The Cristea Lab: Beyond the Bench

Group outings, personal accomplishments, worldwide travelers, and community at the Cristea Lab.

November 2021 - Lab attempts pottery

To take a break from a hectic fall, the lab decided to let out their "right-brains" and try their hands at pottery. Some were better than others, but everyone had a great time!

September 2021 - Lab BBQ!

As summer comes to an end, the Cristea Lab went "camping." This brief escape from civilization was met with good food, good drinks, and good company. Time to break out the flannel!

August 2021 - Good donuts for healthy brains

Ileana brings the lab out-of-this-world delicious donuts from the Amish farmers market (multiple times), and the science gets noticeably better. A direct result, to be sure.

June 2021 - Lab happy hour returns!

Thanks to Cora, our spontaneous lab happy hours have returned, beginning with Wisconsin Old Fashioneds --making evening bench work just a bit more exciting ;)

June 2021 - Fully-vaxxed party at Hopewell Valley Vineyards (+ celebrating Xinlei's PhD defense)

Complete with beautiful summer weather, we spent an afternoon of wine, pizza, and mask-less fun at the local Hopewell Valley Vineyards celebrating Xinlei's accomplishments and our fully-vaxxed privelege. Yay!

March 2021 - Spring celebration of Laura's graduation

The sun emerged and so did our picnic blankets, ready to celebrate Laura's PhD defense and gain some well-earned quality time together. Congrats, Laura, and happy spring!

March 2021 - Ileana and Juha welcome Louis to the family!

To clarify, Louis is an entirely-too-adorable black laborador puppy. 

February 2021 - Dawei and Shiyi are engaged!

It was an adorable Valentine's Day scavenger hunt proposal, and we could not be more thrilled you guys have found each other! Cheers!

January-February 2021 - Virtual lab gatherings, continued

When it's too cold to meet outside, we can entertain ourselves by fabulous attempts at online pictionary and Cityguesser (an especially wonderful event hosted by our lovely undergrads, Elene & Julia).

December 2020 - Lab Trivia Night, So you call yourself a scientist...?

Katelyn & Tim put together 4 rounds of science trivia, ranging from science history, geological time scales, and genomics. An excellent use of Zoom for a Friday night! 

October 2020 - Picnic Number Two Electric Boogaloo

Featuring even more lawn games and personalized MolBio picnic blankets!

September 2020 - Todd & Liz introduce a new little one into the world!

Their baby boy was born this month, and we are SO so happy for them! We look forward to hearing about all their adventures as new parents, and anxiously await the day when he can use a pipette... ;)

August 2020 - Socially-distanced picnic at Mercer County Park

Toting our folding chairs, favorite canned beverages, and lawn games, we gathered in the great green outdoors to enjoy some truly valued company and compare our mask styles.

July 2020 - Celebrating independence (and the mostly-over social quarantine) 

Multiple lab members gathered for a socially-distanced outdoor picnic, complete with groundhog visitors and non-virtual (yay!) interactions

April 2020 - Lab members' pets become expert virologists

Or at least we assume they are, as they keep disrupting our virtual lab meetings with their cute furry faces

March 2020 - Hiking at Sourland Mountain Preserve

Well, we planned to challenge our hamstrings and lungs with an early spring hike, but COVID-19 had other ideas... we encouraged each other to take walks outside instead :)

February 2020 - Cora continues her hamster-mediated grad school therapy

What we mean by this is that she adopted her second hamster, Sebastian, and is NOT using him for MERS research. Sebastian is much more fitness-conscious than her first hamster, Wilson, and loves spinning on his wittle hamster wheel all night long.

December 2019 - Holiday party extravaganza

The dancing competition was fierce this year, and we successfully provided more "real food" than desserts (for perhaps the first time ever)

November 2019 - Third Annual Gingerbread Competition

With some of the most intense competition and spectacular presentations to date, Room #3 won this year with an alien archeological dig of the Cristea Laboratory.

October 2019 - Farewell to Krystal & Joel at Hopewell Valley Vineyards

As two of our absolute core lab members head to their futures, the lab copes with the impending loss by having a winery party.

October 2019 - Katelyn & Tim's wedding!

The third and final Cristea Lab wedding of the year was between two of our graduate students, and many lab members traveled to Colorado to celebrate.

October 2019 - Annual Terhune Orchards visit

Xinlei narrowly avoided a pea hen massacre, and we opted for some iced cider this year in the face of 85 degree heat.

August 2019 - Cora and Ileana bookend FASEB with a European adventure

As FASEB was held in Portugal this year, both Cora and Ileana took advantage of the location with some post-conference travel.

July 2019 - Laura & Bryan are married!

For lab wedding #2 of 2019, many labmates celebrated with Laura & Bryan in the pristine Princeton Chapel and later at Hopewell Vineyards (a lab favorite).

July 2019 - Todd & Liz tie the knot!

Many lab members attended the festivities, which was set in the beautiful summer hills of Connecticut.

July 2019 - Michelle, Tim, Katelyn, & Matt spend the weekend in Brooklyn

The three lab mates and Matt took some time to explore Williamsburg and celebrate the US Women's National Team's World Cup victory!

June 2019 - Cristea Lab & Friends Summer BBQ

The rain held off long enough for us to get in some pretty intense rounds of badminton, listen to Bokai's amazing guitar skills, and eat & drink to our hearts' content!

