The Sabatini lab taught me how to develop my own line of research, come up with the right experiments and approaches to address my biological questions, and apply and receive funding. I didn’t realize how much I would grow in this environment, and I couldn’t imagine the intensity and excellence before I became part of it. I learned far more than I thought possible, and I was exposed to science at its best, done by the best. It has been an inspiring experience that exceeded my expectations.
I was drawn to MIT Biology because of the collaborative environment. My principal investigator has always been there to support me, and very present in the laboratory. Besides discussing experiments and projects, he also taught me certain techniques! That kind of interaction helped me a lot during my first years as a postdoc. I also had the chance to design and teach an undergraduate course with a fellow postdoc about the parasite we study, which was one of my favorite experiences.
I chose to pursue my graduate and postdoctoral training at MIT because of its interdisciplinary nature, and because cutting-edge and boundary-pushing science happens here. What amazed me was the fluidity with which different disciplines collaborated — I could go where my interests carried me without fear of discouragement or judgment. My postdoctoral research has led to the discovery of a new cell type in the mouse retina — pretty cool! All that I know about doing science, I learned at MIT.
Arriving at MIT Biology, I was excited to join a high-performing department full of thoughtful, motivated people from top to bottom. My expectations were surpassed in this regard. Yet I was also prepared to navigate big egos and face a difficult time getting collaborations started. On these issues I was very wrong: faculty here are generous, compassionate, and best of all they don’t take themselves too seriously. Starting and developing collaborations has been far easier than I expected.
Before I came to Boston, I imagined MIT would be full of bright, highly competitive scientists. The people at MIT are contagiously passionate about science and actually very helpful, that’s what kept me here. I am grateful to be part of this wonderful community, and happily involved in many projects across different labs. Plus, two of the leading experts in my research field, Drs. Jaenisch and Sur, are just across the street from each other, and have complementary expertise to help me to reach my research goals.
Before coming to MIT, I thought it was among the best places in the world to answer biological questions. Now, from the inside, I am sure it is. I’ll be sitting in a seminar, and realize the person next to me won a Nobel for discovering a phenomenon I have studied my entire academic life. I’ve found colleagues who share a passion for molecular life, and an interdisciplinary environment where science is the first priority. In the future, I aim to establish my own lab. Hopefully MIT Biology will take me there.
MIT Biology encourages me to ask challenging questions and provides state of the art technology to answer them. My lab offers an exciting environment where translational and curiosity-driven research can co-exist. I’ve had the chance to mentor a UROP student, and share the skills I’ve learned with the next generation of scientists. In the future, I hope to have a career in academia, fostering a team of researchers armed with the motivation, energy and discipline to address major health problems in our society.
I was drawn to MIT Biology because of the breadth of knowledge and strength of the research across the department. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by the postdoc community; I was excited to find there are many postdocs working to improve the sense of community and opportunities for professional development on behalf of their peers. I’ve gotten involved with the Building 68 Postdoc Association, and found it to be a great way to meet postdocs in other labs and feel connected to the broader MIT community.
Burge Lab ● Post-MIT: Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley
I was initially drawn to MIT because of the opportunity to do great research, specifically within the RNA community. Now, as part of the Burge lab, I study post-transcriptional gene regulation in the aging brain. The research environment in the department is extremely vibrant, with many ongoing events and constant scientific stimulation. Ultimately, I hope to continue working in academia in a faculty position.