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Kristen Haberthur

Kristen completed her Ph.D. in Viral Immunology from Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in 2013. She then did post-doc work in cancer immunology, focusing on immunotherapies for glioblastoma. She thinks that science (especially immunology and disease) rocks, and loves talking about it with whomever will listen - that includes her cats. Thankfully, Kristen can channel that passion in her current position as the Managing Editor for Bitesize Bio.

Articles by Kristen Haberthur:

Thinking Outside the Box: Microscopy for Immunologists

When you think of an immunologist, you will likely imagine someone who studies the immune system… or maybe a person who speaks in a completely different language (CD? IL? The list goes on.). You may also think of a slew of assays that almost exclusively “belong” to immunologists, including ELISA, ELISpot, Flow Cytometry, chromium release…

25 Dec 2018 Microscopy and Imaging

Epidemiology: The Underdog of Disease Studies

As bench scientists, we deal primarily with the tangible aspects of biology. The mechanisms and pathways that we try to understand not only allow for us to delve more into how the world works, but can also shed light on disease. However, there is a subject that while distant from traditional bench work, is equally…

Epidemiology: the underdog of disease studies
07 May 2018 Cells and Model Organisms

How Social Media Can up Your Flow Cytometry Game

Flow cytometry is an ever-evolving field, and new technologies and innovations seem to emerge every week. So how is a scientist supposed to keep abreast of so much information, and weed through all of the unnecessary information at our fingertips? Try social media! Yes, I went there. Social media is everywhere. You can use it…

13 Mar 2018 Flow Cytometry

Labs and Casinos: Sisters from Another Mister

Casinos and labs have absolutely nothing in common… or do they? While scientists often dedicate their life’s work to a specific mechanism/protein/etc., those that frequent casinos are also fueled by a desire to get that perfect hand dealt/Keno score/etc. Curiously, several aspects of the laboratory and casino environments are eerily similar. I know, I was…

Lab Casino
08 Mar 2018 Soft Skills and Tools

How to Unclog Your Flow Cytometer

Welcome back, fellow flow cytometry friend! I am sure that you are rocking your data acquisition at this point, having perfected your understanding of panel set up, fluorophore usage, and using the flow cytometer of your choice. However, with as many samples as you are running, it is possible that you may be experiencing a…

13 Feb 2018 Flow Cytometry

Decisions, Decisions: How to Choose the Best qPCR Probe for Your Experiment

Before we go any further, we have to get some things straightened out: RT-PCR versus qPCR versus RT-qPCR. Sooo confusing, amirite?? They all refer to specific molecular biology assays, but the names are unfortunately used interchangeably, which can be awfully confusing for just about anyone. So without further ado: RT-PCR is short for reverse-transcriptase PCR,…

17 Oct 2017 PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR

20 Telling Signs You’re a Scientist

According to Bill Nye, “Science rules!” – and I think most of us would agree. We are learning more and more about the world around us each day, as well as about ourselves. But is there a difference between a Science Fan, and a Scientist? Everyone has their own parameters, but below are some that…

28 Aug 2017 Career Development & Networking

Brefeldin A v Monensin: How to Hunt for Proteins

As any good biologist knows, one of the easiest ways to determine if a cell is functionally active is the production and secretion of proteins in response to a stimulus. In many circumstances, the quantity of the secreted protein, and thus the level of cellular activation can be assessed by ELISA. However, if you are…

11 Jul 2017 Protein Expression and Analysis

Genetic Notation: Crack the Code!

Pop Quiz Time: You get a new bacterial strain from a culture collection, but you’re not quite sure what the genetic notation (i.e., all the letters and symbols) means. Do you: A. Cry? B. Ask around to see what your lab mates think? C. Cross your fingers that your friends at Bitesize Bio can help…

26 Jun 2017 Basic Lab Skills and Know-how&Soft Skills and Tools

Sheath Pressure: Nozzle Size Does Matter

Hello again, fellow Flow Cytometry Fan! It looks like you have your experiment all planned out, including staining protocols and gating schemes, and are ready to get some paradigm-shifting data. But before we start “plugging-and-chugging” samples through your cytometer of choice, we need to make sure that the nozzle size and sheath pressure are set…

sheath pressure
13 Jun 2017 Flow Cytometry

The 3 Most Common Flow Cytometry Fallacies

Flow cytometry is fast evolving from a method only revered by immunologists, to one used by nearly every biological specialty. It’s pretty much my favorite tool. Unfortunately, as with most lab techniques, much of flow cytometry is taught on the job without a lot of standards. And too often bad habits are passed along like…

flow cytometry fallacies
23 May 2017 Flow Cytometry

Get Your Polymerase Cycling Assembly Oligos Together

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the backbone of many lab techniques. In short, it allows for the exponential amplification of a specific segment of DNA. Through the use of primers encoding restriction enzyme sites, these amplified fragments are used in downstream cloning procedures, usually leading to the insertion of one, maybe two, PCR fragments…

polymerase cycling assembly
18 May 2017 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

Are You any Less of a Scientist after You Transition to Non-Bench Science?: Opinion

