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National Postdoc Appreciation Week 2018 - Dr. Jessica Lang

Dr. Jessica Lang is a postdoc in the Will Hendricks Lab at TGen where she studies ovarian cancer.

Dr. Jessica Lang is a postdoc in the Will Hendricks Lab in the Integrated Cancer Genomics Division at TGen. She studies ovarian cancer — and she's a new mom. She answered Three Burning Questions in honor of National Postdoc Appreciation Week 2018.

  1. What is the best thing about being a postdoc at TGen? I really appreciate the involvement of the postdocs in higher level lab management, grant writing, and scientific discussions. In my previous postdoc position and observations at other institutions, postdocs are often isolated in their labs without any formal or informal interaction with other postdocs and faculty. This is highly advantageous to me to get the most experience to advance me to the next stages of my career. 
  2. What is the most interesting aspect of your job? I never knew how much scientists not only have to be experts in science, but also in so many other disciplines — writing, public speaking (both to scientific and nonscientific audiences), budgeting, graphic design — postdocs become masters of all trades!
  3. How did you get into science? I've always had a strong interest in hands-on science, even when I hated science class the most because all we did was read out of a book in elementary school. But my dad, a retired dentist, helped me with my first science fair project in kindergarten. We put teeth in different types of soda and observed what happened over the course of a few weeks. I originally wanted to work on cancer research in high school after many family members succumbed to the disease and I found out how little we really know about it. My first scientific job was as an undergraduate research assistant in an influenza lab, followed by a similar position in a prostate cancer lab before going on to graduate school.

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