Science Exchange Stories: Why Katriona Guthrie-Honea does science

August 29, 2013 | Posted by Team in Stories |

Katriona Guthrie-Honea blew us away with her response to our #WhyIDoScience birthday wish! Her story chronicles everything from DIYBio, entrepreneurship, and even how to handle rejection. We were inspired by her remarkable story below and are sure you will be too.

Katriona Guthrie-Honea

Katriona Guthrie-Honea

I first heard about genetics when I was eight. The human genome project had come out two years before, and people were entranced with the idea of genes and DNA. I became fascinated with the idea. DNA was awesome! I watched documentaries, read books, and started coming up with my own theories. Read the rest of this entry »

The Race to the Publish Line – Keeping Track of your Stats

August 28, 2013 | Posted by Fraser Tan in Grad School Help |

We scientists are awfully good at generating data. Organizing and retrieving it, though – that’s harder. In college, we were taught to use a sewn paper notebook and a pen to record all our data – take that idea and throw it out! The modern lab notebook needs to be flexible, scalable, searchable, browsable, share-able and secure. Read the rest of this entry »

The Race to the Publish Line – How to maintain a good pace in grad school

August 21, 2013 | Posted by Fraser Tan in Grad School Help |

The best way to maintain a good pace is to maintain your health, both mental and physical. The best way to do this is through the ever-elusive work-life balance. (This is a slight misnomer, in my opinion, because work is definitely a part of life, and for those of us who choose research, more a part of life than for most.) Each person has a different balance, but when that balance is out of whack, everything, including your work, will suffer. Read the rest of this entry »

Science Exchange Stories: Why Jeffrey Kahl does science

August 20, 2013 | Posted by Team in Stories |

We received this story from Jeffrey Kahl in response to our #WhyIDoScience birthday wish. We were so touched by his insightful story that we wanted to feature it front and center on our blog. Read Jeffrey’s full story below.

25 years ago I lost my Grandfather to Cancer.  I was very close to my grandfather and valued him for all that he taught me.

This all happened while I was finishing up high school and entering college.  I had no idea what I wanted to do with myself; youth minister, business major, theology, youth coach, engineer, or scientist.  I had no IDEA!

I always had a passion for science, tinkering with mechanical devices, conducting cool experiments with household chemicals, making monster volcanos or plastic bottle explosions.  Not even realizing there was a career in science.  No matter what, my Grandpa supported my explorations and gave me new creative ideas.  For him I am forever grateful for his love and support.

So, there were two defining moments in my life – the death of the one person that gave me the tools to become a young man, and my wife.  I found a sense of excitement in chemistry and a passion to make an impact with chemistry.  My wife had a love for science that rivaled my passion.  We became the Yin and the Yang, the Bonnie and Clyde, the nerdy science couple.   We have spent countless evenings at the dinner table talking about the excitement of chemistry and biology.  It’s been a match made in heaven.

25 years ago I made two promises to myself:

1)  I would do something influential with science; find a way to help people that suffer from disease.  Hence, I entered the biopharmaceutical industry and began the development of new therapies for inflammation, metabolic disorders and cancer.

2)  Share my knowledge of science with our future scientist “youth”, making science fun and enjoyable.  To foster the development of science and impart a sense of wonder to our youth.

I became a scientist to make a difference and to create excitement about the unknown and to solve those burning questions about how mother nature works.


Our birthday wishes come true – #WhyIDoScience results

August 19, 2013 | Posted by Team in Science Exchange News |

We’ve blown out the candles and recovered from cake coma, so it’s time to share the amazing and thoughtful stories from our Science Exchange community!

We were overwhelmed with the enthusiasm and support from our users – many individuals were so passionate, they didn’t want to limit their response to 140 characters. As a result, we’ll be featuring their stories separately on the blog throughout the week. Read the rest of this entry »

The Race to the Publish Line – How to Set a Pace for Grad School

August 14, 2013 | Posted by Fraser Tan in Grad School Help |
Word Notebook layout

Organizing with Word Notebook layout. Tip: each line is drag-and-drop-able!

I don’t believe there is a person out there who can’t be organized. They may not color code their shoes (who does that anyway? *ahem*), but everyone can manage their time efficiently. Now, this doesn’t mean everyone has to work from 9 to 5; different strokes for different folks. But knowing how you work, why you work, and what you’ve got coming up can help you stay on top of the myriad things grad school – and life! – throws at you.

