We're a little crazy, about science!

Solo OR experiment

Tomorrow will mark attempt number six to get the data we’re after from the OR. We’ve got a very unwieldy experiment to do which involves coordinating with the surgeon, but also the staff to make sure we don’t run into each other. It’s a delicate dance and if you haven’t been following along, it hasn’t been great so far.

As of now, we have had zero full datasets. We have two partial datasets out of the five attempts, but nothing complete. The main issue is that we have about a half dozen experiments wrapped into this one giant project. Doing research in the OR is a somewhat rare occurrence, so we have several groups that want to take advantage of the time we’re there. Out of those six or so experiments, two are for me specifically, one is for the lab as a whole (hospital-PI came up with it), and the others are for our collaborators.

Since zero of the attempts have been completely successful, you would imagine that hospital-PI would be anxious to get good data. However, that’s not the case, I mean he is anxious to get the data for sure, but tomorrow I’ll be going in solo. Yep, hospital-PI has other obligations tomorrow and since we can’t reschedule the surgery he’s trusting me to go in and get the job done.

Moreover, since we had zero full experiments, tomorrow will (most likely) be our first full experiment run. Yep I’ll be doing the full routine, exciting right? Not that I can talk about the full routine (as usual), but there’s quite a few steps and I’ll be taking one of our newer lab members in with me to assist. How the tables have turned!

Most of the experiments I do in hospital-PI’s lab I do because he can leave me alone to do them. I’ve been in the lab the longest so he knows that I can handle most things. This is experiment is the most complicated experiment I’ve ever been a part of and to add to that we’re doing it in the OR with others who aren’t used to waiting on us to get stuff done so they can do what they are literally there to do.

The surgeon (who for those who don’t remember is surgeon-PI, or the third PI I’ve somehow roped into my PhD…) is thankfully very polite about the whole thing, even if he does give me a hard time when we’re in the OR saying things like, “time is money.” But hospital-PI asked him to go easy on me this time since it will actually be the first time we are shooting to do the full experiment so there is some extra setup involved and a little more time to do it all.

Tomorrow will be a long day, but hopefully I’ll have some good news about it, but right now I’m working under the assumption that tomorrow’s post will just be the, “sorry, busy!” post that comes from a full day where I don’t have a few minutes to actually write.

In any case, tomorrow’s experiment will be my show to run, so fingers crossed!

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