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Regional Student Group NBIC Career Presentation April 18, 2011


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Talk given to the Regional Student Group (RSG) of the Netherlands BioInformatics Center annual meeting on April 18, 2011. It is one scientists career path in bioinformatics.

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Regional Student Group NBIC Career Presentation April 18, 2011

  1. 1. “ CV Talk” Philip E. Bourne PhD [email_address] Ten Simple Rules PLoS Comp Biol Collection “ I Am Now Officially Old”
  2. 2. The Life of One Scientist – The Early Years So That You Might Not Make the Same Mistakes <ul><li>My high school teacher Mr. Wilson said I would be a failure at chemistry </li></ul><ul><li>My PhD is in chemistry </li></ul><ul><li>The opportunity to live in different places shaped my life </li></ul><ul><li>What you like when you are a kid may shape your future </li></ul>
  3. 3. 40+ Years Later <ul><li>Good friends are forever </li></ul>
  4. 4. BSc (Hon) It was About Then I Began to Understand Myself – But I Still Made Mistakes
  5. 5. PhD – The Molecular Basis of Cancer Treatment <ul><li>I thought I was at the center of the scientific universe </li></ul><ul><li>I later discovered I was actually in deep space </li></ul><ul><li>I defined my own projects that interested me in the broad lab framework </li></ul>
  6. 6. I Love Computers Circa 1974 <ul><li>Your head will tell you stuff </li></ul><ul><li>Your heart will tell you something different </li></ul><ul><li>Follow your heart </li></ul>
  7. 7. Postdoctoral Work – The Molecular Basis of How the Body Works <ul><li>Regrets: never learnt another language </li></ul>
  8. 8. Studying Iron Metabolism
  9. 9. Some Things Stay with You Your Whole Life
  10. 10. I Got Involved in Open Source Software <ul><li>Look for the signs that will shape your later life </li></ul>
  11. 11. Senior Scientist – Columbia University New York <ul><li>Driven not by career but wanting to live in New York City </li></ul>
  12. 12. The IT Years <ul><li>Thought more about money than science </li></ul><ul><li>Paid the price in later years – only now catching up </li></ul><ul><li>Do I have regrets? - Nah </li></ul><ul><li>Stated another way – science is for the long haul and it is about establishing a reputation </li></ul><ul><li>May have “wasted” the most productive years </li></ul>2011 Ten Simple Rules for Developing and Maintaining a Scientific Reputation PLoS Comp. Biol. , To appear shortly 2007 Ten Simple Rules for Doing Your Best Research, According to Hamming PLoS Comp. Biol ., 3(10): e213
  13. 13. The Authoring Years
  14. 14. <ul><li>Make the most of every day </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t sweat the small stuff </li></ul>
  15. 15. Got Involved with the The Human Genome – Was Only Possible by Applying Computers to Problems in Biology <ul><li>Realized what was coming and leveraged the possibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Built on existing strengths </li></ul><ul><li>Was prepared to move </li></ul><ul><li>Picked the best place </li></ul>
  16. 16. 1995 – Went to UCSD to Apply Computers to Big Biological Problems <ul><li>Possibly the best place in the world to do computational biology </li></ul>
  17. 17.
  18. 18. RCSB PDB 1998 - Number of released entries Year
  19. 19. The RCSB PDB was a Big Plus <ul><li>Money talks even in academia </li></ul><ul><li>Satisfied my needs – that engineer again </li></ul><ul><li>High visibility </li></ul><ul><li>Used it to leverage my research </li></ul>
  20. 20. ISCB Involvement 1998- <ul><li>Local chair ISMB 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Secretary 2001-2 </li></ul><ul><li>President 2002-3 </li></ul><ul><li>Program chair ISMB 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Program chair RECOMB 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Important to give as well as take </li></ul><ul><li>Great way to network – this is a major key to success </li></ul><ul><li>Teaches you important skills eg management </li></ul><ul><li>Balance it – It is only a very small part of your legacy </li></ul>
  21. 21. PLoS Comp. Biol. 2005- <ul><li>Why? - Was disenchanted with where bioinformatics was headed </li></ul><ul><li>Why? Had tenure already </li></ul><ul><li>A distant second – though open access was a good idea </li></ul><ul><li>Outcome – very pleased with what we have accomplished </li></ul><ul><li>A true team effort </li></ul><ul><li>Been able to express myself in new ways </li></ul><ul><li>Some recognition, but a lot of work </li></ul><ul><li>Get to see a lot of good and bad papers </li></ul>
  22. 22. Today - Big Research Questions in the Lab <ul><li>Can we improve how science is disseminated and comprehended? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the ancestry of the protein structure universe and what can we learn from it? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there alternative ways to represent proteins from which we can learn something new? </li></ul><ul><li>What really happens when we take a drug? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we contribute to the treatment of neglected {tropical} diseases? </li></ul>August 14, 2009
  23. 23. Student of Many Things – Master of None <ul><li>Work with others who can fill the gaps, which implies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delegation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self confidence </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Motivation
  25. 26. There Have Been a Few Ah Hah Moments
  26. 27. Current Career Goals <ul><li>Crowd source the twenty first century printing press </li></ul><ul><li>Make a significant contribution to peoples lives as a result of work on a neglected disease </li></ul><ul><li>Inspire young minds </li></ul>
  27. 28. A Few of Life’s Lessons <ul><li>Manage by doing not by saying </li></ul><ul><li>Treat people well always – you will feel good and it pays off </li></ul><ul><li>Being a successful scientist is about (in ~ order): innovation, papers, communication, management, networking </li></ul><ul><li>Every day ask yourself if you are content – if the answer is no do something else </li></ul>
  28. 29. Life Is About Balance – Easy to Say Hard to Do
  29. 30. More Information <ul><li>Lab: </li></ul><ul><li>Google – PLoS Collections – 10 Rules </li></ul><ul><li>Great Motorcycle Journeys of the World: </li></ul>