Skip to content

Dr Rebecca Tirabassi

Rebecca S. Tirabassi received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology studying the pathogenesis of herpesviruses. After her postdoctoral fellowship, she spent 6 years working in biotech followed by 3 years as a scientist at academic institutions. She is currently the owner of Scientific Pens, LLC, a company that provides research, writing, editing and consulting services for life scientists. In addition to writing for BitesizeBio, she is the voice behind the WiKi and Blog at Advansta.com. She also writes a personal blog entitled Mad Scientist.Crazy Mom in which she talks about surviving life with 5 kids and a menagerie of animals while trying to keep her scientific mind happy (aka occasionally writing about scientific topics that interest her - like herpesviruses).

Articles by Dr Rebecca Tirabassi:

To (Science) Blog or Not to (Science) Blog

Look out technical science writing, there’s an alternative voice in town. In the past decade, bloggers have taken to their keyboards and changed the voice of the internet. With their relaxed writing styles and ability to impart wisdom in a few short paragraphs, most of the online population consumes science blogs. Although scientists are often…

04 Jan 2017 Science Communication & Ethics

What I Learned as a Grant Reviewer

A few years ago, when I was working for a biotechnology company, I got a special letter in the mail.  The NIH asked me to be an ad-hoc grant reviewer for small business grants. Although I drew these lessons from the NIH grant review process, they can probably be applied to many granting agencies.  If…

Grant Reviewer
12 Oct 2016 Getting Funded&Writing, Publishing and Presenting

A Protein Biochemist’s Bag of Tricks

If you were to peek into a protein biochemist’s bag of tricks, what would you find? A mortar and pestle for collecting samples, some columns for isolating proteins and a mass spec instrument? Perhaps. But what about those little eppendorf tubes full of enzymes and helpful molecules? Certainly, each scientist has his/her own favorite. Here…

14 May 2015 Protein Expression and Analysis

When the Words Won’t Come: Overcoming Writer’s Block

Whether you are writing your thesis, a manuscript or a grant, there will come a time when you need to write, but getting words onto the paper will be like trying to get DNA from a rock – you are pretty sure it ain’t going to happen. Luckily there are a few tricks you can…

09 Mar 2015 Writing, Publishing and Presenting

Seven Tips for Working From Home Successfully

You are a scientist. You run experiments in the lab, but also spend a lot of time analyzing data, writing, doing literature searches, writing, reading and did I say writing? The good news: You can do some of your work from home. The bad news: You can do some of your work from home. Working…

11 Feb 2015 Organization and Productivity

Surviving Lab Life After Having Kids

  Having kids changes your life.  I should know, I have 5 little F1’s running around. Your life is thrown into chaos the minute you hear that first cry.  And it isn’t only your personal life that changes.  Eventually you have to figure out how to fold your new parenting responsibilities into your lab life.…

19 Jan 2015 Organization and Productivity

Dressing Up Your Oligonucleotide

Oligonucleotides are those smallish bits of DNA or RNA that we rely so heavily on for many of our molecular biology experiments. In their naked form, they are single, inert strands of DNA or RNA bases. But if you dress them up, you can increase their functionality. Here are some of the common oligo wardrobe…

07 Nov 2014 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

How to Identify Supercoils, Nicks and Circles in Plasmid Preps

One of my favorite things to do with a student the first time they work with DNA plasmid preps is to have them run an agarose gel containing 2 samples:  uncut plasmid DNA, and plasmid DNA that has been linearized with an restriction enzyme.  I love to have them try and figure out the banding…

08 Oct 2014 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

Six Benefits to Working in the Lab on the Weekend

I used to love working in the lab on Saturdays.  No, I didn’t spend every Saturday in the lab and yes, I did have a life outside of the lab (that’s one reason Saturday work was so great).  But there are some great benefits to working in the lab on the weekend: Beat the commute…

25 Aug 2014 Fun Stuff

SuperSize It! Scaling Up Your Experiments

Life in the lab is easy-peasy when you are only prepping a handful of tubes. But what if you need to scale up to 10’s or even 100’s of samples? Scaling up your experiments can have some expected and some not-so-expected, leaving you in a lurch, consequences. Read through our tips so you aren’t caught…

20 Aug 2014 Basic Lab Skills and Know-how