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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Flashback part 3

When we moved to our new city I found a job working as a microbiologist/chemist at a lab that tested disinfectants and sterilants. It was a small lab and it was hard work at times. You needed to be aware of the little details such as not touching the side of a tube with a microbe-labeled cylinder during testing of a disinfectant or not over-lapping bacterial-labeled silk loops so they could dry appropriately. However, we had a lot of fun too. For Halloween, we would dress up in our customes, take pictures and go to Whataburger so people could see how cool we were! The ladies there were awesome and one in particular became a very dear friend who was able to witness the birth of my three year old in the world (but not for a few more years)!! Though, I enjoyed what I did, it was time for me to move on.

Even though I had decided not to pursue medical school, the idea of working in medical research was quite appealing. A position became available to work on personalized cell-based vaccines for melanoma. Of course this position was more like a cookie maker than actual research. I would be producing the same thing with a different patient cells. I didn't care! I wanted that job so bad and eventually after a grueling interviewing process I landed it! During the training process the primary investigator told me that if she called me in the middle of the night I should be able to tell her what to do at a given step of the vaccine process! You know what I did? I had protocols on my bedside table with tabs of important steps. You're probably wondering, "Did she ever call?". Of course NOT! It was a scare tactic to learn it and commit it to memory.

After about a year in a half, the funds for the spinoff company I was hired at was spent. At the lab that was training us, people were shuffled around and I was placed in a different area of the lab just doing research. Eventually, after some time, the director of our lab asked if I would be interested in helping to develop a therapeutic cell-based vaccine for HIV!! Of course I was!! What I haven't told you is that I've always been intrigued by two viruses; Ebola and HIV!! So off I skipped with grins to work with the director!! Best years of working yet!! I worked very long hours and I didn't care! The director was so passionate about the vaccine and that fueled the people who were working on the project.

Now, I had thought that a good compromise to working as an MD was to go to nursing school so I could work as a nurse a few days a week and still have time for my family. So during my researching and developing of the vaccine, I was also retaking prerequisite classes for nursing school that had expired since my BS degree days. I was totally submersed in research and medical-type classes and I was loving it!!! One day after I gave at power-point presentation to the director of my research when he was out of town, he suggested I work on my Ph.D. degree in Immunology. After much debating the pros and cons with my husband, it was a worth it for us to forgo nursing school and put all my efforts in my research.

So I'm sure you want to hear more but I have a little girl who needs lunch and a baby boy who just woke up from a nap...

Until tomorrow, kindest blogging wishes!

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