Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm back, and charging toward the finish-line

Sorry for the silence the past week or so, but I was at a really, really awesome small conference (think Keystone/Gordon/Cold Spring Harbor).

The conference was a ridiculously tiring marathon: 5 13-hour days (including 3 hour breaks to do outdoorsy stuff that my body is in no shape to attempt) followed by 3-5 hours of cocktails/networking. Sleep was somewhat of an afterthought, but science was everywhere. My inner and outer nerd were excited to be able to share my research to everyone and get feedback on all the weird thoughts that swim around my brain.

In addition to the offers of talks/collaborations/citing my paper, I was reminded that I am not to different than anyone else in the field. Granted, I was mainly talking with academics and am not so sure that particular boat will sail for me. But everyone, no matter how famous, has doubts and fights the dreaded "impostor syndrome." I only wish I was more oblivious to my inner dialogues. And less petrified by my fears.

I also found out that 3 other groups (2 are VERY BIG labs) are working on projects very similar to mine, but that's OK because I published last year. And two of those groups are willing to collaborate. It's also exciting that after 5 years of doing relatively obscure research people are now verifying my findings using slightly different techniques. I love it when other people can prove my wild theories correct :)

Which is why I'm charging toward the finish line of my current project/paper. Collaborations may allow me to continue the project in the new lab, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there. On the bright side, I discovered a way that my current research DIRECTLY relates to my new research. So maybe it won't be so hard to continue after all.....

In any case, I'm back and busier than ever. But I am happy again. And excited to do research. Man, I love small conferences....

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