Posts (7)

Sep 16, 2011 · 2011 GSA Symposium: September 22!

Thursday, September 22, 2011 will be a great day of exchanging ideas, thinking about science, and enhancing graduate education at Mayo Clinic. It is the graduate students’ annual symposium! Here is the schedule of events. If you can make it, that would be wonderful. Channing Der, our distinguished lecturer is excellent, and it should be a great talk to here. He is excited about being asked by Mayo students to talk. So without further adiou, here is the schedule of events–hope to see you there!

Click this link to pull up the schedule.



Mar 31, 2011 · 4th Annual BMB Student Symposium-"Epigenetic Regulation in Cancer and Disease"

Monday April 11, 2011 will be the 4th annual BMB Student Symposium…this year titled, “Epigenetic Regulation in Cancer and Disease”. Many MGS students and faculty from BMB and non-BMB alike will be gathering to listen to talks from outside guest speakers…the speakers are coming from all over…from the Max Planck Institute in Germany to UNC at Chapel Hill (yes they have more than Tar Heel basketball) to University of Alabama at Birmingham to National Cancer Institute at NIH…
So come enjoy the speakers, interact with great questions, and learn and chat about science with your colleagues…it promises to be a great day!

Click here for the symposium’s program

Oct 18, 2010 · Perspectives, Part Two

Advice and thoughts from a fourth year Mayo Graduate School student, Joseph Dolence. Joe is in Dr. Kay Medina’s lab on the Rochester campus. In the lab, he works to discover the molecular mechanisms behind how early decisions within multipotent progenitors lead to the lymphoid/B cell fate. Here is some answers to some questions posed to Joe…

Joe enjoying free time in his first visit to Target Field last March

  • How did you choose your career? Was this an easy or hard process for you?  If you struggled, how did you overcome these struggles?

How did I choose science? For a long time, I wanted to go to medical school. I have always been interested in how humans fight disease, so after I got exposed to immunology during college in Anatomy/Physiology, coupled with the fact I loved helping students in my teaching assistant job, it was a rather easy choice once I had a wonderful experience in the Pease Lab during Mayo SURF 2006. I figured I would put my interest in helping patients in figuring out the precise details that go behind their afflictions rather than just prescribe medications.

  • What kind of training, both formal and informal, did you receive to prepare you for your career? If applicable, how did you select where to attend graduate school? How did you choose your postdoc? How about any additional training? How did you choose what additional training to pursue and how did you choose where to do it?

I went to a relatively small liberal arts college in northeast Minnesota called the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth. While I was there, I double majored in biology and biochemistry.  I was also a part of the McNair Scholars program, which helps students to get undergraduate research experience and also apply to graduate school. After my junior year, I went to Mayo and worked in Larry Pease’s lab as a SURF student during the summer of 2006. This was a critical experience as it enabled me to really see first-hand what research is all about and also allowed me to see what going to Mayo for graduate school would be all about. Coming from small town Minnesota (the Iron Range, 60 miles north of Duluth) and going to college in Duluth, it wasn’t a big adjustment for me to go to Rochester. Additionally, I worked as a teaching assistant for 2 years at Scholastica. All of these experiences culminated in me wanted to do research and become a graduate student at Mayo.

  • How competitive and/or rigorous was the training for your career?

My training for my career both in undergraduate and at Mayo has been very competitive and rigorous. I work hard to get what needs to get done. I think the competitive nature at every step of my training has been very critical for pushing me to do good work. At the same time however, I have had a lot of fun. My attitude always has been to enjoy what I do. Whether that has been running a flow cytometer or out with friends at a Twins game relaxing, I think every aspect of your life is training to be a better scientist and a better person.

  • How long did it take you to train? Was it shorter or longer than anticipated? If you had any setbacks, how did you deal with them?

