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Synthetic Biology, Artificial Chromosomes, iGEM & More - Interview with Tom Ellis

Posted by Tyler Ford on Nov 29, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Today’s episode of the Addgene Podcast features guest host and Addgene European Outreach Scientist, Benoit Giquel. Traveling from our offices just outside of London, it was a short journey for Benoit to interview Addgene Advisory Board Member and lead researcher at Imperial College London, Dr. Tom Ellis. Dr. Ellis does research in synthetic biology and bioengineering including a recent effort to construct a synthetic yeast chromosome. Listen to learn more about Dr. Ellis, synthetic biology, synthetic chromosomes, and obstacles to becoming an academic researcher.

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Topics: Synthetic Biology, Podcast

Transferable Skills Guide: Teamwork

Posted by Eric J. Perkins on Nov 28, 2017 9:00:00 AM

recent survey of PhDs found that many researchers feel that they lack formal training in a variety of transferable skills. At Addgene we've set out to fill this gap by both highlighting that researchers do learn MANY transferable skills while working in the lab and by offering advice on areas where you might need some help. Today: Teamwork.

My first experience on a successful scientific team came as an undergrad at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Though some WPI students chose to go the solo route for their Major Qualifying Project (or MQP, the school’s equivalent of a senior thesis), I knew early on that I wanted to work with a partner. WPI’s emphasis on teamwork was what drew me to the school in the first place. The famous discoveries and experiments I’d been learning about for years were usually the products of teams: Watson, Crick, & Franklin, Meselson-Stahl, Hershey-Chase...Who was I to dispute history? And boy did I make the right decision. If I’d spent my senior year isolating pheromones from various C. elegans mutants by myself, I would have slowly gone crazy. As it was, my partner Mike and I split the work, shared the credit, and we both won accolades that would launch our careers in science.

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Topics: Career, Career Readiness, Transferable Skills Guide

AAV Titers: Where do they come from and what do they mean?

Posted by Leila Haery on Nov 15, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Remember the game show “The $25,000 Pyramid” where one player tries to get the other to guess a category by listing off things that fall into that category? Okay, let’s play! I’ll list the examples and you try to guess the category:

ELISA...
qPCR...
Digital droplet PCR...
DNA dot blot...
Transduction assay...
SDS-PAGE...
Electron microscopy…

Any guesses?

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Topics: Viral Vectors

Transferable Skills Guide: Career Planning Resources

Posted by Michael G. Lemieux on Nov 14, 2017 9:00:00 AM

recent survey of PhDs found that many researchers feel that they lack formal training in a variety of transferable skills. At Addgene we've set out to fill this gap by both highlighting that researchers do learn MANY transferable skills while working in the lab and by offering advice on areas where you might need some help. Today: Career Planning Resources.

The key to ensuring success during graduate school and beyond is to live in your lab, right? Wrong! While it is clearly a good idea to be diligent in your research, remember that you will not be a graduate student or postdoc forever, and you need to be thinking about what comes next. To that end, one of the most important things that you can do now is diversify. Read on for an overview of some of the resources you can use to better prepare for your career, and increase your chances of landing that next coveted job!

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Topics: Career, Career Readiness, Transferable Skills Guide

Career Insights: Technical Support Specialist

Posted by Klaus Wanisch on Nov 9, 2017 9:00:00 AM

A degree in the life sciences prepares one for numerous non-academic careers. Still, many start their scientific careers hoping to follow the traditional academic route (find tips for getting a faculty position here). Possible roadblocks only become obvious at rather late stages (i.e. postdoc level) and can include the pressure to publish in high-impact journals, and the requirement for a high grant success rate. At this point, candidates are highly experienced but often have to start pursuing other options.

While some non-academic career options require additional study for late career scientists to become more appealing on the job market (e.g. a postgraduate degree in law, an MBA, or similar), there are many roles out there that require exactly what life science PhDs can offer: vast practical lab expertise, experience in different scientific fields, and knowledge of how to troubleshoot problems at the bench. Specifically, roles in technical support make excellent use of the skills developed by life science PhDs.

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Topics: Career, Career Readiness

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