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elmoran

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 am currently working as a research laboratory manager and I have a strong interest in science writing and communication.

Articles by elmoran:

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 & 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 & Thought Provoking

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…

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 Uncategorized

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

Keeping track of the scientific literature you have read is just as important as reading it in the first place.  You want to have your key papers on hand for easy access.  This will make writing easier and will also help when you are trying to convince your PI of the importance of doing a…

04 Dec 2013 Taming the Literature

How to Read a Scientific Paper

Keeping up with the scientific literature in your field of interest is incredibly important. Not only does it keep you informed as to what your competitors have been working on, it will also help shape and guide your experimental plans. At the same time, a balance is required between being well read-up and being productive…

20 Nov 2013 Taming the Literature

Is it Worth Doing a PhD After a Masters?

This is a question that probably plagues every research student at some point in his/her career. The decision to pursue a PhD after getting your Masters degree is a difficult one.  A PhD is a huge undertaking emotionally, mentally and financially. It takes 3-4 years to complete during which you are on a pretty basic…

13 Nov 2013 Career Development & Networking

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

Postdoc Interview Preparation: Sample Questions and Answers

The prospect of going into an interview for a post-doctoral position can be quite unnerving, however in my own experience the same sorts of questions come up time and time again. It is highly worthwhile spending some time before an interview preparing some sample questions and answers. Doing this combined with some investigation into the…

18 Mar 2013 Career Development & Networking

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…

08 Mar 2013 Organization & 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 & 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.…

24 Dec 2012 Organization & Productivity