Posts tagged ‘scientific career’

Stem cells

  1. Mandai M, Watanabe A, Kurimoto Y, Hirami Y, Morinaga C, Daimon T, Fujihara M, Akimaru H, Sakai N, Shibata Y, Terada M, Nomiya Y, Tanishima S, Nakamura M, Kamao H, Sugita S, Onishi A, Ito T, Fujita K, Kawamata S, Go MJ, Shinohara C, Hata KI, Sawada M, Yamamoto M, Ohta S, Ohara Y, Yoshida K, Kuwahara J, Kitano Y, Amano N, Umekage M, Kitaoka F, Tanaka A, Okada C, Takasu N, Ogawa S, Yamanaka S, Takahashi M. Autologous Induced Stem-Cell-Derived Retinal Cells for Macular Degeneration. N Engl J Med. 2017 Mar 16;376(11):1038-1046. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1608368. PubMed PMID: 28296613.
  2. Merkle FT, Ghosh S, Kamitaki N, Mitchell J, Avior Y, Mello C, Kashin S, Mekhoubad S, Ilic D, Charlton M, Saphier G, Handsaker RE, Genovese G, Bar S, Benvenisty N, McCarroll SA, Eggan K. Human pluripotent stem cells recurrently acquire and expand dominant negative P53 mutations. Nature. 2017 May 11;545(7653):229-233. doi: 10.1038/nature22312. Epub 2017 Apr 26. PubMed PMID: 28445466; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5427175.


  1. Yu W, Mookherjee S, Chaitankar V, Hiriyanna S, Kim JW, Brooks M, Ataeijannati Y, Sun X, Dong L, Li T, Swaroop A, Wu Z. Nrl knockdown by AAV-delivered CRISPR/Cas9 prevents retinal degeneration in mice. Nat Commun. 2017 Mar 14;8:14716. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14716. PubMed PMID: 28291770.
  2. Schaefer KA, Wu WH, Colgan DF, Tsang SH, Bassuk AG, Mahajan VB. Unexpected mutations after CRISPR-Cas9 editing in vivo. Nat Methods. 2017 May 30;14(6):547-548. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.4293. PubMed PMID: 28557981.

Scientific Career

  1. Barnett A. Comment: Research needs more competence, less ‘excellence’. Nature. 2017 Mar 22;543(7646):S29. doi: 10.1038/543S29a. PubMed PMID: 28328912.


  1. Lefrançais E, Ortiz-Muñoz G, Caudrillier A, Mallavia B, Liu F, Sayah DM, Thornton EE, Headley MB, David T, Coughlin SR, Krummel MF, Leavitt AD, Passegué E, Looney MR. The lung is a site of platelet biogenesis and a reservoir for haematopoietic progenitors. Nature. 2017 Apr 6;544(7648):105-109. doi: 10.1038/nature21706. Epub 2017 Mar 22. PubMed PMID: 28329764.


  1. Stevens TJ, Lando D, Basu S, Atkinson LP, Cao Y, Lee SF, Leeb M, Wohlfahrt KJ, Boucher W, O’Shaughnessy-Kirwan A, Cramard J, Faure AJ, Ralser M, Blanco E, Morey L, Sansó M, Palayret MG, Lehner B, Di Croce L, Wutz A, Hendrich B, Klenerman D, Laue ED. 3D structures of individual mammalian genomes studied by single-cell Hi-C. Nature. 2017 Apr 6;544(7648):59-64. doi: 10.1038/nature21429. Epub 2017 Mar 13. PubMed PMID: 28289288; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5385134.

Eye diseases, glaucoma

  1. Williams PA, Harder JM, Foxworth NE, Cochran KE, Philip VM, Porciatti V, Smithies O, John SW. Vitamin B(3) modulates mitochondrial vulnerability and prevents glaucoma in aged mice. Science. 2017 Feb 17;355(6326):756-760. doi: 10.1126/science.aal0092. PubMed PMID: 28209901; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5408298.
    • Crowston J, Trounce I. Relief for retinal neurons under pressure. Science. 2017 Feb 17;355(6326):688-689. doi: 10.1126/science.aam7935. PubMed PMID: 28209856.


