Getting orientated - the Grant lab README!

Welcome to your lab! We hope you find it an exciting, enjoyable and stimulating working environment. The information below, elsewhere on this site and our lab wiki, is designed to help you navigate the lab. If you find that something is missing or inaccurate then please let us know (or just edit as you see fit - we will teach you how to do this with markdown and git). Hopefully, the information here will help you learn a little about how your new laboratory beats and hums.

General lab organization and procedures

The Grant lab is part of the Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics (DCM&B) located in both Palmer Commons and the North Campus Research Complex (NCRC). If you have not already met them I encourage you to introduce yourself to other members of the department at your earliest opportunity. The department is a resource that can provide you with ideas, equipment and connections. Please use the department and don’t just hide away in the lab. Your dealing with members of the department can greatly influence the happiness and productivity of your lab life.

Our postal address

The Grant Lab
Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics
Room 2017, Palmer Commons
100 Washtenaw Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2218

Phone: 734-615-5510 (main office)

Geography and finding coffee

Our main lab space in Palmer Commons is room 2055 and across the hall in room 2044. The main DCM&B administrative area is in room 2017. Coffee, Tea, Bottled water (both hot and cold) and the refrigerator are located in the kitchen area of room 2017. We also have a small fridge and microwave in 2055 that you are always welcome to use.

Small group meetings can also be held in the conference room in 2017. Lager meetings are frequently held in room 2036 (e.g. regular group meetings) or in one of the fith floor board rooms.

Getting help

For computer help Ken and Jonathan are located in room 2044. You can also send an email to or directly to and Any office supplies such as notebooks, pens, or even ibuprofen can be obtained from Awura or Venece in room 2017. Awura can also help you out with any administrative questions.

Getting started

Once you have your university ID and “unique-name” talk to Awura in room 2017 to get it setup for afters hours building access. Awura can help you get a lab key. Note that your key may unlock all the doors including the kitchen and office area. Thefts have occurred, so please keep unoccupied rooms closed/locked at all times.

Please have Xin-Qiu or Barry add you to the current group contacts wiki page and group mailing list.

Lab setup and equipment

You can get an overview of major lab hardware and software on the wiki Computing page.

There are a range of HowTo guides and protocols for common experiments and computations on the wiki that you should familiarize yourself with as needed.

If you are new to Unix computing, please start with the following UNIX guides before delving into the various simulation and bioinformatics guides.

You may find the material from my Introduction to Biocomputing course particulary useful.

Learning Unix, R, Python and Git are essential for our day to day work in the lab. If there is anything missing from our HowTo guides then please mention it at the next lab meeting!

Laboratory meetings

Lab meetings are held to discuss the current research of individual lab members, the current research of the field (since recent journal articles are often discussed, these are known as journal clubs), and organizational problems.

Current lab meeting details can be found here.

Please try to attend all lab meetings. Unless you have a desperately pressing experiment, arrange your time so that you can go to all journal clubs and research presentations. Content aside (and you will probably learn a lot), your attendance shows support for your coworkers and is important for lab and departmental cohesiveness

Literature and other resources

The lab has a reference site called CiteUlike. Group members add manuscripts and several other items for group consumption there. The group maintains several mailing lists in addition to departmental and seminar lists - ask Barry how to be added to these lists. Please make sure you are signed up for our main group mailing list ( thegrantlab ). Again please ask Barry or send a mail to the mailing list for help with this.

Open Door Policy

The lab operates an open door policy - if an office door is open then all lab members are encouraged to stop by whenever they feel the need to meet and ask questions, discuss suggestions, and address problems or concerns. If a door is closed it usually means that I am on the phone or in a meeting or just not there. If you are finding it hard to find me then please send an email to find a good time to meet.

Basic survival through common sense and courtesy

Our lab has a dynamic that is fairly unique, in that people tend to work both collaboratively and independently. Practically, this means that everyone is equal, and should be treated as such.

Happy Researching!