Metabolomics and NMR
Metabolomics Laboratory Research Assistant (Former Employee) – Research Triangle Park, NC – June 22, 2015
Show up at whatever hour your tissue sample(s) arrive (sometimes in the middle of the night). Extract cells, put them in a bioreactor, try to run NMR spectroscopy on them. Wait until something breaks, and then spend the next few days fixing it. Repeat until you're asked to design something completely outside your scope of experience. Start designing it while continuing to work in the lab. Pull out hair. Repeat.
You get to play with giant magnets that are cooled with liquid nitrogen and helium, so every once in a while you have a "snow day" in the lab while recharging the coolant.
The "make it work" approach is praised, even when you have to use duct tape.
Coworkers are fairly easygoing.
You're actually doing science. Stuff gets published.
Working with human livers is a disease risk. Working with dangerous chemicals is ... dangerous. Gloves, fume hoods, and UV eye protection are frequently needed. Also, the magnet will fry anything in your pockets if you get too close, but this is only an issue if you're forgetful.