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Ellen Moran

I am a PhD qualified research professional with a strong background in Translational Medicine and Biomedical research. This has involved carrying out research into a variety of diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory lung disease, cancer and cardiovascular disease and drug allergy/hypersensitivity. I gained experience in laboratory and research management and now work in medical education regulation.

Articles by Ellen Moran:

Postdoc Interview Preparation: Sample Questions and Answers

Are you trying to prepare for an interview but not sure what sort of questions you’ll get asked? Check out our top 10 Postdoc interview questions to help prepare you.

High angle view of two interviewers interviewing a young man to represent answering popular postdoc interview questions
04 Jan 2021 Career Development & Networking

Is it Worth Doing a PhD After a Master’s?

Thinking of starting a PhD? Wondering if it will be worth it? Read our handy tips and advice to help you decide.

Two lego scientists to represent someone doing a PhD
17 Dec 2020 Career Development & Networking

How to Read a Scientific Paper Efficiently

We show you how to read a scientific paper efficiently, so you can make the most of your reading time.

Time to read
20 Jan 2020 Taming the Literature

7 Tips for Getting Back into the Lab after a Job Change

I previously wrote an article for BsB detailing my experience transitioning from lab-bench research into research administration roles after a particularly unhappy experience as a postdoc. About a year into my second research admin role some restructuring occurred and I decided to try to move back into the lab. I am now working again as…

23 Feb 2015 Career Development & Networking

Spring Cleaning in the Lab – How not to Have Skeletons in your Lab Closet

Most of us hate cleaning and are often hard pressed to find time to clean our homes, never mind our laboratory space. However, an annual spring clean and maintenance of a regular cleaning rota/regime will contribute to an efficient, organized and harmonious lab environment. This is increasingly important in communal lab spaces where multiple staff…

16 Jul 2014 Organization and Productivity

How Irish Scientists Changed the World by Seán Duke

I have to be honest, I am Irish and I am a Scientist, so I guess I am a bit biased in reviewing this book. Biases notwithstanding, this is a fascinating book. How Irish Scientists Changed the World appeals to a broad audience, whether the reader is a scientist or someone who has never studied…

28 Apr 2014 Inspiring and Thought Provoking

Western Blot, ELISA, SPR, Biosensor Assay or PCR: Which Technique Should I Use?

Stimulation of cells/tissue with a given stimulus (e.g., a cytokine) is a common experimental setup in any cell biology lab. The cellular response to the external stimulus e.g., the activation/deactivation of intracellular signaling pathways and/or the secretion of proteins is often the research goal, and there are a number of different methods that you can use to analyze such…

17 Apr 2014 Protein Expression and Analysis&Adaptive Biotechnologies&PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR

What To Do If Your Graduate Supervisor Is Not Supporting You

The relationship you have with your supervisor during the course of your PhD is a critical one. Like all other personal or professional relationships it can range from being harmonious to disastrous. Choosing a supervisor you think will work well with you in the first place is important, however it can be difficult to foresee…

07 Apr 2014 PhD Survival

Apps That Bring PCR to Your Mobile Device

Mobile devices such as iPads and smartphones are increasingly being used by laboratory researchers to aid them in their research. One example is the move towards electronic lab books. As a result, app developers have responded to this trend and are developing apps tailored to specific laboratory techniques including PCR and qPCR. The following are…

20 Mar 2014 PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR

How to Train a Junior Colleague in the Basics of PCR

You’re a senior grad student or postdoc, and you’ve done more PCRs than you can count. A new student has joined your lab, and you’ve been charged with training them on PCR. You don’t want to lead him/her astray, but it’s hard to remember the parts that you struggled with in your early days. This…

basics of PCR
07 Feb 2014 PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR

8 Essential Papers and Reference Guides for Quantitative PCR (qPCR)

It can be daunting to learn about a new topic when you look at the literature and realize that thousands of papers have been published on the topic. This is especially true for techniques that have transformed scientific research. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) also known as Real-Time PCR (RT-PCR) has revolutionized the study of gene expression…

15 Jan 2014 PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR

10 Tips for Safely Using Liquid Nitrogen in the Lab

The image of liquid nitrogen has been glamorized recently in TV cookery programs by chefs such as Heston Blumenthal. However, whether you are going to use it to make home made ice-cream or to snap-freeze samples in the lab, liquid nitrogen is not something to fool around with. Liquid nitrogen is extremely cold: it boils…

06 Jan 2014 Microscopy and Imaging

Seven Things That Really Annoy Me About Tissue Culture

The tissue culture facility can be one of the most important places in the lab.  Many researchers spend hours in the hoods isolating primary cell lines and tissue, generating samples for western blot analysis, ELISA…  the list goes on. It is also one of the places in which scientists tend to butt heads. An improperly…

11 Dec 2013 Cells and Model Organisms

Keeping Track of Your Literature

We show you how to get organized and develop a system to stay on top of your literature reviews.

A pile of books with an open book on top to represent keeping track of the literature
04 Dec 2013 Taming the Literature

Careers for Scientists – Research Administrator

Up until last year I had been working in scientific research for just over six years. The insecurity of a career in academia had always niggled at me. About eight months into a very stressful postdoc position that didn’t seem to be going anywhere, I felt my heart wasn’t in it anymore and a change…

24 Jun 2013 Career Development & Networking

Using Enzymes at the Bench — Keep it in the cooler? On ice? or at RT?

