We're a little crazy, about science!

New and old projects

It’s finally my chance to put my own spin on the stuff coming out of the hospital lab and I’m incredibly excited about what is coming. Unfortunately I can’t talk about it! However, I’m hopeful that this year will be an excellent year for me with regards to the research I’m doing. Things are slowly falling into place and while we’re still at the beginning, things are looking bright.

I don’t get excited easily these days. Maybe hospital-PI’s somewhat cynical outlook on things has rubbed off, or maybe it’s just because I’ve had one too many good things I thought were going to happen get pulled out from under me. In either case, I’ve become somewhat jaded I guess, maybe? Or maybe not as excited about the prospect of something vs. actually doing the thing. You can’t be disappointed if you don’t get your hopes up. Which is something I happened to say last lab meeting with respect to the whole DARPA thing (this!) still waiting to hear back on that FYI.

However, I’m excited. Between the endless craft projects I’ve seemed to be collecting for the lab, I’ve managed to get everything ready for “big idea” (here). With the exception of some rather expensive equipment that hospital PI ordered that is and that’s been the hold up. We put the request in for the equipment months ago (back when I first had big idea). And you would think that because it’s his money, literally for the lab, that he could spend it however he wants and the hospital would let him. You would think that, but you’d be wrong! Turns out the hospital needs to approve the purchases, over and over and over. According to our lab coordinator, she’s seen the things need literally dozens of approvals before the purchase is made.

So I’ve been not so patiently sitting and waiting for the order to be put in. A few weeks ago we got word that it was close, buuut there was another snag. It turns out, from a call to one of the representatives, the equipment is on backorder for months so the earliest would get it is mid to end of the year. Then there’s the whole IRB issue, which needs to be approved, even though it was a minor amendment to one of our studies, but that’s taken literally months as well and there’s no real way of knowing when it would be approved.

So that’s a long list of horrible, no good, very bad, things that are on my list of things I need to be worried about. Except…

Today we got the new equipment. It showed up rather randomly and without warning (which was odd…), but it came nevertheless! Now I have all the equipment I will need for big idea and a whole lot of other projects I’m excited to take on. The purchase was more than I make in a year and the equipment was literally just for me and big idea, but here we are. I’m happy to say it’s in good working order, we checked it all out today to make sure everything was functional, because even new equipment can be broken on arrival unfortunately. Everything is good so that’s one less thing to worry about.

Then there’s the IRB, which was conditionally approved as of Friday. Yep, that’s right, while we need to hear back still for final approval, we’ve made the requested modification to the IRB and now we should be ready to go any day now. Ideally it would be today, but I haven’t checked yet, mostly because I suspect the second it’s approved hospital-PI will text me. Which means that the false alarm we had a few weeks ago (this one) will be the first, last, and only false alarm we will have for this project.In fact, there’s a possibility I will be collecting data for big idea this week, if all goes well. If not, then at least we have everything ready for when we get the proper participant.

Lastly, there’s yet another spin off from big idea. This was one hospital-PI was originally thinking about years ago, but he didn’t have me around to process the data and he doesn’t have the skillset to do it himself. So between the two of us, we have the approval for the project, that IRB was approved several weeks ago, somehow. Even though it’s a totally new experiment, it was submitted the same time as the amendment, and the amendment should’ve been the faster of the two things approved. In any case, that project will be using the same equipment, so we have everything we will need for that to start soon.

What’s particularly exciting there is that we will be doing a lot of really cool stuff across several different labs in the hospital. When we proposed the project a lot of people decided to jump in with us. It was a fun experience and I hope the project is as enjoyable as I think it will be (it’s going to be so cool, you have no idea).

So yeah, things are finally coming together. I don’t want to be excited, but I can’t help it. I’m really looking forward to all the cool things we will be doing here shortly. It’s going to be a lot of work, a lot of writing, and hopefully a lot of really cool publications. But it will be worth it because we’re going to discover some really amazing things.

Or at least I want to believe we will! Hospital-PI says he will believe it when he sees it, so maybe I’m still far more optimistic than he is!

But enough about us, what about you?

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