Inside My Lab: Daniel Bachovchin

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VIDEO | 02:04

Go inside the lab of Daniel Bachovchin from SKI’s Chemical Biology Program.

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“We should do glycine. Why not do, because it would actually probably be the easiest one, right?”

I think what's important is, for the young researcher to have a curiosity and motivation.  You want to find an important problem that you can't get enough of, that all you want to do is think about it and then success will be yours.

 “If you avoided this entirely, then you would get more activation.”

My name is Dan Bachovchin and I am an Assistant Member in the Chemical Biology Program at Sloan Kettering Institute. 

Inside my lab we are using small molecule drugs to understand basic mechanisms of biology - in particular, of the innate immune system. 

My lab studies primarily a class of enzymes called serine proteases.  Proteases are enzymes that cut other proteins, and we develop and design inhibitors of these enzymes to study how they work. And using these inhibitors enables us to study biology in ways that are otherwise impossible. 

“But you can also try to lower the annealing temperature.” 

Postdocs and grad students in my lab can expect a high-energy, fast-paced environment where we pursue the science wherever it takes us.

“There is a bifurcation and it's a way to increase the diversity of response.”

I think my current lab members would describe me as a very close collaborator. I have an open-door policy where I encourage them to come visit me with any results at any point. 

For young researchers in the first year or two of grad school, sometimes they aren't used to the daily failure that you get.  As long as you believe that your experiment was set up correctly, as long as you learn something from that experiment, there's no failure of experiment. 

We're always pursuing the questions we find most important because that's what excites us, it’s what motivates us, it’s what's going to change the way we think about biology.

 “Got it, yes.”

 “Good job.”