, as it is a normal facet of research and the educational journey of becoming an independent scientist. Every other week we schedule sub-group meetings centered around our main research focuses, where we informally discuss everything from the nitty gritty of experiments to exciting publications. When we’re not in lab, you can find us at the many seminars, journal clubs, and short talks taking place across UCSF and UCB. Here are some of our go to’s: (1) iMicro Seminar Series @ Tuesday 10 am PST, (2) Biochemistry Department Seminar Series @ Tuesday 12 pm PST, (3) Chemistry and Chemical Biology (CCB) Seminar Series @ Thursday 12pm; (4) Biophysical Journal Club @ Tuesday 11:30am; (5) Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Seminar Series @ Wednesday 4; (6) Benioff Center for Microbiome Medicine Ignite Talks; (7) UC Berkeley Integrative Genomics Institute Seminar Series.
The JBD Lab aims to foster meaningful and constructive relationships between people across all educational levels and ultimately intend to boost trainee confidence in scientific exploration and research. We encourage informal mentorship between current lab trainees and seek out high school, undergraduate, and post-baccalaureate student interns. We are also open to partnerships with UCSF’s SEP High School Intern program, Summer Research Training Program, Post-baccalaureate Research Opportunity to Promote Equity in Learning. In parallel, current graduate students or postdoctoral scholars have considered participating in the UCSF-CCSF Inclusive Mentoring Fellows program to gain additional skills and experience in mentoring.
The JBD Lab recognizes that the retention and advancement of young trainees in science, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, requires a commitment to empowering trainees to become research leaders. Professional training and career exploration, alongside building a strong community of researchers, is critical. We ensure equal and open access to resources necessary for trainees to apply for grants and fellowships, participate and present at conferences, explore seminars and educational workshops, amongst many other opportunities. Alongside internal lab support, we actively encourage trainees to engage with UCSF’s Office of Career and Professional Development to further develop professional skills and explore careers.
In the JBD Lab, we currently have an online repository of protocols and data with UCSF Box as well as a personal lab server. New trainees will receive an onboarding checklist, access to frequently used lab protocols, comprehensive lists and instructions on organizing bacterial strains, plasmids, oligos, and phages. We will also provide one-on-one instruction about creating a profile and using our server, which is typically used for high-throughput genetic and bioinformatic analyses. In parallel to these online tools, our lab utilizes a combination of paper and digital lab notebooks (such as Benchling or Microsoft OneNote. We recognize that people may have different learning and working styles, so we try our best to accommodate these. However, it is also critical to ensure the efficient retrieval of data now and in the future, so that we can reproduce data at any time in the future and have traceable records for our lab and UCSF. We kindly request all trainees to review UCSF’s guidelines for electronic and paper lab notebooks.
Beyond the Bondy-Denomy Lab, we are committed to having our data, methods, and materials accessible to the public. Take a look at our publications page to view freely available PDF documents of our publications. We are also open to sharing any bacterial strains and phages listed in the literature, and ask individuals to request our plasmids through the JBD Lab Addgene.