Posted by: Calvin C | July 24, 2009

We are more than lab geeks

We have all seen how great some of us are in the lab.  A few team members can recall most of the BioBrick part numbers off the top of their heads, a couple can answer most of my lab questions faster than Google, and one can even pipette nearly twice as fast as I can.  However, their awesome skills do not exist only in the lab, but many of them have some interesting talents and hobbies that might be surprising to you.

Lets start by talking about some of the sports that we do.  The most obvious one is the hardcore biker we have.  While most of us Vancouverites love to hop on our cars to go around town, we have a team member who takes his bike wherever he goes.  Whether it is a short ride around campus or a trip to downtown, he is always doing his part to decrease CO2 emission by riding his bike.

Although not everyone on the team can handle biking everywhere, most of the team members are fairly physically fit (this is essential for late night work in the lab).  A few of us go to the gym on a regular basis, one of us is a life guard and a number of us are rock climbers.  Sometimes we have a hard time stopping ourselves from turning the Michael Smith Lab (MSL) into a jungle gym.

For anyone who has been to the MSL, you probably have noticed that the UBC campus security office is directly below us.  Having security so close to the lab may seem reasonable since there are some expensive equipment and valuable research data and personnel in the building.  Although it may not seem obvious, a few of us are highly capable of protecting ourselves and our valuable bacteria.  For hand-to-hand combat, a few of us are trained in Hapkido and Chinese martial arts.  When the fights involve weapons, we all turn to our Cloning Queen who has a black belt in Kendo and is highly skilled in archery.  Unfortunately for her (and lucky for the rest of us), MSL does not allow lab personnel to carry a katana to work.

In addition to sports, most of our team members are highly involved in volunteering.  A few of us have helped out in the hospitals, research centres, campus clubs and departmental undergrad societies.  One of us has taken the brave assignment of chasing, capturing and caring for wild animals in need.  Two of us have started volunteering at the crisis line recently; they will be very important later on!  Another two members have been on expeditions out of the country earlier this summer; one went up to the Arctic to explore the wild life and the other went down to Ecuador to build schools for the children.  How admirable!

In conclusion, I hope that this blog let you know about our team a bit more.  I am sure after another month with my teammates, I will be able to write a lot more about them.



  1. I absolutely know who the hardcore biker is lol.

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