Tag Archives: featured

Postdoctoral Training – Efimov Lab

I feel privileged to have the opportunity to do my postdoctoral training under the guidance of Dr. Igor Efimov at the George Washington University (GWU), Washington DC. Dr. Efimov is a world renowned scientist in the field of cardiovascular science with nearly 200 publications. He is also the chair of the biomedical engineering department.

My research will primarily focus on cardiac arrhythmias with specific emphasis on high-definition conformal devices for treatment of atrial arrhythmias.

My postdoctoral training plan will focus on six main areas:

  • Independent Research: I will be continuing my scientific investigations in cardiac electrophysiology with specific emphasis ultra-low energy defibrillation research using transillumination optical mapping and high-definition conformal electronics technology.
  • Grant Writing: I will get training in grant writing and submission. Extramural funding is the life blood of all research and a key requirement to building a successful career in the academia. The training will entail writing and submitting grant applications to NIH, AHA etc.,
  • Education & Teaching: Part of my post-doctoral training will also focus on expanding my knowledge base in areas beyond cardiac electrophysiology and exploring opportunities to learn new technologies (e.g. 3D modeling & printing, Optogenetics etc.,)
  • Professional Networking: This is a key element in the training plan to become an independent investigator. As such, I will have opportunities to explore research collaborations and cultivating professional relationships.
  • Management Training: Another key aspect of becoming an independent investigator is to learn to how to run a research lab efficiently. This includes managing and allocating resources (e.g., finances, research staff, graduate and undergraduate students etc.,).
  • Translational Focus: Although basic science research is an essential component of all scientific investigations, it is equally important to focus on how the knowledge gain can be translated into clinical setting. Part of my post-doctoral training will entail exploring ideas and collaborations that have direct translational impact.

I am excited and grateful for this opportunity to learn from Dr.Efimov and looking forward to working with him.

Ph.D. Defense

My doctoral defense and subsequent public Q&A session can be viewed below.

Title: Bioelectric Source Characterization of Acute Myocardial Ischemia

Date: June 02, 2015

1) University of Utah, Department of Bioengineering
2) Cardiovascular Research & Training Institute (CVRTI)
3) Scientific Computing & Imaging Institute (SCI)


Frans Johansson – The Click Moment

In all walks of life, for individuals and organizations alike, breakthrough success is thought to be achieved through careful strategy selection, planning, analysis and execution. But according to the author, there isn’t really a “secret recipe” for success. Rather,

success is far more random and often due to serendipitous instances, which he calls the click moments.

The idea that 10,000 hours of deliberate and focused mastery (Malcolm Gladwell – Outliers) will yield success holds true, but only if the playing field does not evolve and the rules are set, e.g. chess, tennis etc. But most of us are playing in an ever changing world, where the rules change all the time. This is the reason, author argues as to why randomness, serendipity and luck play a vital role in determining success in various fields.

If success is random, how does one go about seeking it? The author suggests three strategies to harness randomness and drive success in our lives and organizations.

First is to create click moments by

1) Taking your eyes off the ball in order to see and connect with the possibilities around you. When, we focus on one thing exclusively, we tend to miss everything else around us. So take time, to explore things that are not related to your goal.

2) Using intersectional thinking. Insights gained from intersection of two or more different cultures, fields can create a click moment. Thus, make a conscious attempt to explore fields, cultures and industries diverse from your own.

3) Following your curiosity. It is the way your intuition tells you that perhaps, something interesting might be in works. It is one other key drivers that allow serendipity to happen.

4) Rejecting the predictable path. It will force your to seek random, unpredictable choices.

Second is to make purposeful bets

All the above strategies, improve the odds of creating the click moment, but that alone does not guarantee success. Indeed, one has to actually execute on the opportunity, which again requires taking actions and making bets fraught with risks. The author then recommends the following strategies for idea execution

1) Place many purposeful bets to improve your odds of success

2) Minimize the size of the bets as it not only minimizes risk but also allows you more chances to get it right

3) Take the smallest executable step that can validate the idea.

4) Calculate affordable loss, not ROI (Return on Investment). Rather than seeking maximal ROI to make decision, use the metric – If you can afford the loss do it.

5) Use passion as fuel, as it keeps us going when the bets are not working out.

Lastly, harness the complex forces

Given the world we live, our actions can often have unintended consequences that can affect the end results. There are often complex forces beyond what we can account for that allow for events and actions to change, build and or propagate in myriad ways. The author suggests the following strategies to harness the complex forces

1) Create large hooks by taking action and doing something, anything, so that the complex forces can latch on to your actions.

2) Take a closer look at unexpected surprises as they might cradle an opportunity within it.

3) Look for an opening that could be advantageous and act on it.

4) Spot momentum and intensity. They can help us identify if an idea is about to be swept  up by forces exponentially greater than any we could amass on our own.

5) Double down when you have discovered complex forces working in your favor.

The book provides many real life examples to drive home the new success paradigm and is a fascinating and thought provoking read. You can get more information about the book and the author here