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Sunday, January 01, 2017

Throwback 2016

2016 can be tagged as one of the most transition infested year in my life. A transition from a well established graduate (read PhD) student to a post doctoral fellow; in an institute that captured my imagination a bit. The road from CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology to UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center had not been smooth, with the long wait for the Visa processing (J1) and then getting past the official paper works in India. This though was not so tough compared to the thousands of labs that I screened, mostly in US for the next step of my career.

I always had the set up in my mind that every stage of the career I bear a new subject under my belt. A rainbow spectrum, to me always seems lucrative for the inherent thirst of knowledge and never be into my comfort zone. Rather making uncomfortable zone homely is always been my motto. That reflects with my several transitions from B.Sc in Physiology to M.Sc in Genetics and then shift towards Molecular Biology with Epigenetics and Epidemiology been my area of expertise. Never the less, a lot is still needed to learnt over there, but I can well say I am well accustomed with what I know and wouldn't feel a Martian in those realms.

But of all these phases, to transit again was a big step in 2016. Now in a more refined arena of Chromatin biology, where I was outside my comfort zone for atleast 4-5 months since arrival; 2016 made this test a very hard one. The previous ones were always in my home ground. In my place of of birth, where learning was only new while other aspects weren't. Already in my early thirties, when the flexibility becomes stiff a bit, I had to find my ways to flex my backbone and learn not only the knowledge and techniques, but also the culture.

At first it was little tricky. Always converse in English and keep track of your actions. Paper works, insurance, SSN, Rent and what not. But, today when I look back and also discussing such with my wife, I can say with confidence that I have overcome the initial hurdles. It feels good in a sense that nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself.

With 2017 coming up, I would like to build on this and I wish all the fellows who are facing the same, time will make it. Only the making process will squeeze out more from you. If you desired for the changes, I think that is the only price time will ask from you, in return to the opportunity.

Happy New Year.

Somnath Paul Photography


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