Graduate Studies

Opportunities in translation

One of the many challenges of starting a career in research is finding a successful path early on.  There’s no use putting the entire course of your life on track to be the worlds greatest Phrenologist or VCR repair man, you want to pick a field that’s going to be around in 5 years.  Or better yet, choose a field that wont even exist for five years, and be one of the first to make the big … Read More

Assembly required

Hello Lady! Yes, that salutation is a clear act of thievery from my favorite New York radio host Elvis Duran, but I just had to include it. The first three weeks of the new term for the downtrodden PMCB firsties have passed, and with them came new classes, new rotation labs, and slushy-experiment-gone-bad-weather (here’s a little present for all you closet Gleeks out there).  Instead of Biochem and Genetics, we are now being navigated through … Read More

Nothing to lose, funding & perspective to gain!

Taped to the wall next to my computer is a picture of an adorable little boy who suffers from a genetic disease. His mom sent it to me when she mailed in forms for my clinical research project that is funded by an Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Center training grant. Being chosen as one of the 2011-2012 recipients of the yearlong Oregon Students Learn and Experience Research (OSLER) training grant has been a wonderful … Read More


Friends & family know—I love me some R. It’s not just my tattoo of co-founders Robert Gentleman & Ross Ihaka (Fig. 1), although that probably is a contributing factor, it’s the fact that I’m constantly talking about the open source stats. language, extolling its virtues from the highest to the lowest points of OHSU (5th floor of the BICC, & when the administration realized the Supreme Court was serious about removing the tort cap, respectively). … Read More

Getting inspired at the 11th Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students

As I was leaving Portland to attend the 11th Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), as one of four people sent to represent OHSU, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Having only attended one other scientific conference that was in my specific field and did not include undergraduates, I was unprepared for the noise level and high energy that I encountered as I walked into the America’s Center in St. Louis, MO. ABRCMS … Read More

Where’s the Tylenol?

Looking outside, the weather seems to mimic my current outlook on life: dark, stormy, and full of gray patches. Luckily, ’tis the season of Christmas lights (or Hanukkah or Kwanza lights, if you would rather) and as we enter December, I feel more illuminated with each glowing yard ornament I see. After all, when else could you have an illuminated, life-sized Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus, Rudolph, angels, shepherds, snowflakes, candy canes, and reindeer in … Read More

Staying sane

Lets not kid ourselves about why we have so many holidays around this time of the year, it’s because we fracking need it.  This is a bleak and stressful time of the year, and now more than ever we all need a release.  Take it from the perspective of that lowliest of God’s creatures, the grad student.  You’re still shell shocked from midterms, finals are just around the corner, you’re running out of time in your lab … Read More

Scary science and involuntary urination

Happy All Hallows Eve witch’ez! To celebrate the most important holiday of the year (after Waffle Day on March 25th of course), I thought I’d share some of scariest stories from the world of research. Of course there’s plenty of fodder for this in the fictional realm, with your Frankensteins, Mothras, and your less popular Mansquitos, but the true stories of horror are far more compelling and terrifying. First up is research that isn’t so … Read More

Trick or Treat

If you don’t know the Disney Halloween song, you really should. Totally worth it! Halloween is absolutely one of my favorite times of the year, second only to Christmas. And, when you think about it, science and Halloween are really only distant cousins. After all, without one you wouldn’t get the other. Don’t laugh or role your eyes. It’s true! For example: 1. Dr. Frankenstein – what would Halloween be without the mad scientist villain? … Read More

At a medium pace

This week marked my very first week of grad school.  Huzzah, I guess.  I should probably feel excited or stressed, maybe exhausted or perilously sober, but who has the time to feel anything?  Right now I’m just busy.  Very. Very. Busy.  I knew that this was a challenging program going into it, but I can’t say I was entirely prepared for the break neck pace of it all.  Classes, studying, lab work, more studying, journal … Read More



Ever wondered what life is like as a student at OHSU? What does it take to become a researcher? Just how gross is gross anatomy? Welcome to the blog that answers these – and many other – questions. It’s students writing first-hand about their commitment to careers in science and health care. It’s honest about the challenges as well as the joys. It’s not always pretty. But it is our story. Thank you for sharing it with us. And please, let us know what you think.

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