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Find a Supportive Mentor When Pursuing Translational Research

Posted on August 11, 2014

It's helpful to find someone who has done the work you want to do to help you develop your own strategies and program, says Susanne Ahmari (bio).

 

My advice to someone who's interested in pursuing translational research is to find mentors who are very supportive of that effort, because it is an effort. It's a significant effort, and it's important to find people who are going to help you along the way, either just in terms of supporting you — if you have an idea and you want to go for it — in terms of supporting you and allowing you to go out there and do it, and I have mentors who are very supportive of that. But also, it's important and it's more and more likely these days, that you're going to be able to find someone who has done the work you want to do, who has developed the strategies to go back and forth from humans to mice and back again. And if you can find those people, then they can help you to develop your own strategies and your own program so you can learn from whatever mistakes they made along the way. So, when we were starting this kind of work a few years ago, there just weren't that many models of people who are doing it, but now more and more of those models are becoming available, and you can tap them to be mentors.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher at the 2014 Career Development Institute for Psychiatry in Pittsburgh, PA.

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