How afraid are you of your supervisor?

A dry mouth, excessive sweating, aphasia – hopefully that is not what you experience when you need to talk to your PI. For some, however, the benign stress response ahead of meetings that you may be familiar with turns into an unbearable condition. Recently, Dr. Diamandis, professor at the University of Toronto, addressed what he recognized as a “growing phobia” in a Nature article sparking … Continue reading How afraid are you of your supervisor? »

Time to become a PhD – Time to fasten up becoming a PhD

In our last article I wondered how long it takes for students at our faculty to finally get their PhD after having submitted their thesis. Surveys among alumni (n=32) showed that this final step takes about five months. 70% of the former PhD students were not satisfied with how long it took from handing in their thesis until their defense could take place. This time … Continue reading Time to become a PhD – Time to fasten up becoming a PhD »

Time to become a PhD – The dream of graduating soon

Imagine, years have passed and you reach the far away goal of your dreams: (*) You have written up your PhD thesis and are ready to hand in! And, almost equally satisfying, you are ready to smile back at those people’s faces who have been driving you crazy the years by asking “When will you be finished?“. After such a long time you can finally … Continue reading Time to become a PhD – The dream of graduating soon »

The good, the bad, and the ugly – Cell culture as substitute for animal-based research

The “Three R principles” are quite old but represent a “must-have” (or rather a “must-be”) in our daily lab routine. In 1954, the Universities Federation of Animal Welfare (UFAW) approached two scientists who were instructed to inaugurate a systematic study of laboratory techniques in their ethical aspects. Based on their reports, a book named “The 3Rs” was published in 1959, which describes guidelines for a … Continue reading The good, the bad, and the ugly – Cell culture as substitute for animal-based research »

What are iMATEs?

Have you ever wondered what the term iMATEs stands for? In this cool little presentation here Ru-Lin Cheng from the group of Percy Knolle explains the role of iMATEs in the liver and how they can be used to influence immune reactions in the liver. Check it out!

How a snail became a lion – Interview about PhD and industry experience

As the wine and the cheese were getting low, and the candles were burning down I was learning more and more about my friend’s (who wished to remain anonymous) half-year-long experience as a consultant in a company specializing in business consultancy in the health care field. Her job is to collect information (internet search, phone calls, field visits etc.) about a given health care topic. … Continue reading How a snail became a lion – Interview about PhD and industry experience »

Alzheimer’s Disease Congress – Quality rather than quantity….

It was 4:00 in the morning and my alarm started to ring. I quickly woke up and looked at the watch, “Is it really 4 o’clock?” But no, my mobile hadn’t gone haywire… Alas! I stood up and got ready; I had to catch a flight at 7:15. I made it to the airport in time, where I met my colleague Stella. That’s how our … Continue reading Alzheimer’s Disease Congress – Quality rather than quantity…. »

Farmer, musician, athlete, and more – Stress relieving activities of our lab workers

Our daily lives are full of pipetting, operating complex machines, reading scientific literature, preparing talks, posters, and manuscripts. As recently pointed out, this makes many of us “stressed like a PhD student” , a group of individuals, who are among the most stressed occupational group. So, it’s pretty obvious that PhD students come up with certain techniques to combat the constant pressure. In order to … Continue reading Farmer, musician, athlete, and more – Stress relieving activities of our lab workers »

Good Scientific Practice: Your Opportunity to Shape the Future of Science

“Science is a business shaped by information, facts, novelties.“ “The common aim is to push the boundaries of what is possible.“ “Higher, faster, further“. “Good, better, the best.“ “Science is a tough business.“ „Publish or perish.“ Statements reflecting a system peppered with expectations and very limited space for individuality and creativity – features in fact required for above mentioned approaches. However, these are sentences a … Continue reading Good Scientific Practice: Your Opportunity to Shape the Future of Science »

A short story about visiting land of wonders, Georgia, as a PhD student

When I was first asked to write a blog article, I thought ok: I could write about the scientific part of the congress, which I attended in Georgia. But given the fact that I was not only impressed by scientific input but also other facts in Georgia, I decided to somehow make a mixture and write about both aspects and focus on how the cultural … Continue reading A short story about visiting land of wonders, Georgia, as a PhD student »