Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Can't get you out of my mind

Once upon a time (not too long ago though, maybe like 2 years), I had the privilege to test out custom made antibodies that were made for two transcription factors (please note the sarcastic tone when I say privileged). No other company was making antibodies for out TFs of interest and custom made antibodies seemed like the best option. After spending about a year, performing countless immunohistochemistry experiments, western blots, I was finally able to convince my boss that they weren't working (and by they, i mean about 12 different Abs). He was so convinced that they should/would work, No matter how many times I tried, it was always "user error". Now, don't get me wrong, I do believe in "user error" when it comes to experiments that should work but wouldn't work. However, this was a case of pure madness, and I just hated blots and looking at sections under the microscope for a very long time, not to mention the loss of self-esteem. Those Abs never worked, to this day my boss still tries them out on his own. I feel sad for him. oh well.

Fast forward today, we just purchased an Ab for pH3 and it worked so perfectly in my second trial that I almost shed a tear (almost though, you know what the song says: "big girls don't cry"). Why can't all the Abs work like this? So, I can stare at the sparkly signals through the objective and be happy all the time and not fuss and cuss. Oh the wonderful world of science.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

jinxing myself?

Damn it! I knew I shouldn't have publicized my interview next week:)

Now, I'm not the one to believe in a lot of superstitious stuff (maybe one or two and they're just a habit now) but i don't know how to explain the sudden death in the family of hopefully-soon-to-be-new-boss (hsbnb). She emailed me and said she wouldn't be there but her lab would be more than happy to listen to me, accommodate me and report back to her (which means i need to get along perfectly well with the lab people, especially the senior ones).

Of course, this is a very sad situation but I am really bumped that she won't be there. I was really looking forward to present my research to her! Anyways, I told her I would be happy to give my presentation to her lab people as I think this is most sensible thing to do. I also told her that we could arrange something in the future between us if we need to.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Interviewing for a post-doc position. it's easy as it sounds. or not.

So, it's that time of the graduate school where on one hand you try to finish up your experiments, trying to complete that puzzle called "thesis" and on the other hand you try to find a post-doc position so you can keep living a decent (and by decent I mean surviving, not having a decent life) life. Yep, I'm in that situation and hopefully will brave it through. 

So far, I have contacted two labs. One of them is in London, a cold and rainy place with cute brits and their cool accents. PI said he wants me (mind you, we had met during a 2 week long course and I had the chance to show him how awesome I am) but alas, he does not have the necessary funding to cover me. Well, sounds familiar? Seems like everyone is in the same situation nowadays with the current economic downfall. I really hope the NIH stimulus package helps a lot of PIs out there struggling to survive in these times, but that's another post. So, unless I can find a fellowship, that's not really going to work for me. 

Another one is in the US of A and a very nice place indeed. The school is one of finest schools and the PI does what I really want to do in terms of research. I met her during her visit to my gradschool for a seminar. We got along really well, and even though at first I wasn't thinking about doing a post-doc with her, her seminar was fantastic and well, we got along really well. I think, and I'm sure most of you do as well, it is very important to get along with your PI as you're gonna be working with that person for a very long time. 

So anyways, I will be going to the nice place next week for an interview. I've been working on my presentation for the last week and I think it's coming along nicely. I'm trying to make the story clear, concise and flowy as much as I can. I know the research from my heart and I'm sure I'll do a fine job in terms of presenting it (I spent couple of years on stage dancing, singing and acting so it really helps with standing in front of a crowd and bullshit your way through the presentation). 

Since, I've already met her and if I do a fine job with the presentation, I'm really hopeful that I can actually get the position. Cross your fingers people. I'll keep you posted. 

Oh and, a huge thank you is going to PiT for writing a post about interviewing for a post-doc position. Go read it here . It's insightful and the comments are also great to read as well.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Uh, oh, i'm here too

Ugh, I've been trying to start a new blog forever now but I could never gather that energy for it so far. I tried couple of times but I gave up quickly. We'll see what happens this time. I really want to keep going with this one. I actually like the name a lot this time. It reflects who I am and what I want to talk about perfectly.