June 2020 -- As was the case for many, the outbreak of COVID-19 interrupted the rhythms of our normal lives and required the laboratory to redirect to remote work. During the quarantine, our team diversified our productive output. Julia and Brandon authored respective mini-reviews (pending submission) on immunoregulatory T cells in myasthenia gravis, and chimeric acetylcholine binding proteins. Andrew, a rising senior in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, performed computational work, designing novel DNA constructs. Victoria Leopardi, a veterinary student who intended to spend the summer in the laboratory, has instead been writing a systematic review of the relationship between infectious agents and myasthenia gravis.
This month, in accordance with Penn Vet and Philadelphia city guidelines, the Garden & Luo Immune Regulation Lab resumed research operations. To assure the safety of our researchers, we have implemented extensive safety precautions in the lab. Such practices include working in shifts to assure low occupancy, body temperature and blood oxygen saturation monitoring, contact tracing, the donning of extensive personal protective equipment (lab coats, goggles, gloves, and masks), and regular disinfection of workspaces and personal devices. We, as immunologists, understand the importance of public health compliance and are striving to do our part to protect our laboratory personnel and our community.