Balancing Act: Something has to Give
When Jerry Strauss, M.D., Ph.D., started his scientific career in the 1970’s, no one was talking about the notion of a work-life balance. Research was a monastic tradition of long hours and little glory, and Strauss accepted that.
“I worked like crazy and my family life was a blur -- I don’t even remember my children growing up,” said Strauss, dean of the school of medicine at the Virginia Commonwealth University. “But it was worthwhile because I was trying to achieve something, to solve medical problems through my work in the laboratory.”
A Place at the Bench: Women in Biomedical Research
In 2009, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund commissioned a series of articles by science writer Marla Broadfoot to look at the landscape for women in the biomedical sciences. Broadfoot was given free range to explore the subject area, and the articles were published in the Fund’s FOCUS newsletter. The first article appeared in July 2009 and was circulated through social media. Given the popularity of the articles, it was decided to compile them in the hope that they would inspire more thought and discussion.
Audiocast: Kent Hill
Dr. Kent Hill is professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics at UCLA. He received his B.S. degree from Northern Illinois University, with a double major in Chemistry and Biology. He worked as a product development scientist at Abbott Laboratories in Chicago and subsequently received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at UCLA. He went on for postdoctoral studies at the University of Iowa, and then he returned to UCLA to set up his own lab in 2001. He was named a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases in 2008, with the five-year award funding his research into cell-to-cell communication and social motility in the pathogenesis and development of African trypanosomes.
Awardee Profile: Tamica Stubbs
When you think of a typical high school science class, the names Jeffrey Dahmer and Son of Sam probably don't spring to mind. But this is no typical science class. And Tamica Stubbs is no typical educator. And those serial killers in the curriculum? They are just the tip of the iceberg.
Stubbs, a recipient of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Science and Mathematics Teachers, teaches a forensic science class at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology in Charlotte. The set-up for the class, which she has been teaching since coming to the school last year, is unlike most. Instead of a day-to-day lesson plan, Stubbs operates on a weekly schedule organized around hands-on, investigative case studies.
- Annual Report Published Each year the Burroughs Wellcome Fund publishes a list of the grants made during the previous fiscal year in an annual report. The Fund also summarizes its programmatic activity in this volume. This is the second year the Fund has moved to distributing a summary report while also posting a larger volume and audited financial reports in an online format. Please visit the Annual Report site to download any of the material and read the President's message.
- Opportunities and Challenges:Intersection of Bench and Population Science Students who aspire to solve big problems should be exposed to big problems, diverse approaches, available technologies, and chewy intellectual challenges early in their training to keep them from becoming locked in to a traditional discipline-focused worldview. That theme was one of many to emerge from a meeting of leadership from the Institutional Program Unifying Population and Laboratory Based Sciences (PUP) at the Burroughs Wellcome Fund in Research Triangle Park. Directors from the PUP Courses at Baylor, Emory, UCLA, and the University of Texas met with program staff on February 8, 2012 to discuss the opportunities and challenges of training researchers at the intersection of bench and population science.
- BWF Publishes Special Book for the North Carolina Science Festival The Burroughs Wellcome Fund, in addition to being a sponsor of the North Carolina Science Festival, published Science Explorers! Making Discoveries in Our World to help celebrate the event in April.
- Audiocast: Bijan Pesaran of New York University received the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences in 2004, which funded his study on cortical mechanisms for hand-eye coordination.
- Redefining Success in Science With tenure track positions harder to come by, many scientists are turning to alternative careers to make a living. Should a greater effort be made to keep them on track, or is life outside of academia good enough?
- Audiocast:Maya Saleh of McGill University was named an Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund in 2009.
- Examining the Regulatory Science Workforce In September 2011, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund provided support to gather scientists from academia and industry together with various biomedical funders to discuss workforce and training issues in regulatory science. The workshop, “Strengthening a Workforce for Innovative Regulatory Science in Therapeutics Development,” was held at the National Academies of Science in Washington D.C.
- Thriving in an Era of Team Science The fourth installment of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Development Guide series has been released. Thriving in an Era of Team Science, like the others in the series, offers tips and advice from established investigators on how to survive and thrive in collaborative science.
- Creating a Culture for Success: It's All About the People It is every budding scientist’s dream scenario: start-up money to spend, tons of ideas to test and an empty lab waiting to fill up. But before rushing to stockpile reagents and bring in warm bodies, new academics need to realize that those first additions can set the tone of their lab for years to come.
- Profile:Alfredo Dubra is emphatic that his findings in the open access journal Biomedical Optics Express from the Optical Society of America are the beginning of the work, not the end. By making a “simple” adjustment to the decades-old technology of adaptive optics, Dubra, a recipient of the Career Awards at the Scientific Interface, and his team enhanced the imaging of the retina, specifically the light-sensing cells known as cones and rods.
- Audiocast:Science Writers on Science Writing In September 2010, BWF hosted an evening with three authors of science-related books for the North Carolina Science Festival.
- Photos:2011 Career Award at the Scientific Interface Meeting On June 14-15, the Burroughs Wellcome Fun hosted a gathering of the recent recipients of the Career Award at the Scientific Interface.
Articles on rare disease research, using mobile technology at scientific meetings, and an evaluation of the Fund's informal science education efforts. This issue's audiocast is on informal science education programs and was recorded at the annual meeting of the Student Science Enrichment Program directors..
Articles on BWF's strategic planning outcome, the final installment of the Women in Science series, and profiles of Kenny Gibbs and Joseph Wu. This issue's audiocast is with Kerry Ressler who received a Clinical Scientist Award in Translation Research from BWF.
Articles on CTSciNet, a resource for physcian scientists, Moving On, a resource for scientists in career transistions, and the third in a series of articles on women in science This issue's audiocast is with Blossom Damania, an Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease. There is also a profile on the Catawba Conservation Camp.