WIRWed: 12-19-12

This past week has been hectic and emotional.  In addition to packing up a lab, moving, and unpacking into new lab space, I’ve been distraught, as many of you were, over the tragedy in Newtown, CT last Friday.  As a result, I haven’t had much of a chance to do actual scientific reading, at least … Read more

WIRWed 12-12-12

Week Three of What I’m Reading Wednesday! (#WIRWed, if you follow on twitter) You may have noticed I didn’t post last week.  Well, I was elbow deep in ethics training, bloodborne pathogen training, and microscope training.  Sharing that information may have had this effect: Not wanting to lose any of my new readers to sleep-induced … Read more

WIRWed: 11-28-12

Welcome to week 2 of “What I’m Reading Wednesday” (WIRWed)! I’ve noticed in these first couple of months of my post doc fellowship that my readings tend to take on a topical nature.  One week, I’m reading about inflammasomes.  The next week, I’m reading about interferon lambda.  This week, my focus is turned to microRNAs. … Read more

What I’m Reading Wednesday (WIRWed): 11-21-12

“What I’m Reading Wednesday” or WIRWed is a weekly post where I’ll share some of the interesting articles that I’ve come across.  As a student, I became far too focused on only those publications that directly related to my thesis work all the while missing the amazing science that was going on around me.  What … Read more

Electronic Lab Notebooks

Ten years ago, when I was working as a research associate in the biotech industry, someone suggested we switch to a digital form of notebooks.  At the time, we all thought she was crazy.  And, at the time, we were right.  No one had smart phones, at least none of us actually working in the … Read more

Read Cube

Look familiar?

As a grad student, I probably destroyed acres and acres of trees with printouts of scientific articles.  I love to organize with binders and I had a 4″ binder for each aspect of my thesis research: TLR2, Arenaviruses, innate antiviral responses, etc.  The day I cleaned out my desk/bench space, I filled several boxes with paper to be recycled.

Read more

Wax On, Wax Off

We make sacred pact. I promise teach (science) to you, you promise learn. I say, you do, no questions.

Much like Daniel-san, I had a thesis mentor whose practices were less than traditional.  We didn’t have many conversations regarding science, career ambitions, or research strategies.  It was a much more “Here’s some rope, don’t hang yourself” kind of deal.

Not getting anywhere with the project handed to me? It was up to me to find a new one (learned how to search current literature, find an open question, figure out how to answer it and write a proposal).

Bad experience presenting data at department forum? I learned from my mistakes, modified my presentation style and cues, and sought out ways to practice presenting.

Read more

Busy, busy

Daily To-Do List
Only 3/4 might actually get done

Just as I used to think I was busy pre-kids, I used to think I was busy when I was a grad student.  However, as a grad student, I had plenty of time to check my pinterest boards (melissawhayes, if you’re interested!), catch up on my shows (usually The Walking Dead and a couple others), heck, even sit down for an hour to eat lunch with friends.

Now my lunches are more like drive-by casualties.  Walking from one lab to the next, I grab as many bites as I can before the 15 steps between doors is up.  This is how I’ve been starting my day, every day, for the last two weeks (the actual items change daily, this is a rather short list):

Read more

Selecting a Mentor

Plan B, in case grad school didn't work out
Plan B, in case grad school didn't work out

When I started graduate school, I had been working for 6 years in the biotech industry.  Having had a handful of bosses during that time, I thought I knew how to choose a mentor.  In fact, I put much more weight on choosing the project than on the mentor itself.  I had it all wrong.

I’ve mentioned how my thesis mentor was less than traditional.  When I joined his lab, I hadn’t even rotated with him previously.  But I was infatuated with the project and the science and thought that would carry me through.

Read more