Lab manual for the ARAS Lab.
If you’ve just joined the lab – welcome! We’re excited to have you as part of the team. You’ll find the lab filled with smart, passionate people with broad interests at the intersection of cardiac electrophysiology, adipose biology, bioinformatics, and bioelectronics. We really value diversity and openness in our lab, and hope to make it a fun, friendly and productive environment.
Our lab manual borrows heavily from this one and that one. Even so, it remains a living document that will undergo continuous and never ending improvement and refinement as we grow and learn from each other’s experiences.
Expectations and Responsibilities
My most important job is my role as a mentor to the trainees in my lab and as such, I will strive to:
– Give you regular and timely feedback on your project ideas and progress, conference posters and talks, manuscripts, and grants.
– Help you prepare for your next career step
– Help make sure you maintain work-life balance, and always be open to any concerns about stress levels and anxiety
The postdoc period is your opportunity to start proving yourself as a successful independent researcher. I expect my postdocs to:
– Serve as role models for the trainees around you in terms of drive, independence, high-level thinking, scholarship, collegiality, and collaboration.
– Help mentor grad students and undergrads when they need it.
– Apply for grants (foundation fellowships, AHA, K99).
– Challenge me when you think I’m wrong, because you’ll often see things that I don’t.
I expect my PhD students to:
– Develop your dissertation research. Initially you’ll work on an assigned project. Eventually (by years 2 or 3), you’ll become the expert and will be proposing your own directions. During that time you’ll probably have to do your qualifying exams and thesis proposal (specifics vary by PhD program).
– Help mentor undergrads and more junior grad students when they need it.
– Constantly improve your scientific writing and presentation skills, by presenting at different conferences and graduate research days.
Initially most undergraduate students will assist more senior lab members on projects. As you gain more experience and expertise, we hope you’ll take on more responsibility towards driving projects and setting direction including:
– Be in charge of setting your lab schedule, sticking to it, and communicating when any issues come up.
– Make sure you complete your required trainings/certifications (e.g., lab safety, animal handling as applicable, etc).
– Ask questions. Voice your confusion. Get comfortable not knowing things, and don’t be afraid to look stupid – nobody’s going to judge you for not knowing something.
– Talk to everyone in the lab, not just your mentor. Get to know people and projects and expand your horizons! Everyone in our lab is willing to help if s/he has time.
– If something goes wrong or breaks, speak up immediately. (Communicate!)
– Attend lab meetings (schedule permitting). Start reading papers, even if they’re over your head.
– Maintain a clean lab environment. This is especially important as you’ll be in and out of the lab in spurts, and it’s easy to leave a few things laying around, etc – this then adds up to a lot of clutter and can make the workspaces unusuable!
This is your opportunity to get to know what research is all about. We want to welcome you and have you develop into a colleague and valued member, and we want you to have fun.
Our goal in the rotation is to determine if the lab is a great fit for you, and vice versa. Typically you will be paired with a grad student or postdoc, and your aim will be to advance a small piece of an existing project. As such, I expect you to:
– Read literature and become familiar with current topics in our field
– Familiarize yourself with the experimental techniques we use in our lab
– Get a sense of which topics interest you
– Get to know all the members of the lab and understand our culture