16 November 2012
This last week our two graduate students Shanique Young and Ryon Graf presented posters of their research at a major international scientific conference held right in their own backyard: downtown San Diego. To the backdrop of the beautiful white-sailboat-filled San Diego Bay, the Sheraton Hotel hosted scientists from as far away as Israel and Finland as they converged upon the joint symposium of the American Society of Matrix Biology and the Society for Glycobiology.
Image: Ryon poses with his research poster.
Shanique presented her new research on the roles of integrins in models of neuroblastoma metastasis, and Ryon presented on conditional protein interactions that might link together therapeutically relevant areas of cancer biology.
Both students received great feedback on their work, and enjoyed the open, collaborative environment. Although science is communicated more and more electronically in the 21st century, there are many positive benefits to the more socially inclined research conferences such as these, like forging future collaborations.
Summer might be winding down, but things are busy here in the Stupack Lab. Our scientists are currently performing experiments with: purified protein, cancer cells, cancer stem cells, cancer cells in extracellular matrix and mock-cancer environments, with mice, and slowly coalescing data, ideas, insights, and models into several manuscripts that are being prepared as this is typed.
The absolute worst ideas are the ones people keep to themselves.
Today is 3.14 (year 2012). Happy Pi day to all the math and science fans out there.
Everything in a medical research laboratory must be properly cared for and maintained. Here is Ryon demonstrating proper cactus watering technique, complete with carefully measured water volume, protective clothing and eyewear. It’s much better than pouring water on the poor cactus’s head or trying to lift him out of his pot.
A little science humor:
Most information in biology follows the path: DNA -> RNA -> Protein. But, certain viruses can also do RNA -> DNA. So, they were named “retro” viruses. Their information literally “goes back” into the host genome to complete its life cycle.
image source: http://kqedscience.tumblr.com/post/13829672539
We are pleased to announce that Ryon Graf has passed his Qualifying Examination for his PhD. In about two years’ time he will attempt to defend his thesis work, the course of which is thesis committee has now approved. One earns a PhD in biology (or Ryon’s case, Molecular Medicine) once one has demonstrated to have made a contribution to science, and is fully capable as an independent scientist.
However, one does not need a PhD to be a scientist. At its core, a scientist is one that defines their world by repeated experimentation and observation, and contributes this knowledge to a wider audience. A PhD is one path to get there.