Biochemist Paul Doetschâ€™s recent appearance in a Science magazine feature on laboratory leadership led to a conversation with him about the challenges of graduate school.
He emphasized that scientific research is a team sport, and brilliance on the part of the lab head may not yield fruit without a productive relationship with the people in the lab. Doetsch suggested talking with Lydia Morris, a graduate student in the Genetics and Molecular Biology graduate program. Morris has been working in Doetsch’s lab for several years and is about to complete her degree. She has been examining the in vivo distribution of DNA repair proteins.
In this video, Morris and Doetsch talk about the differences between turn-the-crank and blue-sky projects, and the importance of backup projects, communications, high expectations and perseverance.
Cilia are tiny hair-like structures on the outside of cells. Your memory of cilia may extend back to biology class, when you saw a picture of a paramecium or lung tissues, where cilia keep surfaces free of dirt and mucus.
Ciliated cells in the human oviduct
In the last few years, scientists have been learning more about cilia’s many roles in the body. Nearly all mammalian cells have cilia, and they are thought to act more like antennae, sending and receiving signals.Â Defects in cilia have been connected to lung, heart, kidney and eye diseases. Accordingly, Emory’s 15th BCMB training grant symposium focuses on cilia, beginning Thursday evening with a keynote talk by Susan Dutcher from Washington University, St. Louis and extending all day Friday.
At Emory, cell biologistÂ Winfield Sale’s laboratory uses the model system of the alga Chlamydomonas to study dynein, a molecular motor that drives the functions of cilia. In addition,Â geneticist Tamara Caspary’s laboratory is studying how defects in cilia can lead to altered embryonic development. Ping Chen’s group has been examining cilia in the context of inner ear development.
This week’s program is sponsored by Emory’s graduate program in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology, the Departments of Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Biology, Microbiology and Immunology, Physics, the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences and the Woodruff Health Sciences Center.