Wow, what a whirlwind of a month this has been. Blogging has been very light because JP is some sort of crazy busy. We’ve got two more big grants going out at the end of the month but that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of my busyness level. Some highlights:
1) Most of the trainees in the lab went out of town over the break (most back to their home countries in a variety of scattered places). This meant that JP got back into the lab and did a whole bunch of very interesting experiments. Some of them flopped, one of them hit the big time. Looks like we’ve got a new and very interesting project to get together for summer grant deadlines!
2) JP got asked to become an associate editor at another important (for my field) journal. Since I was already doing so much reviewing for them this has not resulted in more, but it is nice to be recognized for my reviewing efforts.
3) JP also got asked to join a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) for a pharma company. This has meant more work and I just got hit with the packet for our upcoming SAB meeting. Lots of interesting stuff in there and can’t wait for the big meeting, it should be interesting. The consulting paycheck will be welcome too.
4) Our Medical School has a new VP and the new VP got a tour of the labs yesterday. A very nice Big Cheese was kind enough to include the JP lab in the tour. We got some good face time with our new overlord and it seemed to go quite well. Hopefully he’ll remember us as he thinks about highlighting the exciting research going on at his new institution.
5) Someone at one at JP’s primary professional societies continues to show an appreciation for JP’s research. 2 out of the past 3 years I have submitted a poster abstract and ended up getting selected to give a talk (we still present the poster, separately). This year they chose our abstract for a talk again. That makes 3 out of 4. If only we could have that kind of success for grants!
6) Speaking of grants, we got a DOD grant review back where we got a very good score and the primary criticism was on the percent effort for the PIs (it was a collaborative project). Is that even grounds for criticism? We had a low percent effort because the budget was fixed and we actually needed the money to pay the postdocs and buy the supplies. We didn’t get funded. In fact, they funded 2 out of 84 grants in our area. How’s that for success rate? I get the impression that they have just enough money in these programs to allow some congress person to toot their horn about the research they are mandating. Oh well, we have so many grants with great reviews written now that it is worth the effort to continue to try even though we know the chances are slim to none. Interestingly, many of these are in a 12 page format. Can’t wait for the new NIH page limits!
7) JP is the course director for one of our Department’s core courses now. I’m doing a bit of an experiment in terms of the way the course will be run and the first day was yesterday. I’m afraid that my grand plans are going to have to get scraped as I quickly realized that someone is doing a bad job in their teaching of molecular biology. I informed our Chair that I wasn’t very pleased about this and apparently I am not the only one. Looks like we’re gonna have a bit of a confrontation in the not so distant future…
8) JP needs a vacation. Luckily he is about to get one. We’re off to Vail in a week for some R&R with some old college buddies and our significant others. I may never leave the hot-tub on the patio of the condo, well, maybe just to grab another beer.