  1. Wang J, O’Sullivan ML, Mukherjee D, Puñal VM, Farsiu S, Kay JN. Anatomy and spatial organization of Müller glia in mouse retina. J Comp Neurol. 2017 Jun 1;525(8):1759-1777. doi: 10.1002/cne.24153. Epub 2017 Mar 7. PubMed PMID: 27997986.
  2. Xiang L, Chen XJ, Wu KC, Zhang CJ, Zhou GH, Lv JN, Sun LF, Cheng FF, Cai XB, Jin ZB. miR-183/96 plays a pivotal regulatory role in mouse photoreceptor maturation and maintenance. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 May 30. pii: 201618757. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1618757114. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28559309.
  3. Fan J, Jia L, Li Y, Ebrahim S, May-Simera H, Wood A, Morell RJ, Liu P, Lei J,  Kachar B, Belluscio L, Qian H, Li T, Li W, Wistow G, Dong L. Maturation arrest in early postnatal sensory receptors by deletion of the miR-183/96/182 cluster in mouse. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 May 23;114(21):E4271-E4280. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1619442114. Epub 2017 May 8. PubMed PMID: 28484004; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5448201.


  1. Yang J, Jin ZB, Chen J, Huang XF, Li XM, Liang YB, Mao JY, Chen X, Zheng Z, Bakshi A, Zheng DD, Zheng MQ, Wray NR, Visscher PM, Lu F, Qu J. Genetic signatures of high-altitude adaptation in Tibetans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Apr 18;114(16):4189-4194. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1617042114. Epub 2017 Apr 3. PubMed PMID: 28373541; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5402460.
  2. Jin ZB, Wu J, Huang XF, Feng CY, Cai XB, Mao JY, Xiang L, Wu KC, Xiao X, Kloss BA, Li Z, Liu Z, Huang S, Shen M, Cheng FF, Cheng XW, Zheng ZL, Chen X, Zhuang W, Zhang Q, Young TL, Xie T, Lu F, Qu J. Trio-based exome sequencing arrests de novo mutations in early-onset high myopia. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Apr 18;114(16):4219-4224. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1615970114. Epub 2017 Apr 3. PubMed PMID: 28373534; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5402409.


Stem cells/ regenerative medicine

  1. Zhong X, Gutierrez C, Xue T, Hampton C, Vergara MN, Cao LH, Peters A, Park TS, Zambidis ET, Meyer JS, Gamm DM, Yau KW, Canto-Soler MV. Generation of three-dimensional retinal tissue with functional photoreceptors from human iPSCs. Nat Commun. 2014 Jun 10;5:4047. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5047. PubMed PMID: 24915161.
  2. Reichman S, Terray A, Slembrouck A, Nanteau C, Orieux G, Habeler W, Nandrot EF, Sahel JA, Monville C, Goureau O. From confluent human iPS cells to self-forming neural retina and retinal pigmented epithelium. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jun 10;111(23):8518-23. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1324212111. Epub 2014 May 27. PubMed PMID: 24912154.
  3. Chong JJ, Yang X, Don CW, Minami E, Liu YW, Weyers JJ, Mahoney WM, Van Biber B, Cook SM, Palpant NJ, Gantz JA, Fugate JA, Muskheli V, Gough GM, Vogel KW, Astley CA, Hotchkiss CE, Baldessari A, Pabon L, Reinecke H, Gill EA, Nelson V, Kiem HP, Laflamme MA, Murry CE. Human embryonic-stem-cell-derived cardiomyocytes regenerate non-human primate hearts. Nature. 2014 Jun 12;510(7504):273-7. doi: 10.1038/nature13233. Epub 2014 Apr 30. PubMed PMID: 24776797.
  4. Normile D, Vogel G. Cell biology. STAP cells succumb to pressure. Science. 2014 Jun 13;344(6189):1215-6. doi: 10.1126/science.344.6189.1215. PubMed PMID: 24925996.

Eye diseases

  1. Agbaga MP, Tam BM, Wong JS, Yang LL, Anderson RE, Moritz OL. Mutant ELOVL4 That Causes Autosomal Dominant Stargardt-3 Macular Dystrophy Is Misrouted to Rod Outer Segment Disks. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014 May 15;55(6):3669-3680. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-13099. PubMed PMID: 24833735.

