Advice to prospective graduate students and postdoctoral fellows

Why Science Rocks?

Quotes from Jon Yewdell's article "How to succeed in science: a concise guide for young biomedical scientists. Part I: taking the plunge"; Nature Reviews in Molecular and Cellular Biology, 2008, (5):413-416.

“...The future health, wealth and even survival of mankind depend on a deeper understanding of the laws and mechanisms of nature and on using this information to develop new technologies and therapies...”

“ will be equipped for success not only in science and its allied occupations, but in virtually any career that requires rational decision making (and in some, such as politics, that ought to)...”

“...for individuals with a hunger for knowledge and an insatiable curiosity about how things work, science offers a constant challenge and, best of all, the intense thrill of discovery. What can match being the first person who has ever lived to know something new about nature? ...If this doesn’t give you goose bumps and if you are not in a rush to get to the laboratory in the morning to find the results of yesterday’s experiment, then you should seriously consider a non-laboratory career...”

“ is one of the most communal activities ever pursued by humanity, and is among the most international careers possible. You will probably be interacting on a daily basis with scientists from all over the world, both in your laboratory and over the internet...”

“...Once established in your career, you can fly to dozens of cities across the globe and be greeted by a colleague that you either know personally or through reading each other’s publications...”

“...You might even train a generation of researchers in your laboratory  who will disperse around the globe to pass the torch of the scientific method...This generational transfer of Scientific Methodism is, in fact, the most important and tangible achievement of a scientist...”

Read this if you want to join our laboratory and share our scientific journey and adventures:

1) As a prospective graduate trainee, I am fully aware that choosing the “right” laboratory is the most important decision you will have to make.

2) Many prospective trainees often choose a lab based on the topic of research, overlooking that a good mentor is crucial; good mentors usually have good projects.

3) I expect that graduate students in the lab become experts in the scientific method. This can be achieved by pursuing any project. In general, our projects enable graduate students to design, perform and analyze experiments on routine basis. A major emphasis on training focuses on developing the student's ability to conceive crucial controls and data interpretation in a meaningful way.

4) I expect that postdoctoral fellows become fully independent scientists. They are encouraged in the lab to take leadership roles in research projects, collaborations with other colleagues in the lab, and also in supervision of undergraduate and graduate students.

5) Science is fun and the people here in the lab are happy and enthusiastic about their research. But do not take my word for it; e-mail them and ask them yourself.

6) Students and postdoctoral fellows in the lab are not “my students” or "my postdocts"; they are my colleagues.

7) Keep also in mind that science is a lifestyle and if you are not motivated and believe that there is another life after leaving the lab to go home every day, or are not enthusiastic to come back the next day and excited about your experiments...well science may not be the best career for you.

Miguel Valvano

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Are you interested in joining our laboratory? Then read more

  • Do you enjoy adventure and exploration and don't care being frustrated from time to time?
  • Have you ever wondered how does it feel to discover something new?
  • You don't like the routine of a life without excitement
  • You would like to explore the fascinating world of microbiology but you are not a microbiologist
  • If the answer to all of the above is YES! click on any of the links below as appropriate