Research science is inherently difficult. Let’s make it as enjoyable, productive, and efficient as possible!
Data, data, data!
I love data, and I want it to be the cornerstone of the research lab. Let’s leverage publicly available datasets for preliminary evidence to identify and contextualize important problems. If we think there’s a qualitative biological effect, let’s figure out a way to quantitate it. If we think it’s significant, let’s figure out the right statistical test to prove it. Let’s make clear, beautiful plots to communicate the results. When there are hidden patterns in the data, let’s use machine learning to help us find them. I’m a firm believer that data-driven, rational thinking is not only key to science, but can be applied to many aspects of life.
The vast majority of Biomedical PhDs will end up outside of academia; I’ve seen it with my own PhD cohort. I believe that the world is a better place when we all find what we’re good at, and what makes us happy. If your goal is to end up in industry, science communication, or policy, I’ll do my best to support you. Let’s make an individual development plan, make sure it works for both of us, and periodically check back on it to make sure we’re making progress; if not, let’s figure out what we can do to fix things. The work in the Matreyek lab emphasizes transferable skills in data analysis, biotechnology, and assay development that could be applied to a variety of private and public sector careers.
I expect you to be continually interested in learning and improving, and I expect the same thing of myself. If you think there’s something I can do better, I’d love to hear it. If you think I’m not providing something that I should be, please let me know. I think we all need to be as open minded as possible to grow. While all feedback is good, let’s aim for maximizing what we can do with positive feedback.
Work – Life Balance
Nobody is effective when they’re unhappy, and lab members should take the time they need to stay healthy. It doesn’t matter how much time is spent at work; the most important thing is that good science gets done. I myself often work at odd times of the day (and night), as that’s often when I have the most free time. If I write emails or messages at odd hours, that in no way should be viewed as a precedence for expectations in lab culture, and I don’t expect a response until the next period of normal work hours.