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Working in the lab requires a very active brain, every day. You need to be ready to face challenges, such as troubleshooting a single experiment or looking at the big picture of a collaborative project. Remembering to keep our bodies healthy helps keep our minds in a healthy state as well.
In Greek mythology, Mentor was the person whom Odysseus left in charge of his son Telemachus before leaving to fight in the Trojan War. According to Homer’s Odyssey, Athena, the goddess of wisdom, disguised herself as Mentor and visited Telemachus several times to advise him while his father was away. Today, the term “mentor” denotes someone who passes his or her knowledge and wisdom to somebody with less experience.
Ever since the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA, scientists have sought ways to edit the genome. Altering gene expression partially and transiently via small interfering RNA has come a long way, and the progress has been spectacular. However, achieving complete and sustained modification of gene expression in a cell remains a tedious procedure that is often costly and time-consuming. For molecular biologists working with cell lines, quick and efficient knock out of one or more genes would provide a powerful tool for their studies. The CRISPR technology arrived two years ago to potentially fulfill that need.
Negative data piling up on your desk likely hides a good amount of useful information. Why waste all the hard work by forgetting about it?
During my Ph.D., I decided to pursue my thesis project in a lab working in the RNA field and, more specifically, on the mechanisms of alternative splicing regulation. Moving onto my post-doctoral training, I decided to stay in this field mainly because I found it fascinating to work with RNA. It is such a flexible and diverse molecule, but also largely unexplored. I believed that this relatively new area of research would attract more interest among scientists, and the last few years show that I was thinking in the right direction.
Discovery was always fascinating to me. The curiosity of how a cell looks under the microscope and how a volcano erupts under the earth’s crust has led me to pursue a career in science. I still remember how excited I felt after my first experiment in a lab class where we had to touch an LB-agar plate with our fingers before and after we wash them to see what grows on it. I still hold on to the feeling of surprise when I saw mold growing because of my dirty fingers.