One way to think about obtaining a Ph.D. is to envision that your career as a scientist is a 12,000-foot mountain, and you are standing at the base. What you want to achieve, the discoveries you want to make, and the papers you would like to publish are all at, or near, the top of the mountain.
There is a chair lift running to a point near the top of the mountain, and a doctorate is your lift ticket. It will take several more years of education to earn the lift ticket, but once you do, your climb to the top is going to be exponentially more comfortable.
Is it necessary to ride the chair lift? No, you can climb your way to the top; others have done it. If you decide or are compelled by your circumstances to strap on a backpack and hike to the top, your journey will be long and complicated, but not impossible and not without some rewards.
Gertrude "Trudy" Belle Elion is an example of a scientist compelled by her circumstances to climb to the top of her profession's mountain. She was an American biochemist and pharmacologist. She shared the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with George H. Hitchings and Sir James Black for their research involving innovative, rational drug design methods to develop new drugs. Her work contributed to the creation of the AIDS drug AZT.
Her circumstances forced her to choose between finishing her graduate studies or keeping a research job she loved and needed. She decided to keep her job.
Trudy never obtained a formal Ph.D. but was awarded an honorary Ph.D. from New York University Tandon School of Engineering in 1989 and an honorary S.D. degree from Harvard University in 1998.
The best advice is almost always to earn a lift ticket if you can, but don't abandon the goal just because you may need to hike to the top. If your circumstances necessitate that you walk up, you will learn things about yourself and about your field of study that those in the chair lift will likely miss.
You may find that the real reward of your journey was in the climbing and not the arriving at the top. Jane Shelby Richardson is a prime example of a researcher who found the trip without a Ph.D.
rewarding and even fun. She is a biophysicist best known for developing the Richardson diagram, or ribbon diagrams, representing the 3D structure of proteins. When asked about not having a Ph.D., she is quoted as saying, "There are two big advantages: you don't go through the same set of 'brainwashing' as everyone, so you might have a different approach. And it's good for not letting you take yourself too seriously. I've not been afraid to ask dumb questions. I can always say, 'Well, I don't know anything about this."
While not all scientists have a Ph.D., there are advantages for earning one, not the least of which is higher pay. Ph.D. chemists make 20 percent to 25 percent more than bachelor's-level chemists at most points during their career.
About Kevin Dalby
Dr. Kevin Dalby is a chemistry professor and medicinal chemistry professor in the College of Pharmacy, Department of Oncology at The University of Texas in Austin. He is researching the mechanisms of cancer cell signaling to develop targeted therapeutics. Dr. Dalby's efforts were recognized by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) and the National Institutes of Health, granting him nearly $5 million to support his research.
Originally published on explosion.com While at work, you want to be as effective and productive as possible. Sometimes, though, if not particularly stimulated by the task at hand, our minds will start to wander and lose focus. In this article, Dr. Kevin Dalby, an Austin-based professor of chemical biology and medicinal chemistry, reveals his secrets to staying mentally present and aware while working. 1. Do Mindfulness Exercises to Stay Sharp Mindfulness exercises can assist you in grounding yourself and remaining present while you are working. This practice is especially helpful in high-stress situations or when completing monotonous tasks that do not require a lot of thinking. Meditation or simple breathing exercises can help keep your mind clear and focused. Apps like Headspace or Calm can help you to get started if you’ve never meditated before. 2. Use Reminders Sometimes, all we need is a little reminder to do what we are supposed to . The mind naturally wanders, but we nee
Originally published on newswire.net The key to quality and productive work is concentration. Concentration is a valuable skill for any human to tune into their profession, research, or relaxation time. The deeper the level of concentration one can reach, the more reward one will find from utilizing such a focus. Kevin Dalby , Austin Texas-based activist of cancer treatment, is a professor of chemical biology and medicinal chemistry at The University of Texas. Dalby's career requires him to access deep levels of concentration for his work and research on cancer cell signaling mechanisms to develop targeted therapeutics. Dalby reveals five helpful ways that have helped him reach more extensive focus abilities: 1. Start with Environment A great place to start when attempting to sharpen concentration skills is focusing on beneficial environments. The environment a person chooses to be in when trying to reach a deeper level of c
Originally published on thriveglobal.com As COVID-19 disrupted educational institutions worldwide, high school and college students combined their passion for learning and their attraction to social media to promote Dark Academia’s burgeoning subculture. In this article, UT-Austin medicinal chemistry professor, Dr. Kevin Dalby , examines a recent cultural trend known as Dark Academia. Dark Academia can be classified as a subculture. A subculture with an emphasis on higher education, writing, the arts, classic Greek and Gothic architecture — and a look inspired by clothing associated with Ivy League and prep schools of the 1930s and 1940s. As the name implies, it revolves around a dark color scheme with hints of earthy tones. It is more than an aesthetic, but the aesthetic might be described as preppy Goth . Dark Academia became popular on TikTok and Tumblr during quarantine, ostensibly because schools shut down and students still wanted to enjoy a sense of community. It is drive