In celebration of Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, Dr. Robin Patel, Chair of the Division of Clinical Microbiology at the Mayo Clinic, shares her insights on how to become a laboratory technologist and a story of how one observant laboratory technologist led to a new standard of care for lung transplants on This Week in Microbiology (TWIM) #150.
How do you tell your dissertation/postdoc mentor that you are considering a career different from an academic research position? We discuss hurdles that trainees encounter and provide tips on having a career discussion with your mentor.
Graduate school is no walk in the park, and the first year can be especially hard because of the challenges that come with being in a new environment, learning what is expected of you, and the rigors of balancing lab work and classes. Many students end up feeling helpless, overwhelmed, and lost. We asked current graduate students about their first-year experiences and what advice they have for surviving the first year of graduate school.
Your first year of graduate school will probably consist of taking classes and doing lab rotations, a trial period to assess a lab and its people, while they assess you, to determine if it’s a good match. Rotations are like dating for a long-term relationship but with research and mentors. How many rotations do you do? How do you pick rotation labs? And, how long do you stay?
On International Women’s Day, we hear from women about their perspectives on thriving in the sciences. They recommend that women be more confident and find key mentors that can guide them through the initial stages of their career. They encourage all women to be supportive of other women and their choices.
Some of us know that we want to pursue a Ph.D. and conduct research, while others have doubts. If you had an occasional internship or no research experience at all, becoming a lab tech is a good way to assess whether research excites you. We interviewed Brittney Ivanov, a lab tech at Trinity University, about what she does and what factors to consider for a lab tech job. Her experience has taught her that research is a very collaborative environment that must include outreach to the general public.
In today’s world, direct engagement with those outside of science is critical not only to communicating what we’ve discovered, but also to promoting an atmosphere of trust between scientists and the public. Direct engagement can mean many things, but for Katherine Lontok, public outreach is a powerful and immediate means of bridging the gap. She explains what public outreach is, why it's important, and how to do it yourself.
You know about industry research, but what about government research that includes aspects of regulatory review? We break down how one student transitioned from academia to government, the differences between the two sectors, and how to get involved in regulatory review once inside the FDA. She also goes on to share her passion of getting more women into science.
You’ve finally landed a research job in a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company and after spending a few years mastering your job, you might want to move into the business side. But exactly how much business experience/background do you need to be competitive for a management position within industry? We interviewed Dr. Alita Miller of Entasis Therapeutics and Dr. Sarah McHatton of Novozymes to get their insights on this question.
With January being National Mentoring Month, we hear a personal story about mentorship from Dr. Alan Goggins, a new Microbiology and Immunology graduate. After a tough start with mentoring, he switched labs during graduate school and discovered a few factors to consider when finding the right mentor.