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Here I Am, Despite Myself Glenn Rall Fox Chase Cancer Center.

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1 Here I Am, Despite Myself Glenn Rall Fox Chase Cancer Center

2 Born/educated in New Jersey Grad. High School, 1981 Lafayette College, Easton PA Biology and Philosophy, 1985 Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN Micro/Immuno Ph.D., 1990 Tamar Ben-Porat, Pseudorabies Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla CA Postdoc, Michael Oldstone, Viral Pathogenesis Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia PA Asst. Prof (1995)/Assoc. Prof (2001)/Program Leader (2005) Linear Uncomplicated Intentional

3 Born/educated in New Jersey Grad. High School, 1981 Lafayette College, Easton PA Biology and Philosophy, 1985 Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN Micro/Immuno Ph.D., 1990 Tamar Ben-Porat Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla CA Postdoc, Michael Oldstone Fox Chase Cancer Center Asst. Prof (1995)/Assoc. Prof (2001)/Program Leader (2004) GPA: 3.14 B- (by 1 point) in Biochem caused me to lose my spot on the training grant Just call me “Greg” Monday Morning Meetings -First grant: triaged -Last RO1 req’d multiple submissions

4 Though our careers may be “guided” by general interests (the black lines at left), the specifics of our professional lives (the red lines) are random and--at least for most--completely unplanned and surprising.

5 Five things that I wish someone told me (NB: This is NOT necessarily advice…) 1.Embrace your insecurity You have every reason to be anxious about your future…this job is hard! Every one of us in here…even those that seem incredibly self-confident…have a need for affirmation. Moreover, insecurity is an aid to good science…the moment you stop caring what your peers think is the moment your science loses focus.

6 2.Distinguish between Urgent and Important What matters to your long-term survival as a scientist are: grants and papers that are fueled by colleagues who have been thoughtfully mentored. All of these things take extraordinary amounts of time, and are not conducive to “checking off” on a list. Watch out for making too many commitments to tasks that, while appealing (or fun, or lucrative), will distract you from your chief objectives.

7 3.Develop a menu of mentors You’re smart. Good for you. But your “post-postdoc” job will require a skill set you may or may not possess. Who do you trust to give you the unvarnished truth? For me (beyond the obvious mentors): -My fellow postdocs at Scripps -Other PIs -Reviewers of my grants and papers -Lynn Enquist, Ganes Sen, Tom Shenk -My family Be intrepid about reaching out to others for help. One of the joys of this job is working with future generations of scientists.

8 4.Accept that you will always be judged, and that some--despite your best efforts--will just not like you, or your work. Don’t lose sight of the objective. Learn to Teflon coat yourself. You do need to pay attention to the process of science (new grant rules, politics, etc), but it should be subordinated relative to the science. I may be naïve, but: good science, thoughtful ideas, and hard work will prevail.

9 5. Don’t whine. Don’t waste your talents. enjoy the journey…


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