Sometimes it is invigorating to talk about your research!

 As a professor, I talk A LOT– I lecture, I speak with students during office hours, I speak to research students about their results and plans, I sit through meetings that include discussion of departmental or college or University-wide plans, I have meetings with colleagues about teaching or research, I run review sessions, etc. etc. etc. But the formal presentation of the research I have done and the lab is currently working on doesn’t come up too often (especially at the beginning of the independent career when the stories are still coming together).

So, it was an exciting call email when Prof. Angie Hilliker of the UR biology department invited me to present a research talk for their weekly biology seminar series. This past Monday I gave a talk entitled “Using Chemistry to Explore Cancer Biology”. I hope I was able to share some interesting stories about the field that have captivated me (chemical biology), the use of drug-like molecules to understand molecular pathways in cancer (like the Nature Chemical Biology paper we just published), and the promising results that my current students have been working hard to obtain. Even though the talk came right after two biochemistry lectures on enzymology, this experience was rejuvenating. I was glad to spend some time presenting data and conclusions and getting back to the research findings. I hope I was able to reach the audience with my enthusiasm, illustrations, and stories.