It took 4 years to graduate from college and so far it has been 3.5 years roughly at Mayo. I don’t like predicting stuff, but if I was to predict I would say my time to degree at Mayo would be average—a little around 5-5.5 years. I would say it was what I thought it would be—pretty much what I anticipated. I haven’t had any major setbacks so far, and I hope that continues. But I would approach them the way I approach any setbacks in life—with hard work and a smile. I believe everything happens for a reason and would approach it with an attitude of learning something.

  • What advice would you give to someone interested in following a similar career path?


Every time I get this question, as the SURF students last summer and my lab tech, Kim, can attest to, I often get very passionate in my response. But I will save the speeches today in this interview. I would simply say you have to love what you do. It is too much work to just be lukewarm to the idea of being a scientist. Yes, some days, your going to think, “Why did I do this?” But on the whole, you should love it, want to do it. This isn’t really a job you can punch a clock absent mindedly for 40 years and be successful. If you want a reenactment of my speech—talk to Kim, I’m sure she will do it for you.

  • What would you have done differently in preparing for your career?

mmm…I don’t know if I would have done anything to different. I would advise people doing this to get as much experience as possible before signing on to grad school. These experiences will either reaffirm your desire to do this, point you in the direction to what kind of science you want to do, or make you think twice about going into this.

  • How much do you like what you do? Why? Is it what you imagined it would be? If not, how have you adapted?

I love that you asked this question. I love what I do…well most days. I think its important. I’m not saying its always sunny and golden, but I honestly love what I do everyday. I like who I work with and when I wake up most days, I like going in and tackling the questions we do on a regular basis. Most of my training has been what I imagined it to be—I don’t think 100% has been what I thought it would be, but that’s the unpredictable nature of all of this. Sometimes research takes you down a path your not expecting and many times that is a wonderful thing.

  • How do you achieve career: life balance? Is this easy or hard to do? How many hours do you typically work per week?


I work around 45-50 hours/week at Mayo and depending on the week, I spend hours outside of Mayo reading articles for work, journal clubs, or whatever needs to get done. Total, on average, I spend 50-60 hours working. I achieve career:life balance through many means. I love baseball and I love the Twins, so I go to games through my family’s season tickets. I also play golf at area golf courses about once a week. I work hard to get what I need done M-F, so I have the weekends to myself. Admittedly, that always doesn’t work, but I try my best. I also use my 15 vacation days very wisely through the year for me to rest my mind. But as many a grad student knows, you never really stop thinking about the project. Although, when I’m lining up a must make 15 footer par putt, I’m pretty good at blocking out my Mayo life.

  • What strategies have you figured out over time to help you succeed?

I learned a long time ago, if I write down what I need to do, generally it gets done. It might not get done the day it gets put on the paper, but it gets done sooner then when I don’t write it down. I also learned that reading science is easier with a cup of coffee. My friends help me to succeed in my career:life balance.

  • How do you see your field changing in the next 5-10 years?

Where is Immunology going in the next 5-10 years? Great question. Even though I come at this from the prospective of studying the early stages in the development of the immune system, I will try to comment on Immunology on the whole. Or at least what I hope happens. I think we will be moving towards studying human immunology and focusing on what is relevant in human disease. There are many situations where the mouse and the human don’t match up, but we have to study the mouse because it’s the best model system to simulate and manipulate. I think we are going to continue to unlock the molecular mechanisms behind the immune system’s response to all kinds of human disease. In development, I think we are going to start putting the whole together—we all study our favorite molecules, but I think a focus on looking at how everything fits together to guide these processes will be a big part of moving forward. Immunology is an amazing field that will take many leaps and bounds in the next 5-10 years, and hopefully along the way we figure out how to quiet the immune system in situations of lupus and ramp it up to fight cancer. We are only going to get better. It’s an exciting time.

  • Anything else you would like to share?

Don’t be discouraged. Stay positive and work hard. No matter if you have a career in science or medicine or do something else, smile and realize better days are coming. Oh, also thanks for reading! It was a pleasure to share my thoughts with you today.

