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Showing posts from May, 2018

Stories of a Non-traditional Career Path

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Not everyone's career path is traditional.  Gabriel Leung and April Apostol are "more seasoned" graduate students in the Quantitative and Systems Biology program at the University of California, Merced. Here, they share their atypical trajectories to graduate school, and why they think embarking on a PhD a bit later in life better prepared them for the road ahead.

Gabriel
Growing up, science always had a place at the table;  Growing up, science always had a place at the table; my dad made a habit of interjecting notes about science into our dinnertime conversations. My dad had a small scientific library, in my early teens I loved to explore them and see how far I could read before I was completely confused. Included in this collection was, “the Molecular Biology of the Gene”, by James D. Watson, 1965, first edition. Amazingly, I was able to understand it and, by the time it was required-reading for my undergraduate eukaryotic molecular biology class, I was also amazed at h…

Getting a Job at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution

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In my last post, I spoke about my transition from functioning primarily as a researcher to becoming a professor that has more teaching responsibility at a primarily undergraduate institution (PUI). What’s different about life at a PUI? Well, the main focus is on undergraduate education. As we are scientists, much of our scholarship is still focused on performing impactful research. The difference? We are less dependent on soft money and integrate undergraduate students into our research whenever we can. I also integrate my research into the classes that I teach to get more students exposed to hematology and immunology. After all, it is a proven best practice for students learning science to actually do science! As you might imagine, it is a much different process getting a job at a PUI compared to obtaining a research position. Here are some tips for preparing and getting a job at a PUI.

Prepare for the career change. Think you want to teach? You should try it out! Some suggestions? T…

Lab Spotlight: Ott Laboratory

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Simply Blood Lab Spotlight
Each month, Simply Blood spotlights a lab focused on the research of basic hematology, immunology, stem cell research, cell and gene therapy, and other related aspects.  Get to know these different labs around the world! This month, we are featuring the Ott Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital.

How long have you had your lab?
We opened the lab here at the MGH Cancer Center in September, 2017.

How many members make up your lab? Students/postdocs?
Currently the lab is staffed with a lab manager and two research technicians - one in charge of running high-throughput small molecule screening assays and another in charge of functional genetic assays using the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology. We also have a computational analyst in our group who is responsible for processing and analyzing genome-wide transcriptomic and epigenomic datasets. Currently we are in the process of recruiting several postdoctoral fellows, including a synthetic organic chemist and a m…