If i was a scientist …
… I would probably, or hopefully, be exploring the exciting world of the inner ear. Perhaps I would be able to transfect an auditory neuron, with a nano-particle and follow it in a super-resolved fluorescence microscope. I would also have had a great and inspiring mentor, Professor Helge Rask-Andersen at the University of Uppsala. I spent a few years working in his lab before my career path took another turn, and I can still remember the excitement and joy when one of my experiments finally worked and the cells lit up with the fluorescent marker under the microscope.
When reading the interviews with the 2014 Nobel Prize laureates in chemistry and physiology or medicine, their exciting moments in the lab (of course far more important than mine) seem to be their driving force and their motivation to continue as scientists.
As chemistry laureate Professor Eric Betzig said when he was interviewed at the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm in December, “The award is nice, but the real rewards of doing research for me are the moments like when the inspiration hit for the microscope, working with my buddy in my living room, or when we saw our molecules under the microscope for the first time and we knew that we did it.” Professor John O’Keefe, one of the laureates in medicine, also said in his interview that he still likes to sneak into the lab and do research on his own. “That’s where I really gets my kicks,” he said.
Although the Nobel Prize is a fantastic recognition and a dream-come-true for many scientists it cannot beat the kick from solving a problem or being able to explain and understand something better. So I wish my former mentor and all of you other great scientists out there a lot of kicks in the lab. And perhaps a Nobel Prize will come along. Learn more about the 2014 laureates in chemistry and medicine on page 18.
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