JJ (Blog Manager)

Sep 8, 2009 · JJ’s Issue 4: A Year in the Life…

“525,600 minutes…five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear, 525,600 minutes…how do you measure, measure a year?” is the start of a famous song called “Seasons of Love” from the musical RENT. Well since you last read my thoughts and musings on this diversity blog—its been slightly longer than that—its actually been closer to 382 days or 550,080 minutes since my August 14, 2008 blog entry (rounding to the nearest day)…anyway, I figured I’d write down my thoughts on how 2008 ended and about 2009 so far as the year moves steadily toward the fall season which officially begins in less than three weeks time on September 21. When you last read my thoughts, I was breaking down what I thought the Olympics meant to China. I read that entry this morning and smiled. Not because I thought it was the greatest thing in the world, but because what I said a little more than a year ago is as true today as it was then. It might be even truer given how China owns a pretty substantial amount of US debt. In the past year, many things have occurred that have made me smile and a few things that have made me shed a tear. So I will bring all you out there in the blog hemisphere along with me for a walk through my thoughts… *

*Remember when Mr. Michael Phelps won eight gold medals at the Olympics? It was the last time I jumped off my recliner with such jubilation—both when Phelps out touched Cavic in the 100 butterfly or when Jason Lezak snuck in his fingertips to help the USA win the 400 freestyle relay by 0.08 of a second. I know I had a magical feeling that night.

**Remember when we all thought the stock market was falling through the ground, the first huge check was sent to all those Wall Street guys, Bear Stearns died, AIG was being about as irresponsible with money as possible (not that the other companies were responsible), and yes, McCain and Palin had made it interesting in the polls…only to have McCain say the fundamentals of the economy were strong, the stock market nosedived and Mr. Barack Obama started the final ascent toward the Oval Office…

**On a personal note: I remember vividly September 25, 2008 when I was at the soon to be vacated Metrodome for the best game I have ever seen. A 7-6 Twins victory that swept the Chi Sox, taking us into first place, and it was pandemonium inside that place. Visions of 1987 and 1991 were in my mind. I had never seen brooms brought to a baseball game before…I will never forget what will probably be my lasting memory of the stadium with a white roof and blue seats…

**Remember Election night 2008? No matter where you fell on the political spectrum, you had to admire the story of Barack Obama. You also had to admire the people who were inspired to believe that this country can do better, some for the first time. I generally am pretty skeptical about politicians (still am) but for one night, it was incredible.                         

Two quotes will sum up the night for me:

“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.” President-Elect Barack Obama

“I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.” Caroline Kennedy in a NYT Op-Ed piece before the election.

I will never forget the look on the faces of the young people that night when they truly believed anything was possible—that the nation we all love and study in at Mayo, is a union that can always be perfected. Now Obama seems to be dealing with some tough times, but I hope that this fall we can come together to make the health care system better for everyone, not just those who have been incredibly blessed with great health care—like us at Mayo.

I call and challenge everyone at Mayo to get involved and speak up—Mayo is a great example of how medicine should be practiced…lets spread that message… **Remember what you did New Year’s Eve and your welcome to 2009 and goodbye to 2008?

**Remember the depths of winter? Well if you don’t, you will be soon reminded again…

**Remember when the stimulus package was signed and all the hullaballoo that created?

**Remember grad school interview weekend? I always enjoy these but this year it was different—this first year class is awesome! Just ask Amanda, Patrick, Danielle, Rachel, June, Fan Chi, Naomi, Mallory, or any of them. Again—awesome!!!!