Have you ever needed an enzyme but not had an ice bucket?  Have you been tempted to just grab the enzyme out of the freezer, take what you need and quickly return the tube to the freezer?  Do enzymes really need to be kept on ice all of the time?  I would say, Yes! Enzymes…

08 May 2013 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

Tips for Uncluttering your Email Box

In the hectic world we live in you may not be away from your computer for more than an hour and the emails pile up. Setting aside a couple of time blocks each day to spend answering emails and following some of the tips below will help keep on top of things. 1)      Set up…

Image of someone filling vials with pipettes to represent successful postdoctoral interview preparation
08 Mar 2013 Organization and Productivity

The Etiquette of Approaching a Potential Supervisor

Whether you are looking for a PhD Studentship or your first postdoc position, identifying and approaching a potential mentor can be quite daunting and seem like a bit of a minefield. The following are a few tips to help make a first good impression. 1)      Tailor your CV and cover letter to the individual lab…

27 Feb 2013 Career Development & Networking

When NOT to Wear a Lab Coat and Gloves: A Quick Guide to Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as your lab coat and gloves are an essential piece of kit when working in a laboratory; however, it is important to know when it is inappropriate to use PPE. 1)      Don’t wear your lab coat, gloves or other PPE in offices or dining areas. They may have become contaminated…

22 Feb 2013 Lab Safety

Tips For Better ELISA Results

The ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) is a rapid method used to detect the amount of a protein of interest in clinical and experimental samples. There are a number of ELISA formats to choose from, depending on your research needs. These include direct ELISA, indirect ELISA, competitive ELISA and sandwich ELISA. We have previously covered the…

23 Jan 2013 Protein Expression and Analysis

Best Practice for Cataloging Your Samples

The correct documentation and storage of your laboratory samples may be a tedious process, but it will make your life a lot easier in the long run. The last thing any scientist wants when trying to complete a key last experiment for a publication is not being able to find or identify a critical sample.…

Image of someone filling vials with pipettes to represent successful postdoctoral interview preparation
24 Dec 2012 Organization and Productivity

How To Ace Your Journal Club Presentation

Scientific journal clubs are a fantastic opportunity to sharpen your presentation skills in an informal atmosphere composed of your peers.  Furthermore, regular attendance will help keep your knowledge of the scientific literature up to date and foster good scientific relationships with your colleagues. The following are a few tips to make the most of your…

21 Nov 2012 Writing, Publishing and Presenting

When Microarrays Go West(ern)

Western blotting was first introduced in 1979 and has become a routine technique for protein analysis in laboratories worldwide. While western blotting can be highly specific, it is very low throughput as a technique and requires large amounts of sample and expensive antibodies. Furthermore, blots are extremely labour intensive and require a high level of…

16 Nov 2012 Protein Expression and Analysis

Five Things You Might Not Know about LB

LB medium is a staple in virtually every lab. It’s commonly used to propagate E. coli, and as such will be used frequently by any lab that does cloning. Chances are, LB broth or plates were one of the first things you learned to make as a newbie in the lab.  Here are a few…

12 Oct 2012 Protein Expression and Analysis

Four Ways To Keep Up With Your Field If You Are Out Of A Job

Keeping up with the latest developments in your field of research is important whether you are taking a sabbatical to travel the world or your funding has finally dried up. Whatever your situation, it is good to maintain a broad working knowledge of your field of interest and not leave yourself a mountain of reading…

03 Oct 2012 Career Development & Networking

How To Survive The Next Meeting With Your PI (Members Only Article)

Every scientist, at one time or another, has avoided meetings with their PI. They are, however extremely important in shaping the direction and progress of your project. Having regular productive meetings with your PI will help maintain a positive working relationship and contribute to the success of your project. Keep the following in mind when…

07 Sep 2012 Dealing with Fellow Scientists

Top Tips for Getting Grants (Members Only Article)

Obtaining research funding is becoming increasingly difficult and competitive, with success rates varying between 10-30% depending on the funding body and country. With careful planning and preparation you can maximise your chances of success. Here a few tips to take into consideration: Research what funding and what types of funding are available. It’s worth spending…

31 Aug 2012 Getting Funded

Book Review: “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”, by Thomas Kuhn

I found Thomas Kuhn’s book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” quite a challenge to get through. Normally, if a book doesn’t keep my attention, or I find it difficult to read after the first few pages, I give up. However, I was determined to persevere with this book, especially given that the Times Literary supplement…

17 Aug 2012 Inspiring and Thought Provoking

Book Review: At the Bench: A Laboratory Navigator, by Kathy Barker

Starting a PhD, or even a summer scholarship, in a laboratory can be a daunting experience. Moving from carrying out experiments in the comfort of a teaching lab to working in a research laboratory is quite the bridge to cross. From a personal experience, I found I became quite rusty over the summer months in…

25 Jun 2012 Basic Lab Skills and Know-how

How to Present Successfully at Conferences

The very idea of standing up and giving an oral presentation at a conference gives even the most confident of us butterflies. Additionally, I don’t know many scientists who find the thought of spending hours working on a powerpoint presentation exactly thrilling. However, there are many benefits to presenting your work at a conference. First…

11 Jun 2012 Writing, Publishing and Presenting

How to Find a Postdoc Overseas

I have always had it in the back of my mind that I would like to live and work abroad for a year or two. This was augmented in my mind by the mainstream view in scientific research that a stint in a foreign lab is beneficial to a scientist’s career. The benefit of working…

04 May 2012 Career Development & Networking
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