Week 7: Inspiration from afar and nearby
My inspirations and motivation come from many sources. Good science especially motivates me. Science that changes the frontier of knowledge and how it is applied inspires me to challenge what I know and drives me to create. I am also
inspired by the knowledge, drive and courage of innovative scientists whom change the way we think about science through their ideas.
It’s no surprise that my greatest sources of inspiration are the scientists who have changed their respective fields with their ideas, especially in genomics. Genomics, or the study of all the genes that make up an organism, is changing faster than Moore’s law predicted. Innovations within genomics are profoundly influencing technology, biology and medicine. I am inspired by the prominent scientists in this field, such as Elaine Ostrander, Vadim Gladyshev, Eric Lander and George Church. Their findings contribute to multiple fields and technology. For example, in the process of developing the complete sequence of the dog’s genome, Elaine Ostrander identified genes responsible for the dog’s unique biology and contributed to the development of genome sequencing technology.
Geneticists often take ask simple questions and use logical deductions to obtain their answers. As the amount of genomics data increases, geneticists rely upon sheer mathematical power to conduct their research. Genomics inspires me to keep my
science real and look for simple explanations to valid problems in medicine. Similarly, their creative approaches to answer research questions inspires me to be creative in my own research and daily life.
It’s great having true revolutionaries working in your field to serve as daily doses of inspiration. However, I have sources of inspiration that are closer to home. I admire our Assistant Dean of Research, Dominique Griffon for her tireless work ethic and ambitious research plans. In addition, her commitment to a high level of standards inspires me to value my personal standards of quality and work relentlessly to achieve those standards despite criticism. My mentor, Kristopher Irizarry, inspires me to be brilliant on a daily basis and to have intellectual fun. Lastly, the creativity and work ethic my colleagues
demonstrate also inspire me to develop my personal style of research and productivity.
Inspiration is often overridden by a constant stream of data analysis. Yet, without an idea, thought or mentor to inspire your research- there would be no data to analyze. Surrounding yourself with inspiration, such as the Scientista community can
motivate individuals be innovative and create science that changes the way we perceive the world.
About the Blogger
Natalie Punt caught the science bug at her grammar school’s science fair . She followed her passion for model biological systems as a microbiology major at UC Davis. Natalie has
developed and characterized a mouse model of tumor angiogenesis, engineered a 3-D model of tumor angiogenesis and most recently contributed to the characterization of the epigenetic regulation of Mixed Lineage Leukemia. Her work has earned recognition at numerous science
conferences and publications in peer-reviewed journals. This summer Natalie submitted a grant proposal to Merial/Merck and successfully received funding to identify proteins responsible for the anti-cancer phenotype in animals by comparing the cancer associated proteins to similar proteins found in humans. In her free time she enjoys running around the Charles, reading design books and learning to speak Italian.