May 2019 - Jaime, Tim, & Katelyn embark on their summer pool adventures

The fitness junkies plan to take full advantage of their gym's pool through September.

March 2019 - Todd & Liz are engaged!

We are so excited for you two! Cheers and best wishes!

March 2019 - Wine & Paint Round #2

This time we applied our paintbrushes to capturing the Blair Arch, a famous Princeton landmark - hosted again by the absolutely excellent Painter's Loft in Pennington, NJ.

March 2019 - Entire lab travels to Washington, D.C.!

Though there for lots of learning and networking at US HUPO, the lab members found time to get soup dumplings, play Mario Kart, celebrate with drinks, and eat way too much BBQ in downtown D.C.

December 2018 - Annual holiday party!

Highlight this year was definitely the charades, though it turns out some of the lab members have never seen Star Wars *gasp*

December 2018 - Gingerbread house contest 2.0, bigger and better!

This year saw gingerbread representations of a resort in the Riviera Maya and Ileana and Juha's hosue under construction, complete with a bear in the backyard (?!) - and Lab Room 2 took home the cup again!

October 2018 - Annual apple picking (and East Coast Autumn Extravaganza) excursion to Terhune Orchards

Our apple sacks were fat, but not quite as fat as the Farm Store cats...

October 2018 - the enjoys a night of music and wine to celebrate Pierre's graduation with his family at Hopewell Vineyards

Warm pizza, wines of all types, a live jazz band, family, and friends! Sending Pierre off in style.

October 2018 - Joel, Krystal, Laura, Katelyn, and Tim experience the magic of Universal Studios and Disney World in Orlando after HUPO 2018

Broomsticks, butterbeers, wand shops, dragons, chocolate frogs... and Mickey Mouse, princesses, Space Mountain, dinosaurs, and lions! Oh my!

July 2018 - Cristea Lab Annual BBQ

Brats, ribs, beer, wine, mochi, and badminton - plus a surprise car show courtesty of Todd.

July 2018 - Tim, Bokai, Cora, and Katelyn explore Washington, D.C. after the ASV 2018 conference

Smithsonians, the Capitol, Library of Congress, and (of course) some street gyros.

July 2018 - Laura and Bryan take a trip to London and Stockholm

And just in time for the unusually warm (and dry) London weather, in addition to celebrating their engagement.

May-July 2018 - Pranav travels through Africa and Europe on his way to a medical internship in Zimbabwe

He hit up Heidelberg (Germany), Cape Town (South Africa), and Abu Dhabi, as well as places like Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. 

June 2018 - Laura and Bryan are engaged!

We are so excited for you two - congratulations, love is in the Cristea Lab air!

March 2018 - Michelle joins the lab

Welcome to our newest graduate student, Michelle Kennedy, who continues the Coloradoan trend in the lab and also enjoys fancy coffee.

February 2018 - 100 Papers Celebration!

The Cristea Lab hit the 100 published papers mark, and celebrated with some matching festive t-shirts, wine & paint (artistic representations of herpesviruses), Italian cuisine, and cake in Lambertville, NJ.

February 2018 - Pranav performs in the Princeton Breakdancing Group

Complete with handstands and lots of talent - Laura (his mentor) went to cheer him on!

December 2017 - Christmas Party

The dance competition had an upset this year, with Laura hailed as our reigning champion (Elizabeth finally dethroned).

December 2017 - Gingerbread house contest

The guest judges (Juha, Liz, and Ava) awarded the Lab Cup to Room 2 for their exquisite gingerbread rendition of their lab space and the MS orbitrap, leaving Room 1 (a perfectly-constructed gingerbread village made with great attention to detail) with 2nd place and Room 3 (the Two Towers from Lord of the Rings, complete with steaming dry ice) with 3rd place.

November 2017 - Apple picking at Terhune Orchards

Including lots of interesting selfies involving apples on heads. 

September 2017 - Katelyn wins design for the Princeton MolBio Retreat t-shirt and Confocal Imaging Facility logo

With a focus on model organisms (t-shirt) and pixelation (microscopy core). Congrats!

August 2017 - Annual Lab BBQ

Delicious food and excellent company, plus a surprise dirt pit in the yard.

July 2017 - Krystal adopts her 4th bunny

It was arguably a questionable choice, but at least this one isn't handicapped.

June 2017 - Katelyn and Tim backpack Europe and get engaged!

The engagement happened in the middle of Lake Konigssee, Germany (congrats you two!), but they also saw Amsterdam, Brussels, Munich, Wurzburg, and Prague. 

March 2017 - Cora, Katelyn, and Tim join the lab

This year we get 3 new graduate students - Cora (from Minnesota and loves her hamster, Wilson), Katelyn (from Colorado and loves her cat, Copper), and Tim (also from Colorado and loves memes).

March 2017 - the Lab has an epic laser shootout @ Colonial B&E

There was some cardio involved, and a lot of shrieking, but mostly well-honed sharpshootin' *pew pew*

Feburary 2017 - Pierre and Carla get married in Puerto Rico!

Ileana, Juha, Todd, and Liz flew down for the occasion - it was quite the celebration! Warmest wishes and congratulations to the absolutely beautiful couple.