**On another personal note: Since I last wrote to you, I have basically finished all of my classes (1 credit left to go) and I have passed my written qualifying exam. October 6th brings my oral exam. Wish me good luck. I also have traveled to present research at AAI meeting in Seattle—which was pretty awesome…I even got to fly out there first class for free…

**Remember when summer started? Seems like yesterday right? During the depths of winter, I encourage everyone to think of those days—playing volleyball or taking a walk along the river or smelling the fresh grass at Mayo Field watching our 2009 Northwoods League Champion Rochester Honkers or the fun BBQs you were a part of this summer? With that last thought, I will wrap this up with some final thoughts—over the course of the last year, I have traveled around the state a lot seeing some beautiful things—a week in Brainerd in July with my best friend Jacob and his family playing golf, fishing, and jet skiing, countless trips to my favorite city in the world, Duluth, back home to the Iron Range, playing disc golf with Justin, hanging out with Eric and Kat and having some great fires, and shooting a handgun for the first time in a long time…I even went to an authentic midnight mass on Christmas Eve/morning in Hibbing, MN, the birthplace of Bob Dylan…

What will the next year bring? In a lot of ways I sort of know, but in a fascinating way, other things are a mystery…that’s the beauty of life right? But one thing I do encourage each and every one of you to do before Labor Day is this: Get up to St. Paul and go to the Minnesota State Fair…it is a great time to relax, walk around, learn something about the state you are getting a fabulous education in, and see the diversity of MN. You can say that there isn’t any of that here if you want to be ignorant. But a walk through, for example, the Fine Arts building at the fair will vindicate my comment that we are more diverse than you think. And the food is wonderful as always…the picture I place below here shows you the spectacle that is the “Great MN Get Together” with a quote that sums it all up—I saw this last year! “I’ve always loved the fair. As a kid, I loved it for the rides and attractions. As a teenager, I loved it as a place to take dates and hang out with friends. But as an adult, I love it as a showcase of the skills and talents possessed by my friends and neighbors, and as a lingering slice of Americana. When I walk onto the fairgrounds, I feel like I’m walking back in time.

dolence st fair

I hope you enjoyed my walk back in time. Until next time, your friend and colleague, JJ

Aug 14, 2008 · JJ’s Issue 3: An Effort of Olympic Proportion

                 Every four years (until 1994), the Olympic cauldron is ignited and a couple weeks later, it is extinguished. From the Games of the IX Olympiad in Amsterdam in 1928, that flame has inspired multiple generations of athletes and non-athletes alike. The five rings interlaced represent the five parts of the world where countries compete in the Games: Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. The five rings also represent passion, faith, victory, work ethic and sportsmanship. These symbols have filled us with the spectacle, the intangibles, and the stories that light up our minds to endless possibilities.

                From 1896 in Athens, Greece, to the first games contested in the USA in 1904 (St. Louis, Missouri) to the debut of the Winter Games and their accompaniment of their Summer counterparts in 1924 (both in France by the way—Paris for the Summer, Chaminox, France for the Winter), to the first of two appearances the Summer Games made in Los Angeles  in 1932, to the heartbreak that was cancelling two editions of the Olympics during World War II, the Olympic movement stood for something this world needed badly, and really needs in current times.

                The Olympics came back in 1948 after 12 year layoff due to WWII in London, UK. The Winter Games that year were competed in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. 1952, Helsinki, 1954, Melbourne, in 1960, Rome hosted, ’64, Mexico City, ’68, Tokyo, and in 1972 in Munich, Germany, the world was shocked to a core when eight Palestinian terrorists murdered eleven Israeli athletes. The Games went on, finished, and in 1976, Montréal picked up the baton for the XXI edition of the Summer Games. 1980 was Moscow’s show and the USA famously boycotted these, and yes, payback meant the USSR boycotted our 1984 Los Angeles Games.

