Jason has a BS in biochemistry and runs experiments in a behavioral neuroscience laboratory at the Oregon Health & Science University and Portland VA Medical Center. His goal is to help make your research easier and more efficient by finding ways to meld science and technology to automate and streamline everyday labor-intensive tasks. His wheelhouse also includes all things data, image acquisition, behavioral and molecular assays, equipment troubleshooting and support, training, programming, project management, and laboratory safety. He created Greenbooks, a custom information system that makes decades of in-house research center project and sample sets instantly accessible with just a few clicks. He believes that scientific discovery does not always need to be made complicated, it just needs to begin well organized. His writings are that of his own. Connect together on LinkedIn.

Articles by Jason Erk

Reduce, Reuse, Refine Your Animal Model Resources with the ‘3Rs’

Reduce, Reuse, Refine Your Animal Model Resources with the ‘3Rs’

Russell and Burch first described the ‘3Rs’ concept in 1959. It acknowledges that animals are a valuable resource through which great discoveries can be made, but it is up to you to use them ethically and judiciously. The ultimate benefit is that people and animals will be able to live longer, happier, healthier lives! So…

From Cells to Scope: Chamber Slide Immunochemistry

From Cells to Scope: Chamber Slide Immunochemistry

Immunolabeling is the tried-and-true immunochemistry method of getting the stain you want onto the molecular target you want. Whether that target is contained within a large region of tissue (immunohistochemistry) or inside a single cell (immunocytochemistry), the ability to accurately label large numbers of samples will simplify your workflow and help you to achieve excellent…

The Dos and Don’ts of Weighing Dangerous Chemicals

The Dos and Don’ts of Weighing Dangerous Chemicals

A lot of chemical reagents are relatively non-hazardous.But there are just as many that are extremely hazardous, which means you’ll want to take precautions to reduce any risk of exposure, repeated exposure, and of course, accidental contamination of anything – or anyone – that walks out of the lab at the end of the day….

5 Digital Photomicroscopy Competitions

5 Digital Photomicroscopy Competitions

Have you ever considered that your data is a work of art in the making? In particular, microscopy has the potential to capture the clearest, most stunning moments in life. And when a scientist accomplishes that, it’s a feat to share with everyone.  Why not share it through a photomicroscopy competition? Photomicroscopy competitions quickly help…

How to Make Sure You Never Lose a Lab Sample Again

How to Make Sure You Never Lose a Lab Sample Again

It’s 11 PM…do you know where your samples are? If you dread the thought of having to hack through ice, snow and the bone-chilling depths of every freezer to locate them, flirt with frostbite only once. Better yet, never hunt for missing lab samples again! Here are some useful ways to keep track of every…

6 Ways to Maximize the Lifetime of Your Reagents

6 Ways to Maximize the Lifetime of Your Reagents

Reagents are expensive and are a significant cost to your lab. You know what to do to keep others from stealing your reagents. But contamination, improper storage and “lost” batches will all eat into your stock of reagents, bump up your consumables costs and waste your precious time. Unless you take steps to prevent them, that…

5 Misunderstood Chemicals That you are Using in the Lab

5 Misunderstood Chemicals That you are Using in the Lab

Common lab reagents may appear innocuous, but don’t be fooled! Sometimes even the most-used lab chemicals are hazardous to your health. It is important to make sure you have an understanding of the dangers a reagent can present before you use it. Which common chemicals should you look out for? Here is a brief look…

How to Make the Most Out of a Lab Internship

How to Make the Most Out of a Lab Internship

It takes some time to complete any professional education beyond a bachelors degree. So what to do if you’re not absolutely sure about spending the roughly sixty-or-so-months it takes to achieve a PhD? A hands-on internship or lab rotation is an excellent way to investigate science as a career. In a few short months an…

Don’t Wave Goodbye to Your Tissue Slices

Don’t Wave Goodbye to Your Tissue Slices

Coating (or ‘subbing’) slides for immunohistochemistry can be the difference between having an organized set of tissue slices ready for microscopy- or watching them detach and float away during a wash. It takes a lot of time to place tissue slices in correct anatomical order, aligned right-side up and flat. To the naked eye, all…

Five Reasons to Mentor an Intern

Five Reasons to Mentor an Intern

To become an expert in managing people and projects together, a scientist needs a variety of important skills to succeed. One way to add to an already impressive skill set is by mentoring others through internships. Students take internships to be exposed to new things. Mentors give internships to inspire others to do research. They…

10 Commonly Broken Good Laboratory Practices

10 Commonly Broken Good Laboratory Practices

What comes to mind when you think of good laboratory practices? To many, good laboratory practices describes the best conduct while working at the bench. The laboratory is a complex environment and understanding how small, seemingly innocuous, actions can have such a huge impact on the outcome of an experiment will help you to ensure…

Do YOU Want to Work in a Lab This Summer?

Do YOU Want to Work in a Lab This Summer?

Graduate programs in science can take an additional four to seven years beyond a Bachelor’s degree. That’s a lot of time to commit to advanced training! If you’re currently a high school or college student wondering if graduate school is the right path for you, perhaps an internship in a laboratory can help you decide….

The Perfect Slice: Preparing Tissue Samples For IHC

The Perfect Slice: Preparing Tissue Samples For IHC

When you stop to think about it, tissue slices for immunohistochemistry (IHC) undergo quite a lot of handling. From chemical reactions to washes – even manipulations and transfers between baskets and microtubes – final analysis is often hours away from the initial step of taking a tissue slice. Properly fixed tissue has to be robust…

Making a List, Checking it Twice: 5 End-of-the-year Lab Tasks

Making a List, Checking it Twice: 5 End-of-the-year Lab Tasks

A lot of effort is spent on running experiments…and occasionally it can feel like an almost equal amount of effort is spent on administrative tasks! Policy compliance is important for keeping everyone in the lab safe, but it can be difficult to keep track of it all when your primary duties are at the bench….

Make Your Excel Worksheets Database Ready

Make Your Excel Worksheets Database Ready

In a previous article (Tips for Constructing Lab Databases in Excel by Emily Crow), BitesizeBio readers began a brief, but spirited commentary on the application of using true databases (MySQL, Access, etc.) versus Excel “databases”. While Excel can be quite useful to organize information (for example, an inventory of reagents, plasmids, laboratory items – even…