A Scottish saying to wish good luck for the New Year. Meaning ‘long may your chimney smoke!’
Post Christmas and Hogmanay I’ve now started in my new miniproject rotation. I’m working in the QMRI now with Dr. David Ferenbach and Prof. Jeremy Hughes looking at cell senescence, particularly in the kidneys. Cellular senescence is the process that causes a permanent halt to cell proliferation, but has been emerging as something more than an inert function, with potential roles in aging and age-related disease.
So it’s a new building, a new lab, a new topic in a new organ! What’s quite different is while the last rotation was a large group, this time it’s more or less just me and my supervisor! I’m about one week in and we’ve already got our first experiment underway. It’s going to be some techniques I’m familiar with, like cell culture, but a bunch of new techniques too and all applied in a totally different way. I’m looking forward to settling in, though the biggest issue at the moment is fighting for desk space, which seems to be at a premium here! I’m currently on half a desk in a shared office, but at least it’s close to the lab, so easy access for popping in and out – always useful if you’re running experiments with short timepoints. The tea facility is further than before (first world problems) but it’s essential to productive working so I’ve staked my claim on a very tiny portion of my half-a-desk for my mug (see below).
Outside of the PhD bubble I’ve been a bit concerned about how the political changes of the moment are going to affect academia, we’re potentially moving into a new era for science which could change how we collaborate and work. It won’t directly change my programme and the scientists as well as the University are still committed to international collaboration, but the impact could be in unexpected ways.
All round, desk-wise, project-wise, politics-wise, we’ll see how things go!