Babraham Institute

Liston Lab

The Liston Lab works on the interface between regulatory T cells and the tissues, focussing on developing new tools to reveal novel biology.

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The Golden Pipette

The origin of the Golden Pipette remains clouded in mystery. It is thought that the pipette was first owned by the great James Dooley, endowing him with the ability to work 20 hour days and produce more data than any mortal scientist could possibly do unaided. It is said that when used on thymic epithelial cell preparations, the pipette would release a stream of micro-bubbles, gently extracting the epithelium from the extracellular matrix with a greater purity than could be reached by a regular pipette. In 2016, James graduated from his PhD after successes that have already passed into legend, and released the Golden Pipette out into the world. The Golden Pipette can now only be found by performing an experiment of such striking elegance that it unerringly attracts the Golden Pipette to its new owner. Each talented owner has just four months to make use of the Golden Pipette before it seeks a new home. 

In 2017, Dr Oliver Burton won the Golden Pipette for the generation of a flow cytometry protocol so pure it could detect IL-2 expression by regulatory T cells. Once possessing the pipette he was able to stain Foxp3 with a simple dishwashing detergent permeabilizing the cells.

In 2018, Dr Emanuela Pasciuto won the second Golden Pipette by generating a novel mouse model to study brain Tregs. The data was so clear that just a single flow plot stunned her audience into spontaneous applause. Her Golden Pipette experiments are redefining neuroimmunology.

Dr Carlos Roca won the third Golden Pipette award for developing an elegant approach to flow cytometry data analysis that will rock the field. No more spending days looking at plots in FlowJo, one-click and it is all done! With the pipette in his hands, he solved the mathematics of flow cytometry compensation too!

Dr Carly Whyte won the fourth Golden Pipette for stumping the entire lab with mystifying data on how IL-2 does different things, depending on which cell made it. With the Golden Pipette the next experiments will explain why!

Steffie Junius won the fifth Golden Pipette for her work on Treg cell fate. It was the first time that the pipette had been held by a PhD student.

In 2019, Dr Wenson Karunakaran won the sixth Golden Pipette for individually imaging and counting Every. Single. T cell. In. The. Mouse. Brain. Wenson will need to give up the Golden Pipette prematurally, as he is starting an exciting new industry position back home in India.


Who will hold the Golden Pipette next?