It's been a whirlwind of events the last few months. I've been crazy busy with everything and very little paintball has been played. That's ok, though. I got the proposal done and turned in and after a few revisions, my written preliminary exam was passed and done. I'm currently trying to schedule my oral exam date - trying to get 5 professors into one room at the same time so they can test me is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I'm aiming for October but we'll see.
The biggest news currently is that I was published for the first time. It was back in May and was on a project I did in another lab when I was doing rotations for grad school. I have to be honest and say that I don't remember the entire point of the project, but I generated the mutants they used in the paper. I'm listed as the second author, which is pretty cool (technically I'm written as the 3rd author, but the first 2 authors are co-first authors, so...). I'm very grateful that I was listed as an author, I figured I'd at most get an acknowledgment in the back of the paper. Even more cool was that we were published in the inaugural issue of mBio (as ASM online publication).
Here's the link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20689742
Also, in line with this I found out another professor I rotated with during that same time has acknowledged me in his new paper for making mutants in his lab. The paper isn't published yet, but still nice to know I got an acknowledgment. I feel like I'm moving up in the science world. Now if only I could get my OWN paper, I'd feel better. That'll come soon enough though.
We've got some really cool things going on in the lab which I'll discuss more as we make progress and publish (Probably won't talk about too much that isn't published - I don't want anyone stealing my work... I don't think this because I have an ego, but unfortunately it happens in science a lot). I'm really excited to see where we are going with stuff. What I can say is that I'm working on some very important pathogenesis and physiology stuff and that we've begun some vaccine studies. I feel like a real scientist now :)
I'm going to my first conference in Chicago at the end of September to present some of my data on a poster for a large group of people at the GLRCE regional meeting. I'm nervous but excited. We've got some great data and I am really happy with the direction we're moving in.
My paintball gun project is on hold for now. The parts needed are pretty expensive and I don't have the funds at the moment to really do too much with it. I'd rather be able to play and not build my gun than to build my gun and not be able to play - it's kind of dumb to have a paintball gun as a paper weight.
More to come!