                We all know the story from Lake Placid, NY when a semifinal hockey game between the US and USSR was much more than the 4-3 game indicated on that February 22, 1980 evening. Few less on that night knew that about a decade later, the USSR would collapse. Eight years later, the Summer Games were in South Korea for the first time in Seoul. 1992 was a telling year for the Olympic movement since it was the last time the Summer and Winter Games would be held the same year in Barcelona (summer) and Albertville (winter). 1994, Lillehammer, Norway, 1996, Atlanta, 1998, Nagano, Japan, 2000, Sydney, 2002, Salt Lake City, 2004, Athens, 2006 Torino, and we zoom up to the here and now, 2008 in Beijing. Many stories could be told from all of those Games. Heaven knows I could entertain many with an encyclopedic knowledge of all of those events, but that’s not the point of this blog entry. To prove my trivial knowledge, did you know that in 1954 the equestrian events were held in Stockholm, Sweden five months prior to the Games only the second time the same Olympics were held in two different countries. The other time was the Antwerp, Belgium Games in 1920. One sailing event was on Dutch waters.

                Many of you are probably thinking, why is a punk graduate student from Mayo writing an op-ed or a blog on the Olympics? The reason lies in the importance of these Games to the world, and what and how their impact will reverberate on the world. It is the first time that the country with the largest population in the world has hosted them. More than 1/5th  of humanity lives there, yet they haven’t been ready to host these till now. And if you think back 20 years, they weren’t even close then. Not even the most optimistic Chinese citizen must have even dreamed when they saved our 1984 Summer Games (the ones USSR boycotted), that 24 years later, they would be marching to the drum of their own Games.

                I write this blog because of a prevailing necessity to realize the urgency of the moment. The point of this isn’t political. The point of this is to remember we live in a very global society, and the US society in a lot of ways is still living back in the mid 1900s with no recollection of this. Maybe not in science or research, but in many other areas. We also live in a world where racism, sexism, and all the other “isms” are unacceptably practiced everyday. I write this on Mayo’s stage because we have always been a leader in the health care society and in research. We need to take that a step farther and be a leader in society. In the world at large in more than just fulfilling the needs of the patient. We work together in extraordinary ways at Mayo, and we need to convey that message to the world. I urge each and everybody who reads this to dig deep within themselves to realize the importance of the moment. Why?  Anyone who watched the Opening Ceremonies of the Beijing Games realizes that China has arrived and woken to the world stage in many ways. Maybe not on the issues of Darfur and human rights, but on other platforms.

                The happiness, joy, and prosperity this Olympiad seems to bring to the Chinese is heart-warming. In the months and years ahead, we will be challenged to work together like we did to put on a successful Games, and I hope we take those opportunities to chart a better course. We live in a global society in every sense of the imagination. In research, we can transfer knowledge, information, and reagents very quickly from each corner of the globe. In medicine, we can send patients’ chart from Seattle to New York to Rome to Auckland to Tokyo in a blink of an eye. By working together we can make this a better place, especially given the state of US right now (I said I wouldn’t get political so I won’t). In order to conquer the many disease states we all think about every day, we need this.

                I know everyone at Mayo knows these things, I just bring them up as we reflect on what we are seeing from the time zone 13 hours ahead of ours. Our mission is to help other people witness it, starting one at a time. Without these efforts, we could miss an unbelievable opportunity to change this country and this world for the better. Every generation has an opportunity to shape their lives (and future generations). I believe this is our first huge go-around at impacting the face of the earth.

                I don’t know how China will look after this is all over, but I know that it looks spectacular from here. Kudos to Beijing organizers, the IOC, the 75,000 volunteers, and especially the athletes for making this a special event for everyone.


Let’s make hope happen in the world today! 

Gōngxǐ China! Gōngxǐ Beijing! Gōngxǐ Mayo! Gōngxǐ! Gōngxǐ! 


Jun 16, 2008 · JJ’s Long Overdue and Anticipated Issue 2: It’s 5:00 somewhere: Balance: What?


Burnout.  a psychological term for the experience of long-term exhaustion and diminished interest (depersonalization or cynicism), usually in the work context. It is also used as an English slang term to mean exhaustion. Burnout is often construed as the result of a period of expending too much effort at work while having too little recovery.


