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Life in the Lab of a Laureate: What it Was Like Working with Frances Arnold

通过 Stephanie Blaszczyk
Science Communicator & 毕业 Student (Tang Group)

Ph.D. chemists 凯蒂·布伦纳, 安德鲁·布勒, Jeffrey Endelman and 菲利普·罗梅罗 celebrate their mentor’s success, after learning that Frances Arnold received the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Ph.D. chemists 凯蒂·布伦纳, 安德鲁·布勒, Jeffrey Endelman and 菲利普·罗梅罗 celebrate their mentor’s success, after learning that Frances Arnold received the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

UW–Madison students are unknowingly influenced by recent 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner, Frances Arnold, thanks to four Ph.D. chemists and Arnold group alumni in the Madison area: Jeffrey Endelman (2005年), 菲利普·罗梅罗 (2012),和 安德鲁·布勒 (2017), all professors at UW–Madison, and 凯蒂·布伦纳 (2009) co-founder of bluDiagnostics, a biomedical company.


nginx
 California Institute of Technology.

The local lab alumni largely echo the same sentiments when describing life in the lab of a (now) Nobel Laureate.

Like troops under the guidance of a general from afar, they worked diligently and independently as Arnold was largely absent from day-to-day interactions.

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While difficult in the moment, Brenner is grateful for time and learning that occurred in Arnold’s lab. It taught her how to be a rigorous scientist, which has carried over to her career in R&D.

When asked what type of lab environment she tried to provide for her students, Arnold responded, “Honestly, the best lab environment is one where great lab members run the show and help each other do their best work.”

All four alumni undoubtedly performed great work in Arnold’s lab, as evidenced by their current success in academia and industry, and they credit Arnold for providing a research environment where intellectual curiosity could run rampant.

“Arnold had an ability to inspire people and recruit great scientists,” Endelman said. “She created an environment where you felt empowered to pursue interesting questions.”

She was a candid advisor who did not sugarcoat her opinions, but the students who graduated from her ranks have thrived, almost like a microscale survival of the fittest atmosphere, which is appropriate considering her career devotion to evolution.