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Margo R. Monroe

Margo Monroe was previously a science blogger at Addgene and now works as a Staff Scientist at Hall & Steward LLP.

Recent Posts

9 Tips to Achieve Success in Academia

Posted by Margo R. Monroe on Apr 1, 2014 1:33:00 PM

This blog post is the first in a series that will feature advice for students, postdocs, and young Principal Investigators (PIs). We've interviewed Addgene depositors who are at various stages in their careers to get advice on choosing a lab, picking your research topic, starting a lab, and more. Before we start, we'd like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Tom Ellis (Imperial College London), Dr. Connie Cepko (Harvard Medical School), and Dr. George Church (Harvard Medical School) who took the time to answer our questions.

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Topics: Career, Interview, Investigator Feature, Career Readiness

5 Steps to Writing Grant Proposals for Grad Students

Posted by Margo R. Monroe on Feb 11, 2014 7:13:00 AM

Research at universities typically requires funding from a variety of government and academic institutions. New graduate students may assume that their advisor alone applies for these competitive grant applications; however, in some cases, your advisor may choose to allot some if not all grant duties to trusted students. For example, if the proposal call aligns with your work, your advisor may want to mentor you during the grant application process. When my PhD advisor first asked me to write a grant application due the following week, I felt overwhelmed. Jumbled thoughts such as “I have no idea how to write a grant!”, “I don’t have time for this if he wants data by next week!”, and “This is his job!” filled my naive mind. Moving forward from that first experience, I learned the details of grant writing, volunteered to take the lead on various applications throughout my graduate career, and helped receive funding towards my PhD project.

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Topics: Career

Extracurricular Activities for a Strong Science Career Path

Posted by Margo R. Monroe on Jan 21, 2014 10:08:00 AM

Which graduate student hasn’t been asked the question: “Academia or industry?” Once academia was the clear answer with a well-defined path to professorship. But recently a downward trend in funding and space in academic research labs has more students looking for other options. While graduate programs provide support for academic career development, it's often left to students to identify and build the necessary skills for alternative careers. Science Careers has developed a web-based, career-planning platform called theIndividual Development Plan (IDP) and uses it to match qualified scientists to jobs in industry, academia, and government. This great resource allows the undecided to learn about a variety of science professions based on their skills and interests. Once scientists identify potential career pathways, education and mastering new skill sets must occur by doing work outside of the lab.

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Topics: Career

Plasmids 101: What is a plasmid?

Posted by Margo R. Monroe on Jan 14, 2014 9:43:00 AM

Any newcomer who joins a molecular biology lab will undoubtedly be asked to design, modify, or construct a plasmid. Although the newcomer likely knows that a plasmid is a small circular piece of DNA found in bacterial cells, she may need some extra guidance to understand the specific components that make up a plasmid and why each is important.

This post - the first in our new “Plasmids 101” series designed to educate all levels of scientists and plasmid lovers - serves as an introduction to plasmids. Plasmids 101 will provide you with an overview of general molecular biology knowledge and techniques, and empower you with a firm understanding of the fundamentals. Our mission is to curate a one-stop reference guide for plasmids, so that you can spend less time researching the basics and spend more time developing cleverly designed experiments and innovative solutions necessary for advancing the field.


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Topics: Plasmid How To, Plasmid Technology, Plasmids 101

The Addgene Zoo - A Plasmid Repository with a Diverse Collection of Genes

Posted by Margo R. Monroe on Dec 31, 2013 9:50:50 AM

Over the past 10 years, Addgene has collected 30,000 plasmids contributed by over 1,700 research labs from around the world. These plasmids feature genes and expression systems from a variety of species beyond the human, mouse, bacterial, yeast, and zebrafish constructs commonly used in many labs. As more and more scientists contribute to Addgene’s library, the plasmid collection has started to resemble a large zoo filled with a diverse range of exotic animals. Let’s take a look at the some of the species represented in our collection.
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Topics: Fun

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