Graduate Studies

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

Graduate School: A mini-breakdown every 5 minutes?

When I was sitting in my sea-green graduation robe that fateful May morning in 2010, surrounded by my fellow Scrippsies and favorite professors, I did not really believe that a little over a year later I would be going to graduate school.  I had definitely decided against Medical School, as I had developed an aversion to both blood and people complaining about pain (sorry if that seems heartless, but a girl has got to know … Read More

A time for scholasticism

Last week OHSU received generous backing from Bob & Charlee Moore,  a couple who, in my mind, belong to a new generation of philanthropists (e.g., the Gates, the Knights, Paul Allen, etc.) who use their means to fund scientific research initiatives which have captured their imagination. It was truly an exciting occasion for the scientific community, but even more so for those of us who count OHSU our research homeland. It was a time to … Read More

Insanity, table for one

So it’s that time of year again where amid the smoky remnants of summer BBQs and the promise of crisp fall air I can just barely detect what can only be recognized as the smell of burning second year grad student brains. It’s qual season. A handful of posts back I promised to elaborate on this terrifying right of passage and I intend to make good. But first a quick refresher for the non-students among … Read More

Forget baseball, there is DEFINITELY crying in science

Today’s blog post comes straight from the request line. At the behest of my adoring public we are going to delve into the subject of–wait for it–crying in science. A strange topic perhaps but let my motives be clear. There is something very cathartic about knowing that you are not the only graduate student who has simply lost it on some poor unsuspecting peer (or in my case several faculty members). And if nothing else … 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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