Have a follow-up question after watching the video, or want to get Joanne's take on a related topic? COMPASS members will present selected questions to Joanne during a followup Google Hangout. This will be recorded and posted to YouTube as a response to the original video.

There are 3 ways to get your questions to us:
1) Leave a comment on the YouTube video
2) Tweet it @AmerSocCellBio and @JKamens
3) Fill out the anonymous form.

We look forward to receiving your questions by September 20!

You can meet Joanne at the ASCB Annual Meeting in New Orleans where she will present at a Career Discussion Panel at 11:00am on Monday, December 16th.

Published in COMPASS Points

Today's new graduate students generally begin their studies expecting to follow the well-trodden path to academic success: earn a PhD, do a short stint as a postdoc, get a faculty position, and work feverishly toward tenure. Yet a growing body of evidence shows that many of these students will someday find themselves traveling a different road. With the explosion of biotech and the corresponding rise in patent law, science policy, and journalism, biomedical PhD graduates have more career choices than ever.

Published in COMPASS Points
Friday, 09 August 2013 00:00

How Can We Let Them Know?

Science is at the crossroads: Amazing discoveries are being made every day but there is a severe reduction in funding for biomedical research. Most scientific funding comes from government agencies, and I believe it is put toward the common good of both scientists and nonscientists. But do nonscientists believe that?

Published in COMPASS Points
Friday, 02 August 2013 00:00


When the public thinks of scientists, they probably think of Albert Einstein. After that they probably can't think of too many. Indeed, the majority of the public can't name a living scientist. There have been attempts to reverse this statistic and engage scientists with the public. Presumably, a public well versed in science can make better-informed policy decisions. At the very least, a public that understands and values science is necessary for the sustainability of science.

Published in COMPASS Points

 HW35468COMPASS is composed of four subcommittees. The social subcommittee is focused on promoting interactions among scientists at the annual meeting and throughout the year. Our team strives to keep members connected, involved, and interactive. We are dedicated to improving communication, fostering professional and social relationships, and expanding the ASCB network. Indeed, one of the best aspects of ASCB is networking. The social subcommittee has lots of projects in the works and a few creative ideas in the pipeline to boost your networking potential.

Published in COMPASS Points

The Arab world. Let's face it, when you hear that term, most of you don't really think about science. In the best case scenario you think about the "Arab Spring" that has gripped that part of the world recently... but that's the best case scenario, let's be honest.

Published in COMPASS Points
Thursday, 11 July 2013 15:46

Searching for a search engine

One of the things I love most about being a scientist is constantly learning. Normally that means regularly searching for new papers published in my field of research, either by entering the term/gene/topic in PubMed or by scanning the tables of contents of a handful of journals I follow. However, every once in a while an experiment spits out an unexpected result that changes the course of the whole project, linking my research to something I know nothing about.

Published in COMPASS Points
Tuesday, 02 July 2013 20:00

Please comment on why you don't comment

Scientific work progresses through the communication of ideas and almost every scientist I have ever met tends to talk ad nauseum about their research or science in general. Yet as much as scientists like to talk about their work and to publish their work, very few comment on articles. Indeed, every COMPASS Blog post has been read well over 100 times, yet there have been 0 comments. I published one research article that has been read over 22,000 times but has received only eight comments, two of which were our own (1).

I wonder why scientists do not comment on articles? So, rather boldly I ask you to comment below on why you may not typically comment on science articles.

1. Nicholson JM and Ioannidis JP (2012) Research grants: Conform and be funded. Nature 492, 34-36

Published in COMPASS Points
Monday, 24 June 2013 14:57

3D Print Your Favorite Protein

I have a poster session coming up, and I wanted to show a homology model built by my collaborator Justin Kollman. In the past, I've found that "feelies" (like flip books) are a great way to engage visitors. Given that my department just got a MakerBot Replicator 2X, why not 3D print the .pdb? In going through this process, I enjoyed an unexpected benefit: handling a physical model led me to a far deeper understanding of the structure than I've been able to get by spinning it in virtual space.

Published in COMPASS Points

The COMPASS career development subcommittee is a new team dedicated to expanding career development and training through ASCB. We have been assembling several initiatives, ranging from events for the Annual Meeting to year-round resources. We are excited about what we have in store and we are looking forward to making a splash in New Orleans this December!

Our first project is a series of Career Perspectives, in which we bring together the collective wisdom of today's biomedical workforce to provide first-hand insight into the vast array of career options open to cell biology trainees. We reached out to recently-hired friends and colleagues in a variety of positions, including academic faculty and staff, industry scientists, science communication experts and business administrators. We asked them to share their personal career pathways and to give advice on how to successfully follow in their footsteps. We will be publishing more than thirty career perspectives on the ASCB website in the near future, so stay tuned for some interesting and enlightening stories!

Published in COMPASS Points
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