December 2011

Creating your own path: a bioinformatics case study

Overall, I apply all the various aspects I have mentioned here in my career as I advance on my journey toward my self-defined success. I hope at this point that one main message is becoming apparent: Following a career path is a personal journey that may be redefined as you move forward. Also, acquiring expertise and knowledge should not be the only aspirations, for they are baselines.

With lots of Ph.D.s and brilliant people out there, we are all competing against the cream of the crop. With this in mind, it is critical to evaluate yourself frequently, redefine your vision, network and communicate clearly. These are very high expectations, and some aspects come more naturally to some than others. However, the same drive that kept us working long hours to finish our theses should be kept alive so that we continuously challenge ourselves to keep improving and learning.

After all, continual learning may be the most exciting aspect of working at the doctoral level!

Ewy Mathé ( is a staff scientist at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases in Bethesda, Md.

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