Oxidative stress

  1. Moussavi Nik SH, Croft K, Mori TA, Lardelli M. The comparison of methods for measuring oxidative stress in zebrafish brains. Zebrafish. 2014 Jun;11(3):248-54. doi: 10.1089/zeb.2013.0958. Epub 2014 May 5. PubMed PMID: 24798242.

Molecular Biology

  1. Roberts JW. Molecular biology. Molecular basis of transcription pausing. Science. 2014 Jun 13;344(6189):1226-7. doi: 10.1126/science.1255712. PubMed PMID: 24926002.

Systems Biology

  1. Shalek AK, Satija R, Shuga J, Trombetta JJ, Gennert D, Lu D, Chen P, Gertner RS, Gaublomme JT, Yosef N, Schwartz S, Fowler B, Weaver S, Wang J, Wang X, Ding R, Raychowdhury R, Friedman N, Hacohen N, Park H, May AP, Regev A. Single-cell RNA-seq reveals dynamic paracrine control of cellular variation. Nature. 2014 Jun 11. doi: 10.1038/nature13437. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24919153.

Synthetic Biology/Gene regulatory Network

  1. Attwater J, Holliger P. A synthetic approach to abiogenesis. Nat Methods. 2014 May;11(5):495-8. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.2893. PubMed PMID: 24781322.
  2. Brophy JA, Voigt CA. Principles of genetic circuit design. Nat Methods. 2014 May;11(5):508-20. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.2926. Review. PubMed PMID: 24781324.


  1. Zhou Y, Cattley RT, Cario CL, Bai Q, Burton EA. Quantification of larval zebrafish motor function in multiwell plates using open-source MATLAB applications. Nat Protoc. 2014 Jul;9(7):1533-48. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2014.094. Epub 2014 Jun 5. PubMed PMID: 24901738.


  1. Wieman CE. Large-scale comparison of science teaching methods sends clear message. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jun 10;111(23):8319-20. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1407304111. Epub 2014 May 22. PubMed PMID: 24853505.
  2. Zhou M, Lee J. Assessing what is cultural about Asian Americans’ academic advantage. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jun 10;111(23):8321-2. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1407309111. Epub 2014 May 29. PubMed PMID: 24876277.
  3. Freeman S, Eddy SL, McDonough M, Smith MK, Okoroafor N, Jordt H, Wenderoth MP. Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jun 10;111(23):8410-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1319030111. Epub 2014 May 12. PubMed PMID: 24821756.
  4. Hsin A, Xie Y. Explaining Asian Americans’ academic advantage over whites. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jun 10;111(23):8416-21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1406402111. Epub 2014 May 5. PubMed PMID: 24799702.

Scientific Career

  1. van Dijk D, Manor O, Carey LB. Publication metrics and success on the academic job market. Curr Biol. 2014 Jun 2;24(11):R516-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.04.039. PubMed PMID: 24892909.

Having a good science education is essential for all of us, because that trains one’s critical thinking; while asking a lot more students to join the field is a whole different issue. A number of factors comes into play for one to decide whether he would want to pursue this career, including one’s personality, dedication, and perhaps most importantly, financial status and career aspiration. As a teacher for many students who has spent a few more years than them and has gone through some of these thinking exercises, I believe it is rather important to let students know about the reality of the career path in research rather than telling them a rosy story and blindly motivating them. To me that is just like an academic Ponzi scheme.

Here is a great article “U.S. pushes for more scientists, but the jobs aren’t there” about the situation (once again), by Brian Vastag from the Washington Post:

That reality runs counter to messages sent by President Obama and the National Science Foundation and other influential groups, who in recent years have called for U.S. universities to churn out more scientists.

