Career Paths


Ex Lab

Can a Lab Junkie Escape and Find Happiness?

Yes. I know, because it happened --- to me.   I bet you would like a more detailed answer. Well... if you follow my posts, you will find out.   Some people say I am lucky to have my current government job as a regulatory health and safety evaluator. They are right. I feel very lucky to h...


My Start in Science

Hi All, As promised, today is my first entry explaining how I got into patent law following a career in science.  I became interested in biology while in high school, so I majored in biological sciences while at Rutgers.  However, I enjoyed freedom a little too much, and ended up failing ...



Sneaking out of the lab

During the summer of my first year in graduate school, I audited my first public-health class. The class was foreign territory to me. Rather than discussing the shortfalls of the latest name-your-favorite-protein study or squinting at and scrutinizing the faint lines on a gel in a publication figu...



The few, the proud, the Smurfettes of Science

It happened again.  Here I was at a scientific gathering in Bethesda to discuss my favorite topic.  The brightest names in the field were present, ready to share their knowledge, wisdom and innovations.  As I looked around the room, it was clear that I was in the minority. Here I was,...



Networking Is Nothing to Fear

“It’s all about who you know, and I know Crackle.”  The comedian Mitch Hedberg knew the value of networking when he spoke these words.  Of course his ultimate goal was to gain a spot on the front of a Rice Krispies box (he thought the whole Wheaties thing was a bit overdone). 



Who’s the Boss?

This blog is dedicated to that most influential person in the life of any professional; one’s direct supervisor.   Let me start by saying that my boss, who I will call the “Big Boss,” is absolutely the most wonderful boss EVER! (Hey, you never know when Big Boss will decide to G...



Show Me the Money

Say it. Yes, say it. Thank you. Now don’t fool yourself in believing that just because you dedicated your life to the pursuit of knowledge that money isn’t important. It most certainly is. You could not do those experiments if you didn’t have funds to purchase pricey reagents. And have you hea...


Ex Lab

How Constructive Is Your Criticism? (Simon, Paula or Ellen)*

(I am interrupting my "how did I get here" posts, to discuss something that happened at work this week.) We have all heard the term "constructive criticism" and most of us have been on the receiving end of it, thinking unprintable thoughts about the person offering their assessment. But if you ...



Where are the MD-trained Medical Writers? Part II

So what can the individual medical student do to improve his or her writing? What can teaching institutions do to encourage more sophisticated writing among their students?



The job search – resources for the search part 1

In my last entry, I talked about the reasons why I wanted to leave academia. I was tired of the low pay and time spent in the lab with little progress. I was upset and frustrated in my postdoc and I definitely didn’t want to become a full professor and carry the responsibility of writing grants an...