A Day in the Life of a Scientist: Neuroscience Postdoc

For those that have never been inside a research lab, the day-to-day tasks of a scientist may seem foreign. Many people’s only conception of what it is like to be a scientist comes from TV or movies, where data are generated quickly and discoveries are produced in sudden “a-ha” moments, by scientists usually portrayed as strange or extraordinarily intelligent. Although there are many advantages to a career in science, the challenges, drudgery, and detail often involved in multi-year projects is never explained. Continue reading


New science: Does positive thinking cure depression?

Last Thursday, an article published in the internationally renowned journal Nature piqued my interest. This paper, titled “Activating Positive Memory Engrams Suppresses Depression-like Behavior,” was written by Ramirez and colleagues and was published in the June 18th issue. I was initially drawn to this paper because my current research project is focused on understanding the hippocampus, a region of the brain important for learning and memory, and understanding the mechanisms by which antidepressants work in animal models. Judging by the title alone, it seemed to me like the research group was able to reduce depression symptoms through some sort of memory manipulation, which could have important ramifications on future depression and antidepressant research. Continue reading

Tips from Hubert Zajicek’s visit: How to develop your science “elevator pitch”

Author: C. R. Morales

Dr. Hubert Zajicek from Health Wildcatters visited us on January 29, 2015 to speak about how to improve our elevator pitches in order to get people excited about us and our work.  Below are some practical take-aways from that talk that we thought might be useful to share. Continue reading

SPEaC hosts reporter Lauren Silverman for a science communication event

Author: C. R. Morales

On October 1st, SPEaC was pleased to host media expert Lauren Silverman at UT Southwestern. The purpose of the event was to provide an opportunity for graduate students and trainees at UT Southwestern to learn how to improve their science communication skills. In addition, SPEaC’s goal was to provide exposure to careers in science communication as a professional development exercise. Thanks to the sponsorship from the Career Services office, a private lunch for 32 students and postdocs was provided in the Faculty Club. Continue reading