Posts Tagged ‘personal’


Posted by tungtide on August 29, 2008, 12:36 pm

Had I thought through the titles of my posts I would have made the previous one “24 hours to go” and followed up with this one being called “I wanna be sedated.” Still, I was at least able to have Success and Fail as titles within a short period of time.

I did indeed pass my oral exam yesterday. For those who may not know, I’m working on a Ph.D in Pharmacology and Toxicology.  I stood in front of five faculty members (4 Ph.D’s and one M.D), presented my proposed research, and answered questions on just about any related subject. After an hour and 45 minutes of testing the committee decided that I passed. The average amount of time to pass this exam is usually around 2.5 hours, so I was able to succeed rather quickly.

The exam itself begins with a 10-15 minute presentation where I introduce my preposed research, background information, and the significance of my work. Aside from having the hypothesis and specific aims of my research pre-written on the board, I have no other information available to me. Everything must be from memory. Once the presentation is complete the committee is allowed to ask just about any relevant question about my research and the associated science.

I had questions about dose-response curves, histological signs of toxicity following exposure to chemicals, compensatory changes in gene knockout animals, methods associated with proteomics (although I amazingly avoided mass spectrometry related questions, an area I know well), and experimental design with appropriate numbers of samples and appropriate controls.

It was a tiring and difficult experience. I slept a good 13-15 hours yesterday (not quite sure when I fell asleep at one point) because I seem to have been running on caffeine and willpower.

All I have remaining is another three years to complete my research.


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