Contributed by Bart C. Weimer, PhD
It is spring and again graduation is upon us. This year the Weimer lab produced 4 fantastic graduates. These folks are prepared for the next phase of their career. Moving from being a graduate student to a post doc or an industry employee is a big transition. Prior to the ceremony a friend of one of my students came by to wish all a great day. She said, “Industry is so demanding and deadline driven. I’m having troubles keeping up with the deadlines.” What a real world comment. Graduate school is a privileged part of life where you have lots of flexibility to think, write and do science while disregarding the demands for progress on a quarterly schedule. While I try to honor this privilege, my long years of collaborating with industry tells me that I need to instill a sense of timing for my graduate students so this transition is smoother.
All of my students that are graduating (Narine, Po, Alli, Ning) have very different projects. They have done a stunning job of working on very hard problems to discern fundamental insights so that translational insights will also be found. I’m really sorry to see these students leave, but that is my job – train people to move on and get on with their career so that they are a great success with a solid foundation.
Each of these students has been exceptional in very different ways. It has been a pleasure to work with them and interact to produce science that has substance and that we can be proud of now and in the future. They will be at ASM to show off their great science. Please stop and see their posters in Boston on June 18!! You will see glycan digestion from pathogens, metabolomic assessment of infection, large scale genomics of Campylobacter and hazard forensics using metagenomics – all have great data for their posters, and papers that are in progress.
Best of luck to my departing students. I will miss them. They have added and enriched my lab with their work and personalities. I’m sure they will succeed. It is part of their DNA to push, drive, and produce great science.