Just in case you don’t love Wiki, I go to my friend Merriam Webster to tell me his version:


Pronunciation: ˈbərn-ˌau̇t Function: noun Date: 1940

2 a: exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.


I bring this up as my second issue on this blog and my first since introducing myself because I think it is ever important…preventing burnout as a graduate student.  Now I know there are some among us here at Mayo that would scoff at such a comment…but trust me—I have seen it with my own eyes…people that are in the process of burning out, and that’s why I want to bring this up. 


It isn’t as if the notion of balance is new…it has been around a while, heck my parents (and their parents) always stressed the notion of making sure my life wasn’t all about work or play or one sided.  I steal the line from Tim Allen, Santa Claus 2, when he says, “I’m a rubix cube with pants!”  Like the multi-color rubix cube, I think it is very important to have many facets of your life, and I think sometimes, especially in this Mayo environment, one can get carried away with the work side of life.  Its an amazing place, don’t get me wrong, but I think it is important to know when to step back and let the hair down, so to speak. 


One thing that I have been privileged with over the years are amazing people that always stressed the importance of this.  Now summer is upon us, and I wonder if those people reading this, who are either a) scoffing at this blog in the first place, or b) know deep down that I am talking directly at them, will put the book down, the pipette down, and go have fun.  Whether it’s a bike ride through the countryside here in Olmsted County or a leisurely drive along the MN-WI border—try by Lake Pepin—its beautiful there—or BBQ with your friends or catching one of Hollywood’s blockbuster summer hits at Chateau, I think everyone here at Mayo owes themselves a little down time this summer.  Take a break from the lab work and relax. 


When I was in Scottsdale, AZ doing a rotation with Dr. Joseph Lustgarten, he always stressed the importance of having fun!  It was and to me, even more important than the work you do for a couple reasons.  I am of the mindset that your work improves when you take a break from it, because you come back energized.  Also, unless you are one of the lucky ones that gets famous doing science, and lets be honest, how many truly get famous, win a Nobel Prize, etc…not many—chances are, and this might be a pessimistic perspective, you won’t be remembered in the end for the science you did in the lab—you will be remembered when you are gone for the way you made a child smile when you volunteered at your local church, or an elderly person’s day when you sat down and listened to them for a moment.  You will be remembered for your work and the way you lived your life outside the lab probably more than your work inside the lab.  I know we all have inspirations of doing both winning a Nobel Prize and touching people in our own communities—and I know I do, but I think it is important to think about these thing…


So I urge each and every one of you—those on the process of burning out—and those who are balancing their lives just fine—to go out and play a round of mini golf, have fun with your friends, go to the Rochesterfest parade, concerts in the park (they’re free by the way), or enjoy whatever the plethora of activities you like to do in your free time.  Take a little more free time this summer and enjoy life.  I know, I know–We wouldn’t be at Mayo touching the world in the small way we do if we didn’t love what we do at work in the lab or in meetings, seminars, etc, but if you employ these concepts into your lives, the work will be even more enjoyable and productive than ever before.


You know who you are.  You overzealous, unyielding, never take a vacation, stay in the lab until 8 to 9PM daily, work the whole weekend, or even worse, one of our six Mayo holiday days, never go out, always working graduate student just trying to get a Nature or Science paper.  I’m not slamming you for having incredible work ethic, I’m just saying, that you have your whole career in front of you.  Don’t work so hard now that you don’t want to do this later.  Enjoy being a student—it has its privileges…just ask a faculty person…lol…remember you are a STUDENT at this stage, not a PI.


So as a student, remember that as country crooners Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett sing—“its 5 O’clock somewhere”, relax, take a deep breath, and enjoy summer.  Then I hope you transform your thinking to the other 9-10 months of the year.  Because after all, that is what will make you more productive, more energetic, and might just get that thesis done faster—than wasting time repeating experiments that failed because you were too burnt out or in too much of a hurry to think through them properly.


Here’s to hoping I always heed my own advice.








