Today I had my first lab meeting in my new lab. And it was fab! No matter what lab you’re in, group meetings are a key feature. Every week (barring schedule changes due to meetings, etc.) labs typically have “Group Meeting” – a mandatory get-together of all lab members. 

The meetings start off with “lab biz” where anyone can bring up issues of concern (e.g. have other people been having problems with their sequencing data quality recently?), requests (e.g. close out the browser windows on shared computers), heads-ups (e.g. break room renovation starts week so we’ll need to temporarily move the stuff out)

And then, after this pre-show is the headline event – which can either be a “Research” talk or a “Journal” talk – we have a rotating schedule of who’s turn it is to lead group meeting and it switches off between someone giving a research talk one week and someone else giving a journal club talk the next. At my new lab we also have “subgroup” meetings every other week where everyone in the subgroup gives a quick update in an informal environment and we can talk about progress, stall points, etc. & bounce ideas off of one another

On journal club weeks the person who’s “on” chooses a journal article they found interesting and/or relevant to their work and presents it to the rest of the lab for discussion. On “Research” days the person is was tasked with filling the rest of the lab in on what they’ve been up to.

These lab meetings can be nerve-wracking, but they’re also super helpful because colleagues often have great suggestions and insight – and it helps you to practice talking about your project to people not quite as familiar with it (when you work on it every day you can get so engrossed in it that it’s easy to dive into discussing results and forget that other people don’t know how you’ve set up the experiment and stuff.

Since I’m new to the Fujimori lab, it’s really exciting to hear people talk about their work so I can try to get up to speed. 

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