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Welcome to the Marder Lab!

There are a few important responsibilities to learn about and do as well as hold your fellow labmates responsible for, so please read carefully before you get started with your lab work. Feel free to ask anyone if something is unclear.

  1. Everyone must record data and results in a Lab Notebook.
  2. Food and/or drink is NOT permitted in the main part of the lab, NOR in the dissection/rig room. You may have food in the back room or bring food through the main lab on the way to the back room but DO NOT throw away food-related trash in the main lab wastebaskets. Not complying with these rules could result in a $45,000 fine per piece of food trash for the lab. 
  3. Experiments on animals are always to be performed in compliance with our rules for humane treatment of animals. Never begin dissecting a crab or lobster before it has been placed on ice for a full 30 minutes. Information on performing the dissection can be found here.
  4. We have a weekly lab journal club. Often newcomers ask what papers have been presented recently. For a list, as well as the upcoming schedule of presenters, see Marder Lab Journal Club Information.

Entry Protocol

These steps have to be followed by everyone who joins the lab.

  1. When first arriving at Brandeis, visit Human Resources and/or Sci Grad Affairs to ensure that all of your paperwork is in order and you have a Brandeis UNet account and ID card.
  2. When you first arrive in the lab go see the Lab Manager. They will provide you with several important items:
    1. A desk & computer to go with it
    2. Access to:
      1. the Marder lab listservs
      2. the Marder Lab Meeting (MLM) and Journal Club (JC) google calendar
      3. The Marder Lab Resources google drive folder
      4. Access to the Marder Lab shared drives: the archive (//\Archive1) and the file sharing (//
      5. Access and a tutorial of the Marder Lab inventory/order request system located on Quartzy.
    3. A notebook
      1. Please read the Lab Notebooks orientation page on how to keep a good lab notebook and what should go into a lab notebook.
  3. Add your name to the Phone and Email list in the Marder Lab google drive folder. A copy of the current list is kept next to the communal phones in the lab. You should also be able to access this list in case of emergency from your phone. Your phone should be with you at all times when working in the lab alone.
    1. ***Make sure to copy the current list and save an archive copy of it in the spreadsheet
  4. Take the lab safety courses online ( You should also plan to attend one of the general lab safety courses in person when the next one is offered (about once a month).
    1. You will need to make an account as your Brandeis login info won't work on the site
    2. Make sure to keep a copy of all certificates that you earn
    3. Check the following page to make sure all Lab Safety requirements have been completed:
  5. Once you have completed the online safety courses the Lab Manager will submit a request for a lab key and swipe card access to the pertinent doors.
    1. For this request to be submitted please provide the Lab Manager with your UNet ID and the number on your Brandeis ID.
    2. You will receive an email when your key is ready for pick up. Keys can be picked up in the Biology Office (Volen 206)
  6. Go see the person in charge of hard drive inventory (Lab Jobs). They will give you an empty hard drive which you can use to back up your computer and data while you are in the lab.
  7. Talk to the person who is managing the lab website (Lab Jobs) so your information can be added.


Exit Protocol

These steps have to be completed by everyone who leaves the lab BEFORE you leave the lab. Plan accordingly so you have time to complete everything.

Clean up your workspaces

  • These include, but are not limited to:
    • Your desk. Do NOT leave a giant mess for someone to clean up after you, or for the next person who inherits your desk to deal with.
      • All lab notebooks should be refiled into the system once they have the proper summary sheets.
      • All trash should be discarded
      • Your computer should be properly dealt with so as to be ready for the next person (see below for instructions)
      • All images and hanging items should be removed
      • Desk drawers should be emptied of everything but basic office supplies
      • Any/all pieces of lab equipment should be returned to their proper location
      • All personal possessions dealt with (whether you bring them home, donate them, or toss them)
      • Wipe down your desk. Everyone's desk gets messy with dust, etc. on it. Grab some cleaner and give it a quick scrub, please!
    • Your rig space (for experimentalists). Make sure the person who will be inheriting your rig knows how everything is set up.
      • Clean up anything that is particular to your experimental setup.
      • Return any dissection tools to Eve that aren't yours.
    • Your computers (for computational biologists and experimentalists)–see next section

Data and computers

  1. First, backup all your data onto the archive 
    1. Data on the archive is organized by lab notebook, and by papers/manuscripts. It should be possible for a complete novice to re-create all your figures, and figure out which data went into which figure.
  2. Delete your user accounts. Remove passwords from accounts. Don't lock anything! 
  3. Return any hard drives you may have to the person responsible for hard drives. 
  4. Write summary pages/Table of Contents for each of your lab notebooks. A copy of this summary page should go in the front of your lab notebook and in the summary book (with the page it's on indicated next to the lab notebook number in the Table of Contents).

Other Items

  1. Hand over any lab jobs you are responsible for to the next person, and make sure they know enough to take over.
  2. Make sure the lab has a bound copy of your thesis/dissertation for departing MS and PhDs.
  3. Return your lab key to the Biology Office (Volen 206)
  4. For post-docs: let the Division of Science Personnel (located in Volen 206) know when your last day is. There is associated paperwork that needs to be filled out in advance. For more information please see the Personnel webpage.
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