Thursday, September 11, 2014

Scientific Chick has a new job!

While there are about a million new science articles I should be telling you about, in this post I want to share with you some very exciting news: Scientific Chick is now Professor Scientific Chick!

This is very exciting because as long as I can remember I've always wanted to be a prof. Sabbaticals, conferences in exotic locations, armies of students working for you while you "go to meetings" (in Whistler), what's not to love? I've been working towards this for a long time. This is how it happened:

My (3) regular readers (hi mom!) already know I have a PhD in Neuroscience, during which I looked at what happens to learning and memory in the aging brain. Living in Canada's most expensive city on a grad student salary and running experiments that never worked was a true test of character. People would tell me "these are the best years of your life" and I would just laugh hysterically and go back to poking brains and attempting every black magic trick in the book to get my stuff to work (spoiler alert: those people were right all along).

I then spent an undetermined number of years as a "postdoc". For those of you who may not be familiar with the wonderful world of academia, a "postdoc" (real name: Postdoctoral Fellow) is someone who isn't quite satisfied with getting a PhD and feels they need to "train more" (synonym: masochist). I did my postdoc at the National Core for Neuroethics at UBC, where my research remained in the realm of aging but shifted from obscure animal work to real-life work: I've specialized in studying how the online environment is used to share and learn about brain health in aging.

I was really lucky that my postdoc environment allowed me to do all sorts of (fun) things professors get to do: write grants, supervise students, chair conferences, organize science outreach activities for the general public, and more! (but sadly no sabbaticals, though I did go to a few exotic-ish locations for conferences).

After applying for jobs day and night (and also attempting more black magic), I landed an Assistant Professor position at the same National Core for Neuroethics where I did my postdoc, with a second affiliation as Faculty of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, where you'll find me today. I continue my research on online health for dementia. I'm slowly building my army. But mostly, I write stuff.

That's the news! Stay tuned for more actual science, coming soon!

(Image from Humor Gags)

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