In this ever-evolving world, scientists in “alternative”, non-academic positions are more commonplace than ever. Gone are the days where ideas of leaving bench science would label you as a “sell-out”. Now there is a push to support every scientist, regardless of their goals. Whatever the reason for this shift in opinion, be it the realization…

08 Mar 2017 Personal Development

How a Career in Science Prepares you for Parenthood

Science is a career unlike any other. At times it can seem like the tools we gain can’t be used in any other profession. But that is where you are wrong! Unlike other occupations, going to graduate school and/or devoting your life to science actually prepares you for parenthood – in case you were worried…

27 Feb 2017 Fun Stuff&Personal Development

The Difference Between an Image, Flow, Time-lapse and Cell-sorting Cytometer

Ah, cell counting — it’s the oldest trick in the book! Well, not really, but people have been developing methods for counting cells since the late 1800s. It has been around for a while. But what different methodologies are available to biologists now? Well, hold on, because you’re in for a treat! In this article, we…

cytometer
23 Feb 2017 Flow Cytometry

How Fluorescent Molecules Work: Shine Bright like a Diamond

Fluorescence is one of the most important and useful tools in a biologist’s toolbox. In biology, nearly every field, from physiology to immunology, uses fluorescent molecules (aka fluorophores) to detect proteins. However, the specific science behind how fluorescence works can be confusing or overlooked. Have no fear! In this article, we break down key points of…

27 Jan 2017 Flow Cytometry

Transitioning out of the Lab: B­­­­reaking up Is Hard to Do

Working in a research lab is not a normal job. The hours are often unconventional and the tasks can run from exciting to mundane—it’s a world all of its own. Even so, your loyalty to your field and people is unmatched; there is a level of comradery you experience that is unlike any other. This…

12 Dec 2016 Survive and Thrive

The Art of Scientific Authorship: Political Science

The elusive manuscript. It’s what we, as scientists, build our kingdoms on—throwing ourselves into our research, hoping to feel our time in the sun when it all comes to fruition in the form of that glorious body of work. But…what how do you determine who should share in that sunshine? Should you always put your…

scientific authorship | graphical abstract
08 Nov 2016 Writing, Publishing and Presenting

The History and Future of Fluorescent Labels: We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!

If you’ve been keeping up with our recent series of articles, welcome back! If not, you can catch up on how fluorescence works or what not to do with your flow experiment. In short, we have been discussing fluorescent labels and their role in flow cytometry. Today, I’ll round out our discussion by touching on…

fluorescent labels
08 Nov 2016 Flow Cytometry

Corralling Your Cells: How to Gate in Flow Cytometry

Flow cytometry. Some people love it—most hate it—but all can agree that it is one of the most powerful analytical tools immunologists possess. Here’s a quick refresher: as the name suggests, flow cytometry measures the physical and chemical characteristics of cells. This is accomplished by fluorescently labeling cell surface markers/proteins using antibodies conjugated to fluorophores.…

27 Oct 2016 Flow Cytometry

Lighting the Way: Understanding Flow Cytometry Fluorophores

As science is becoming more interdisciplinary, the tools we use to answer questions are also crossing party lines. Case in point: flow cytometry. Once a tool only used by “real” immunologists, flow cytometry is fast becoming a method by which numerous questions can be answered, from the length of a cell’s telomeres, to the state…

fluorophores
18 Oct 2016 Flow Cytometry

Science Outreach: Why Should You Care?

All scientists should be involved in some aspect of outreach. There. I said it. I know, I know. This goes completely against why most scientists pursued their careers in the first place: to dedicate their lives to discovery, and to do so alone. With minimal human interaction, especially with non-scientists. Why You Should Reach Out…

science outreach
28 Sep 2016 Science Communication & Ethics

How to Destroy your Flow Cytometry Data in 3 Easy Steps: Snap, Crackle, and Pop

While many scientists are methodical and precise, some of us like to live on the edge. Read a protocol all the way through? No thanks, I’ll take my chances and guess what concentration of HCl I should use. Label my tubes with the correct content? Puh-lease – it’s much more exciting deducing which is which…

flow cytometry data
18 Aug 2016 Flow Cytometry

Smooth Science: Eight Helpful Tidbits for Making Science a Cakewalk

Whether you’re an entry tech, an optimistic grad student, or a seasoned post-doc, we’ve all managed to get into a rut with lab etiquette and how we “do” science. With spring-cleaning on everyone’s minds, here are a few reminders that may help you clean out the proverbial cobwebs and start afresh.  1. Label EVERYTHING Several…

09 Jul 2016 Organization and Productivity

Pregnancy and Post-docing: A Case Study

Deciding to start a family with your partner is one of the most exhilarating and frightening times you’ll likely ever experience, outside of welcoming the little F1 to the world that is. Your job should not be an inhibitory factor in making that decision. We all know that post-docs live in a purgatory of sorts:…

09 Jul 2016 Personal Development

Catching Greatness: Measuring Cellular Degranulation

One of the key characteristics of cytotoxic cells (i.e. CD8+ T cells, natural killer cells) is the presence of pre-formed cytoplasmic lysosomal granules. These structures house perforin and granzyme; two molecules that are essential for the lysis of target cells. Upon effector cell activation, granules are polarized toward the target cell and the contents are…

09 Jul 2016 Flow Cytometry
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