What worries me the most during the counseling of younger students, is that many think they study well, can get good grades and hence going to graduate school is a natural choice. My typical response is that “you don’t want to go to graduate school”. Don’t get me wrong. I am very enthusiastic in training students and motivate them about the excitements of scientific discoveries and thinking. However, I often see students, friends and colleagues who have good heart and can study well but ended up getting frustrated about the situation when they are a bit older and have more family obligations. I often give students a few analogies to help their planning.  Here is of them, compare pursuing research as a career to pursuing performing arts (or artists or TV stars, you get the idea) as a career. Don’t just look at the successful ones for inspiration and commit yourself to the path. Also look at the ones that have to struggle for survival. If you like that kind of sacrifice for you and your family and uncertainties for the career satisfaction, may be pursuing research as a career is good for you. In other words, pursuing research as a career requires not only the smartest minds, but also the strongest dedication and good financial flexibility. Unless there is a fundamental change in the system, research is not the career type that would give the stability that many may have perceived.



  1. Vogel G. Reproductive biology. Potential egg stem cells reignite debate. Science. 2012 Mar 2;335(6072):1029-30. PubMed PMID: 22383817.

Scientific career

  1. Mervis J. Scientific careers. Is motherhood the biggest reason for academia’s gender imbalance? Science. 2012 Mar 2;335(6072):1030-1. PubMed PMID: 22383818.


  1. Xu X, Hou Y, Yin X, Bao L, Tang A, Song L, Li F, Tsang S, Wu K, Wu H, He W, Zeng L, Xing M, Wu R, Jiang H, Liu X, Cao D, Guo G, Hu X, Gui Y, Li Z, Xie W, Sun X, Shi M, Cai Z, Wang B, Zhong M, Li J, Lu Z, Gu N, Zhang X, Goodman L, Bolund L, Wang J, Yang H, Kristiansen K, Dean M, Li Y, Wang J. Single-cell exome sequencing reveals single-nucleotide mutation characteristics of a kidney tumor. Cell. 2012 Mar 2;148(5):886-95. PubMed PMID: 22385958.
  2. Hou Y, Song L, Zhu P, Zhang B, Tao Y, Xu X, Li F, Wu K, Liang J, Shao D, Wu H, Ye X, Ye C, Wu R, Jian M, Chen Y, Xie W, Zhang R, Chen L, Liu X, Yao X, Zheng H, Yu C, Li Q, Gong Z, Mao M, Yang X, Yang L, Li J, Wang W, Lu Z, Gu N, Laurie G, Bolund L, Kristiansen K, Wang J, Yang H, Li Y, Zhang X, Wang J. Single-Cell ExomeSequencing and Monoclonal Evolution of a JAK2-Negative Myeloproliferative Neoplasm. Cell. 2012 Mar 2;148(5):873-85. PubMed PMID: 22385957.

Systems biology

  1. Angermann BR, Klauschen F, Garcia AD, Prustel T, Zhang F, Germain RN, Meier-Schellersheim M. Computational modeling of cellular signaling processes embedded into dynamic spatial contexts. Nat Methods. 2012 Jan 29;9(3):283-9. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1861. PubMed PMID: 22286385.
    • Commentary: Sneddon MW, Emonet T. Modeling cellular signaling: taking space into the computation. Nat Methods. 2012 Feb 28;9(3):239-42. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1900. PubMed PMID: 22373909.


  1. Allan C, Burel JM, Moore J, Blackburn C, Linkert M, Loynton S, Macdonald D, Moore WJ, Neves C, Patterson A, Porter M, Tarkowska A, Loranger B, Avondo J, Lagerstedt I, Lianas L, Leo S, Hands K, Hay RT, Patwardhan A, Best C, Kleywegt GJ, Zanetti G, Swedlow JR. OMERO: flexible, model-driven data management for experimental biology. Nat Methods. 2012 Feb 28;9(3):245-53. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1896. PubMed PMID: 22373911.
  2. Ragan T, Kadiri LR, Venkataraju KU, Bahlmann K, Sutin J, Taranda J, Arganda-Carreras I, Kim Y, Seung HS, Osten P. Serial two-photon tomography for automated ex vivo mouse brain imaging. Nat Methods. 2012 Jan 15;9(3):255-8. doi:  10.1038/nmeth.1854. PubMed PMID: 22245809; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3297424


  1. Wang X, Chen X, Yang Y. Spatiotemporal control of gene expression by a light-switchable transgene system. Nat Methods. 2012 Feb 12;9(3):266-9. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1892. PubMed PMID: 22327833.