How to join:
Please email me your CV and a cover letter describing the following:
Your research experience
Your philosophy with regards to science
A clear description of the types of projects that excite you the most
Any funding/fellowship opportunities you currently have or are interested in applying for
Your general goals during your stay in lab and your career goals thereafter
After initial communications, please have 2 letters of reference ready.
Why you should:
My vision for mentoring all members of the lab has three components:
My job is to help you make an unknown known, while simultaneously guiding the arc of your career in the direction in which you are most productive and that you find most rewarding.
Together, we’ll do everything we can to make the Venn diagram of scientific productivity and well-being overlap as fully as possible.
Our daily routines will consist of hard work and good luck — ideally, a lot of the former will lead to some of the latter, as J.K. Rowling once wrote.
With these components in mind, I will aim to bring out the best neuroscientist in you who can identify the edge of what our field knows and doesn’t know, and who is capable of asking the questions that will push that frontier forward.
Memories are not perfect, and neither am I. And like memories, which can be updated with new information, so can I. Once a year, I will have a feedback mechanism in place whereby each lab member anonymously provides a one-paragraph review of my mentorship abilities that they find most useful and one paragraph of weaknesses that they believe I should improve. These reviews will be available to the lab for everyone to view to hold me responsible for every word.
While my door is always open, we will meet once a week for an hour to discuss experiments and your personal career development. Moreover, when possible, I will help you hands-on with experiments so that my expectations of you are tempered by the realities of science’s often tedious timescale. To facilitate collaboration and active feedback, we will also host open lab meetings where anyone in our scientific community can join to listen and/or provide feedback on our data and interpretations.
In terms of your career plans, let’s do a quick thought experiment: imagine that I have 5 lab members with distinct trajectories in mind. One goes into science writing; the second goes into consulting; the third goes into the industry; the fourth goes to work at Google; and the fifth goes to a tenure-track position in academia. In what world are any of these members anything but successful? Thus, my goal is to fortify your career-specific trajectory because your training centers on learning to science exceptionally well and applying these skill sets in a way that leaves any field better off than when you entered it.
I will fund at least one conference a year for you to attend because they are an ideal opportunity to simultaneously explore new corner neuroscience, recharge your science battery, and communicate our work to the larger science community. Presenting at one is not a prerequisite for attending. Conferences help us keep our finger on neuroscience’s pulse.
What’s the point of being a science family if we can’t mentally decompress, soak up some sun, or pretend like we know how to ski? In addition to occasional dinners and local lab outings, we’ll have a lab retreat each year determined by a lab vote on which destination best suits our mood. These retreats are meant to be 100% centered on food, liquid beverages of the delicious variety, and embracing our camaraderie. There’s no catch: we’re just there to have fun.
While working on projects in line with the lab’s research mission, you will lead a team of fellow postdocs, research assistants, and undergrads in terms of developing conceptual skill sets (e.g. journal clubs, experimental planning) and practical skill sets (e.g. surgery training, practice presentations). I will open any door I can for you to present your work at seminars, conferences, etc, and we will work closely to make sure your time in the lab is effective, efficient, and doesn’t last a century. My goal is to train you well enough to achieve full independence as a neuroscientist and subsequently in the career of your choice. It’s absolutely crucial that you work with me on this for your development; we’re a team, and our mutual expertise and success can only synergize. The ideal candidates will have extensive experience in a subset of the following: optogenetics, virus engineering strategies, in vivo imaging approaches, immunohistochemistry, and behavioral assays that cover either classical/operant conditioning or anxiety/depression-like readouts.