MLA 2008: Continuing [my] Education on the PhD Experience

Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking the continuing education course The PhD Experience: Graduate School in the Basic Biomedical Sciences. As the library liaison to LSUHSC’s School of Graduate Studies, I was eager to learn more about what exactly goes on in those sometimes secret laboratories nestled away in the nooks of our urban campus.

Michele Tennant, Susan Kendall & Kevin Messner did a superior job at presenting an overview of graduate programs in the Basic Sciences. From departments to dissertations to dictostelium discoideum (that’s slime mold to us laypersons), the instructors gave a well-rounded overview of professional culture within the research community, as well as sound advice and techniques that librarians can use to reach these sometimes distant faculty, staff and students.

The course was about eight hours long, but don’t let that sway your choice if you have the opportunity to take this class. Anyone involved in library liaison activities with Basic Sciences, especially those who do not have a science background, will find this useful. What follows is a list of notes & resources I jotted down throughout the day.

  • ‘omics: suffix indicating biology on a large scale (ie: genomics, proteomics, etc)
  • “gene knockout”: when you knockout a particular gene to see what happens
  • Barlow, Robert B., John E. Dowling, and Gerald Weissmann, eds. (1993). The Biological Century: Friday Evening Talks at the Marine Biological Laboratory Woods Hole: The Marine Biological Laboratory. (ISBN 0-674-07403-3): book recommended by Tennant – collection of science essays giving good overview of the development of biological science in the Twentieth Century.
  • e-science trends – Kendall had attended a conference on this recently and had some interesting words on the development of the research process from a linear to circular structure with the advent of the web, which led to….
  • Talking about a recent discussion in Science magazine about wikifying GenBank. (??!!) I’m all for 2.0 and all, but this does not sounds like such a good idea
  • More info on trends in escience/translational medicine: Check out the session “Translational Medicine and the Library’s Role” on Tuesday afternoon (2-3:30) for more info.
  • This book was recommended by Susan Kendall for information on how laboratory research works.
  • Finally, Kevin Messner’s account offers all kinds of bioinformatics and biology links, in addition to other non-science related bookmarks

I hope you found this useful. Coming soon, the search for my missing mentee, the opening address, and more!