How I spend my days in the laboratory

Pipetting experiment
This is what I spend most of my time doing.  I am lucky if the liquid is as exciting a color as this.

My time at work can be roughly divided into three separate categories.  The first category, which is (luckily) the one which consumes the least amount of my time is producing papers and presentations based around my research.  This work is mostly accomplished by the time my experiments and procedures have already been designed, allowing me to spend less time thinking about how others are going to see my work and allowing me to spend more time focusing on what they see.  The second and most exciting activity which I perform on a regular basis is carrying out experimental procedures.  While some of these procedures can seem somewhat mundane (I sometimes spend hours and hours transferring tiny amounts of one clear liquid into other clear liquids, only to produce another clear liquid which I must then analyze only to find out that nothing interesting really occurred), others are very exciting, like dissecting lab mice or examining microCT results.  The third component of my research is data analysis, and it is the most time consuming.  I’ve spent countless hours manipulating spreadsheets and making sure that all my data are accounted for.

The lab that I work in looks about what you could imagine any scientific laboratory looking; we occasionally have mice chilling with us in our lab—awaiting a most unfortunate fate—we have big computer systems, microscopes, clean surfaces (everywhere), and flasks covering the dozens of shelves lining every wall of the lab, filled with chemicals of varying toxicities.


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