…by Katherine / from Canada / PhD Biomedical Sciences 2015-2018
It snowed yesterday. Yes, you read right, it snowed… Just last year I was eating my body weight in delicious Indian mangoes and now I’ve had to trudge to work in the cold rain. How things change…
Oyé oyé! I now have a viva date! April 13th 2018, Friday the 13th to be exact, is the day that I get to defend my thesis in front of an internal and external examiner. It’s a good thing scientists aren’t superstitious, right? (I say that as I gulp audibly only half for dramatic effect…) As the day approaches, I am getting more and more nervous. I’m re-reading my thesis and I can’t even remember writing it! I suppose that’s the side effect of writing it in November and having an April defense. I’ve already found a few mistakes, including a whole figure panel that was duplicated instead of having the actual figure put in! I’ll print that out and have it on hand for the examiners on that fateful Friday the 13th… My thesis is now colour-coded for background information, important references, rationales, key proteins and important results. I may have bought a new set of high-liters to annotate it all. I think I’ve got a good system going. I still have half my thesis to read and some key papers to re-read but I should have time to go through it all thoroughly before next week. (NEXT WEEK!!!!)
I’ve also been trying to keep on top of the latest literature in my field of research. I hear that a common question can relate to what has been published since submission. It’s good for me to keep on top of things anyway since I will be staying around the lab for a bit longer to finish up the experiments needed to submit papers. All in all, I think it’ll be fine. I still am nervous, but I suppose I can use that to my advantage. I’d rather be over-prepared than under prepared.
I’ve been continuing working in the lab completing datasets to hopefully put a manuscript together in the next few months. In fact, two weeks ago, I imaged 34 cells in a day! A new personal best! I imaged 84 cells in 4 days that week. I think that may be a new lab record! I’m slowly getting through all that analysis. Healthy cells are always a joy to image and analyse. It would be great if experiments were always so enjoyable.
I’m also trying to set up some new collaborations with other groups. This will not only potentially lead to more co-authorships on papers, but it will give me the opportunity to work with other people and learn new techniques which I am quite excited about. As I have mentioned so many times in these past 3.5 years of blogging, I love how collaborative the University of Edinburgh is. I also think I lucked out by being affiliated to many big Centres (Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences, Patrick Wild Centre, Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre and the Simons Initiative for the Developing Brain) where researchers use different approaches to study the same models. This provides the perfect environment for collaboration and also allows us to leave no stone unturned in the search for future treatments. It truly is an inspiring environment.
Now time to get back to my pastel high-liters while I am still inspired and motivated! Wish me luck!