Keeping track of everything you need to do will quickly outstrip your ability to remember it all. Writing everything down is the best way to never forget anything – and never worry you’ve forgotten something! Read the rest of this entry »

Science Exchange is turning 2 – come celebrate with us!

August 12, 2013 | Posted by Team in Science Exchange News |
1927 Solvay Conference attendees including Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, and Max Planck decked out in their birthday best!

1927 Solvay Conference attendees with Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, and Max Planck decked out in their birthday best!

Everyone gets sentimental when their birthday rolls around. We’re lucky enough to still be focusing on our original goal – revolutionizing the way science is done. So for our birthday, we want to hear your stories:

Tell us why you became a scientist.

Post your story on TwitterFacebook, or Google+ with the #WhyIDoScience hashtag, or email us at [email protected] with your story, and you might win a birthday gift of your own!

At the end of the week we’ll choose the top ten stories, feature them on our blog, and send you some Science Exchange swag.

Thank you for two great years and many more to come!

– Science Exchange Team

The Race to the Publish Line – How to get through your grad school marathon

August 9, 2013 | Posted by Fraser Tan in Grad School Help |
Photo Credit: Jan Willem van Wessel, Stijlfoto on Flickr

Photo Credit: Jan Willem van Wessel, Stijlfoto on Flickr

I went to graduate school immediately after finishing college at a small liberal arts college. I had a great research experience there, with a caring involved mentor who oversaw my every move, who engaged me at every moment, and pushed me at every step of the way.

I arrived at Stanford full of the boundless possibility of science, eager to be overseen, engaged and pushed just as much as I had been in college. In retrospect, I was a young naïf entering the world of research at a top tier institution.

Graduate school proved a very different research experience than I’d had before. My purported mentors were often busy, even absent. My real mentors turned out to be the people working the benches with me. My professors, even those with the best of intentions, rarely had the same time to spend with me as my undergraduate professors had. I had to learn to push myself, to engage myself, and, in many ways, to mentor myself. I didn’t do any of those things very well.

Every marathon runner knows you don’t start out sprinting. You want to set a steady rhythm, a pace you can maintain for the grueling 26 miles you need to cover. Graduate school is like that marathon – don’t sprint out the door!

In this series, I will try to address what I’ve learned about running the grad school marathon. I hope this helps at least some of you avoid the same things that slowed me down. Posts will be featured weekly on Wednesdays, so stay tuned!

Read the rest of this entry »

Science Exchange Provider Profile: Larry Dangott from the Protein Chemistry Lab

August 2, 2013 | Posted by Tess Mayall in Core facilities |

Meet Larry Dangott, the Director of the Protein Chemistry Laboratory at Texas A&M. Larry has been purifying proteins using chromatography and gels for over 35 years! I talked with Larry this week to learn about his extensive experience and his lab at Texas A&M.

Larry Dangott - Director of the Protein Chemistry Laboratory

Larry Dangott – Director of the Protein Chemistry Laboratory

When was the Protein Chemistry Lab at Texas A&M created, and why was it created?

The Protein Chemistry Laboratory (PCL) at Texas A&M University was established in 1997 in response to requests from the faculty to have a centralized facility to help faculty and students accelerate their protein research. The multiple Missions of the PCL are 1) To support and advance protein chemistry and proteomics research, 2) To provide state-of-the-art instrumentation and technical expertise and training for the application of modern technologies and 3) To help our clients to succeed. The PCL provides service to Texas A&M University System campuses, non-affiliated academic and non-profit institutions and commercial clients.

Who are the scientists that work at the Protein Chemistry Lab?

The laboratory services are provided primarily by two full-time career scientists, Virginia (Jinny) Johnson and myself, Larry Dangott. I received my B.A. degree in Biology from California State University, San José and my M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Biology from the University of Oregon where I was trained in comparative biochemistry of non-vertebrate respiratory proteins. My research interests center on gamete interactions and signaling and include the structure and function of receptors on sperm involved in the activation of sperm motility. Jinny received her B.S. degree in Biology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and her M.S. degree in Reproductive Physiology from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She has extensive experience in biotechnology support laboratories in addition to several years in clinical labs at the UT Southwestern and Veterans Administration Medical Centers in Dallas. Read the rest of this entry »

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