All posts by Megan Livingston

Ms. Livingston is a PhD student studying Biochemistry & Cell Biology at UT MD Anderson/UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life by Nick Lane, PhD

My background is predominantly in engineering fields, so I have spent much of time since starting my PhD learning about basic biology and biochemistry. These subject areas have previously frustrated me because they require […]

When to Stop Reading & Start Working

As a PhD student taking on a new research project, I have spent much of my time the past few months reading and learning about an unfamiliar scientific field. My work/time is funded by […]

The Curse of a Bad PI

Scientific research, just like every other career on the planet, has bad bosses. Characteristics of these individuals include poor management skills, inadequate abilities to lead, train or motivate their employees, an inability to fulfill […]

How to Become a Unicorn Scientist

Unicorn scientist: A scientist with the unique ability to communicate their work to diverse audiences. A unicorn scientist uses public speaking and written works to get scientists and non-scientists alike excited about cutting-edge research […]

Which Words Don’t Matter?

Scientific writing is of paramount importance to any researcher looking to communicate, disseminate, seek funding for, and convey the importance of their work. The phrase “publish or perish” has become a mantra for a […]

Turning Information into Knowledge, then Understanding

Over the next five weeks, I will be writing a six-page research plan detailing the scientific background, justification, aims, experiments, and expected results of the research I will be performing over the next 3-5 […]

How a Three Year Break Prepared Me for a PhD

For a while, I have wanted to write about how my time away from school shaped me into the person/researcher I am now. A reflection on this past semester felt like a good opportunity […]

Starting at a Sprint

Completing a PhD is like running a marathon. You can approach it as a race and attempt to finish first, or you can merely focus on finishing. You can change up your pace, run […]

Diminishing Returns on Exams

Exams, short for examinations, are supposed to test whether the examinees (i.e. students) know and understand the material that has been presented to them. In high school, you take exams during the semester as […]

Fellowship Failure

This past December, I applied for a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship (information on this and other fellowships can be found here). If received, this fellowship would fully fund my graduate […]