Sharing a lab with another team may sound like an inconvenience to some, like the professional equivalent of sharing a bedroom with a sibling. But not for Alex Compton, Ph.D.; Alan Rein, Ph.D.; and their colleagues. In their case, sharing a lab led to a rich collaboration, mentoring opportunities, and a study that uncovered facets of how cells interact with viruses.
To say Cathy Cullen’s “lab” in Building 427 is nontraditional would be a bit of an understatement. Instead of pipettes, there are pipe cleaners. The chemical reactants are baking soda and lemon juice. And the “animal” is a blue plastic robotic mouse. Cullen’s operation is the epicenter of Education Outreach Services in the Office of Scientific Operations for NCI at Frederick. She is tasked with bringing extracurricular science to young people in Frederick County Public Schools and organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club of Frederick County and the Housing Authority of the City of Frederick.
A young scientist from outside the United States says she had many expectations after learning she’d been hired for a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute. Being unable to find housing wasn’t one of them—but that’s where she and her family ended up three weeks after arriving in the U.S. For many foreign fellows, coming to work at the National Institutes of Health is the opportunity of a lifetime and a thrilling new adventure. But the difficulties of starting fresh in a new country also make it incredibly stressful and daunting. Fortunately, there are tools and strategies that can help, and current employees and fellows have volunteered advice for foreign scientists who are planning their move to Frederick.
By her own admission, Amanda Corbel is a people person. She enjoys interacting with others and collaborating on new and exciting projects. But she is also passionate about science. Corbel completed four internships at the National Cancer Institute while earning her bachelor’s degree in biology from Shepherd University, followed them up with a postbaccalaureate fellowship, and co-authored five publications.
As we try to stay connected to work, friends, and family while social distancing, we’re reaching for our cell phones more often—but is there any reason to worry? The best evidence says no.