We're a little crazy, about science!

The week ahead

Every once and awhile I like to highlight what kind of stuff I’m working on during the week and since there are a lot of things going on and none of them would make a very “full” post on their own, I think it would be best to group it all together and look ahead because there are some very interesting things happening this week!

Always with the rushing! It feels like no matter what I do we’re always coming up against some sort of deadline. It’s a theme around here. I should just rename the blog eternal deadline or something because it’s all that ever happens. Maybe that’s the secret to getting a PhD you spend 4-10 years of your life behind a deadline and if you survive somehow you obviously deserve a degree. So yeah, this week is no different, but at least the deadlines are interesting!

Not-so-deadline related is tomorrow. We have up to three OR experiments going on tomorrow. Two killed us, so I can’t imagine what three would feel like. I believe at least one (possibly all three) are not good candidates for the experiments we’re looking to do, so that may or may not happen. If it does then great, if not, well that’s not so bad either. It will give me more time to work on other things and there are plenty of other things to be working on! Three in one day though, oh man.

Tuesday and Wednesday I have two new experiments I’m assisting on. These are to get me ready to test “big idea” and while it’s not the setting I want to be testing that out in, it’s a step in the correct direction at least. We’re still working out the details for testing big idea in two different settings, one will be easier than the other, but the latter is exactly the setting I want to test in. The problem is for that particular setting we need to modify an existing IRB for this new technique and we need to get a few other doctors onboard with what we’re trying to do.

I believe there’s a meeting this week about it with some potential collaborators. A meeting that I may or may not be attending. The meeting is probably well above my paygrade so to speak, so I probably will only hear about the result after the fact. So we can summarize this by saying big idea probably won’t be tested the way I want to use it for another few months, but hey in research that’s still lightning fast. We will probably be testing it in a different setting next month though (if we’re lucky) and that will be pretty freaking cool to start.

Wednesday is also the due date for Robot paper (here). I’m waiting to hear back from robot-PI about it so we can submit our response. I’m hoping if he has any changes that need to be made he does them himself, he’s usually pretty good about that, but there’s always a chance I’ll need to do the heavy lifting. Robot paper has been four years in the making so I’m just a little (see: a whole fucking lot) anxious about it. I really want this damned thing published.

I also have my IRB application to resubmit. School-PI needs to give me his blessing before I re-submit it, but as I said I would, I got all the stuff done yesterday so now I just need to wait to hear what he things. Once that happens I’m hopeful that the IRB pre-review board thinks it’s good enough for IRB review. That won’t happen for a few weeks at minimum (possibly a month), but I’m still ahead of schedule if all goes according to plan.

I also need to meet with (or at least get a response from) school-PI about my proposed work for my dissertation. I’m hopeful he agrees what I suggest is enough and that will be the end of the story. Or rather the beginning since I need to write a formal proposal, finalize my committee since one of the professors left, and set a date to defend my proposal. It will be a lot of moving parts, but I’m hoping to propose in the next month if all goes well. It’s taking longer than I would like, but I think this week I can get a huge chunk of the work done if I’m lucky.

Which brings me to the end of the (work) week stuff. Luckily for the moment Thursday seems pretty open, meaning I SHOULD in theory have a chance to work on some more data! Friday will be busy since that’s my school day and I will have meeting after meeting until my eyes bleed. I’m hoping that Friday will be the day I get confirmation from school-PI about my dissertation, assuming I don’t hear back before then.

Somewhere in this mess I need to meet with hospital-PI and (probably) school-PI, separately at first, to discuss the paper that we were all writing. One that I should have submitted for publication months ago mind you! We finally got word back from one of our collaborators on the paper and unfortunately he had some of the same issues hospital-PI had with the paper. We may or may not have a real struggle on our hands now, but I’ll deal with it when that happens and I’m trying not to think too much about it until I know more for sure.

The good news there is that we finally have some forward movement and that’s all I really need. The paper is number four for me and the last one I need to start the submission process for. I’m hopeful that there will be minimal edits needed, but that is yet to be seen. Most of the hard stuff is done though, so now it’s just nitpick detail stuff.

And that about sums up the week ahead for me. I know I’m probably missing a bunch of other stuff that will be hitting me this week, but we’ll have to cover that as it happens. In the meantime, I still have a bunch of data to process today, so back to work I go!


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