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Showing posts from April, 2016

Getting the Most Out of Your ISEH Membership

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Each year as the abstract submission deadlines approach for the various hematology and stem cell meetings, the same discussions can be heard occurring between trainees regarding the need (or not) to join a particular society as a member. Beyond the significant discount on your registration - which on the average postdoc salary or student stipend may alone be a valid reason - joining a society as a trainee member can be an invaluable pathway toward achieving your scientific goals. There are actually very few downsides to joining a scientific society- beyond the financial benefits, you get to meet likeminded individuals from around the globe, you have a valid reason to travel to interesting places for meetings and you have first pass access to cutting edge science. But it is important to realize that passive membership doesn’t bring nearly the intellectual and social benefits that active participation can bring.

To help encourage trainees to maintain their membership between meetings, w…

Tips for Writing Eye-Catching Meeting Abstracts

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In effort to gain insight into preparing high quality meeting abstracts, members of the New Investigator Committee (NIC) and I recently contacted a panel of investigators who had previously reviewed abstracts for ISEH. Our findings were summarized in a recent Connections article, however, given that the abstract deadline for the ISEH 45th Annual Scientific Meeting has been extended to 15 April 2016, we thought it might be helpful to send out an abridged version of the original Connections contribution for review. 

Novelty & Significance
Two aspects that were highlighted as important by several reviewers were Novelty and Significance. Specifically, Dr. Margaret Goodell, Director of the Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Center at the Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, USA) commented: “There are no specific attributes, but we all want to learn something new that we did not know before.  So think about what is novel, and make it clear to the reader.” MickMilsom of the HI-STEMInstit…

Navigating Collaborative Science

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“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”  - Amy Poehler

Although this quote is from a Hollywood star and not a scientist, the sentiment rings true in our profession as well. Like actors, scientists who can think outside the box and push the limits can make paradigm-shifting discoveries. But we can’t do it alone.

Good collaborations can be incredibly fruitful. In practical terms, collaborations can allow the addition of complementary expertise to a project, allowing one to work more efficiently, removing the time it would take to establish new techniques or build novel reagents in your own lab. In less tangible terms, collaborators can be sounding boards that you can bounce ideas off and who push you to consider concepts you might not have otherwise. Good collaborations ca…