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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Pelling

Pelling Lab Turns 10!

Who said that scientists don’t know how to party?

We just hit our tenth birthday here at the Lab, which is a milestone worth celebrating in style.

July 26th, we welcomed lab members and alumni (along with 150 of our closest friends) to the modish Shopify HQ. Despite the gridlocked downtown traffic, a line quickly formed to check in and pick up stickers, drink tickets and fashion-forward t-shirts.

All Lab members and alumni sported some blinking glasses, custom-made by Andrew.

“My role in the Lab is just to stick LEDs onto things”

– Dr. Andrew E. Pelling, Ph.D.

We brought some of our various inventions for people to play with, and our spin-out companies Spiderwort and Incuvers showed off their products. Striking bio-art pieces were displayed courtesy of artists-in-residence Elaine Whittaker and Whitefeather Hunter. Included with all of this was an eerie, erythrocyte-printed straitjacket we made years ago with another artist collaborator, Anne Niemetz. One lab member jokingly asked whether he needed consent to wrap up his friend (the answer was yes, at least until the afterparty).

Along with the catering, we had a few edible surprises – after all, it wouldn’t be the Pelling Lab if we didn’t play with our food. Our friends at the Canada Science and Technology Museum brought ice cream that was cooled with a spilling fog of liquid nitrogen. The bartenders offered up a signature apple-themed cocktail in colourful pitchers. We stayed up late the night before making ear-shaped gummies out of Jell-O, thanks to help from Anthony at Ecotonos Design. They ended up being surprisingly photogenic.

Several special guests said a few words, including Telfer’s Sophia Leong, our alumnus and MIT postdoc Kristina Haase, CHEO’s Alex Munter and Ingenium’s Christina Tessier. They spoke of years of creativity, curiosity and collaboration. It was – besides a few mild roasts from Alex – heartwarming to hear from so many people who helped us get this far.

We celebrated, brainstormed, (some of us) danced, and played a few rounds of Cards Against Science.

There’s nothing quite like robot overlords to spice up your research.

Packing up at the night’s end left me reflecting on everyone I connected with, all of whom contributed to the successes and growth these last ten years. To all our friends, partners, supporters and family – thank you.

Here’s to the next ten.

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