Kayly Lembke

Thanks for the memories

Six years. 72 months. 2,190 days. 52,560 hours. 3,153,600 minutes. I began graduate school as an early 20-something in September 2011. I wanted to be a scientist, I wanted a Ph.D. I knew it would not be easy; I could not fully understand what the experience would truly mean. There are many types of students at OHSU: Medical students, dental students, nursing students, master’s students, certificate students, and then there are the Ph.D. students. We … Read More

Little joys

“One can have, it turns out, an affection for the war years.” – Steve Martin Listicles are often berated as lazy, short, psuedo-pop articles not worth the time it takes to spell check listicle. Short? Yes. Pop? Sure. Lazy? But effective. I am, by nature, a list maker. As this is my fifth fall at OHSU, and fall is my favorite season, I have naturally been reflecting back on my time here as a Ph.D. … Read More

Null Data, or What It Isn’t

Fourth year. It means different things to different people. Sometimes it means the end is in sight, you have a paper out and next year you will graduate. Sometimes it means that the end was in sight, but it has relocated somewhere on the map, you can’t find it, and you’ve stumbled into a very dark cavern where the walls are getting closer and closer as you move forward. And sometimes it just means you … Read More

Buckets of water and ice

Summer is the funnest, easiest time of year. First, there’s the delightful sun and heat that we miss during the rather wet Oregon fall, winter and early spring that enables us to wear any shoe we wish (within reason) and not risk walking around all day with wet feet. Second, and best of all, you can be in lab all day, everyday and never be interrupted by classes or seminars or journal clubs…it is just … Read More

You know you’re a grad student when….PART DEUX!

I was going through some old posts – my little, growing collection of posts – and realized that some of them are just, well, kind of depressing.  That’s not to say grad school itself is depressing, or that I am even depressed. And then I found one of my all-time favorites ‘You Know You’re a Grad Student When…” I wrote that post in March of my second year. Those were good times – sigh. But … Read More

Research by the day

In this place, every week is Research Week. May is always an exciting month for graduate students because it is in May that OHSU Research Week annually falls. The modern manifestation of what was once called the Student Research Forum, Research Week is a time to see what other people on campus are doing, learn new things, lend support to fellow students participating in the 3 Minute Thesis, and hear from interesting keynote speakers. Despite … Read More

Reflections of Graduate Experiences

When I sat down at my computer to write this, my first blog post since last March, I was not exactly sure what to write. Over the past ten months I have attended the Drosophila Neurobiology Cold Spring Harbor course (which changed my science life), written a qualifying exam, done edits to my qualifying exam, achieved candidacy, presented a poster at the Drosophila Neurobiology Cold Spring Harbor conference, had margaritas with my great science grandfather, … Read More

You know you’re a grad student when…

1. A three day weekend = catch-up lab time. 2. You reason against showering because no one outside of lab will see you that day. 3. You get up at 5:30 AM to get out of lab by 8:00 PM. 4. Your calendar is planned around all the free food activities on campus. 5. You got really excited about new data and a week later saw all of it in a newly published journal article, i.e. … Read More

The inevitability of discovery

This past weekend I took two hours off from writing and lab work, drove myself to the movie theater, and saw the breathtaking wonder that is Jurassic Park in 3D. JP holds a special place in my heart because, as a little girl, it enchanted me in much the same way as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The power of what humanity can do and not do inspired me, even at 4 years old. … Read More


No term is easy. No experiment is a walk through the park, no class is not challenging (whether it’s like the teacher is spewing out facts in Greek or you are bored out of your mind). “Anything worth doing….” as the saying goes, though sometimes I wish there were more hills and less valleys. Sitting in my Developmental Neurobiology class a couple of weeks ago, the lecturing professor did some cool things. He talked history. … 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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