Apr 28, 2008 · JJ’s inaugural Mayo Diversity Blog: Issue 1: The Niceties, Thoughts, and WHAT?: Timberlake isn’t bringing sexy back—Scientists Are—one talk at a time!

 Hi everyone.  Since this is my first blog entry (of many) on this “Mayo Clinic Education and Diversity Blog, Three Shields, Many Perspectives”, I wanted to pass out some introductions, some niceties, some meet and greet information—well the most you can do online.  My name is Joseph Jon Dolence (proud of my middle name—more maybe in later blogs) and I am finishing my first year at Mayo Graduate School in the Immunology track.  I work in the Medina lab on early events in B cell development with a healthy mix of cellular and molecular techniques.  In later blogs, I will surely talk about my research, classes, and other feelings I have about Mayo Clinic in general.  I want to state here—These are my opinions, not necessarily those of the Clinic’s so don’t take what I say and run with it as Mayo’s position on something.  They are mine.  Another thing—I love going to Mayo Clinic for Graduate School—I can’t complain, the Clinic has given me a wonderful opportunity and I honestly feel most every day that I am living the dream.  That might sound naïve and not callous to the fact that I have only been here for one year—but continued readers of this blog will know certain things about me—one of them is I take Tiger Woods approach to life (with my edits in parenthesis), he says, “I view my life in a way…I’ll explain it to you, OK? I want to take in every moment and appreciate everything. The greatest thing about tomorrow is, I will be better than I am today. And that’s how I look at my life. I will be better as a golfer (& researcher), I will be better as a person, I will be better as a father (son), and I will be better as a friend. That’s the beauty of tomorrow. There is no such thing as a setback. The lessons I learn today I will apply tomorrow, and I will be better.”  That’s my philosophy to life.  And you will no doubt see that attitude sprinkled on the pages of this blog over and over.

I might get political on the pages of this.  I might talk religion.  I will talk sports.  I will obviously talk about school, education, Mayo, and anything science based.  Just don’t ask me about X-ray crystallography or NMR.  Nothing is off limits.  Well—as long using vulgar language is avoided and the Biggs at Mayo allow it.  I speak from the heart honestly about how I feel—you will get my spin on anything I deem worthy enough to talk about.  The point of this blog is to expose the three shields to the world in hopefully a way they haven’t before.  Mayo has so much tradition and prestige, and I have the role through this medium to show Mayo to the world.

That being said, I think I have introduced myself and the concepts behind this well enough to go to my first issue I thought of while listening to a lecture in Cell Bio or Genetics last quarter…or a seminar, I can’t remember—all I know is that I came up with this idea that JT (Justin Timberlake) isn’t bringing sexy back, scientist are.  I know this is like one of these, WHAT?, moments—but I will explain…it seems that in today’s scientific community, anytime someone has a chance to slip in sexy or a word like, provocative, promiscuous, or even in today’s seminar, the speaker expanded “BS” to that expletive.  It makes me laugh, but I am wondering when this started?  When did science and its countless researchers make a conscious effort to spice up a lecture with these words?  You know what my goal is?  Use the word lascivious in a scientific journal.  If I can pull that off, you can tip the hat to me.  If not, I guess I will just have to settle for less provocative words such as sexy or promiscuous.  Maybe the answer is that since most in the scientific community don’t look the part (as Justin does), we need to throw these in to wake up those sleeping, bored out of their minds, or to remind ourselves that, yes, we are cool enough still to throw this hip words around.  I know one thing though—you have everyone’s attention when you infuse these types of adjectives into a lecture.  So at least for that nanosecond, everyone is listening and to them, the world is sexy, perfect, and wonderful.


Have a great day!


Till next time,


Yours truly,




Me and a big bird in Winona, MN


Another quote to live by—one of the fave’s on JJ’s list:

“Love life, engage in it, give it all you’ve got. Love it with a passion, because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it.” Maya Angelou.              

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