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Looking for guildeline in molecular biology knowledge and advice for phd program


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3 replies to this topic

#1 hianghao

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 10:54 PM

Hi,

Not sure this is the right place/forum to post...

I am a phd student. My field is molecular biology and I am doing research on cytochrome P450 gene, protein. I did not do my Msc and my degree was not molecular biology. Because of this, i know my basic knowledge on molecular biology is weak so i read a few books such as Molecular Biology, Genetics, Evolution, to learn some basic knowledge.

I am wondering reading those books + journals related to my research will be enough for a phd. Because its by research mode and doesn't have a syllabus, i keep on wondering what and at least how much more should i read. I am afraid that even after i finish my project, my knowledge doesn't fit that of a phd. Can anyone give me some suggestion on my reading materials and particular topics that i must know?

My supervisor doesn't guide me tightly and he is not a molecular biologist.

Another thing is, my phd is a 3 years programme, full research mode. Does the 3 years consider times used to optimize the experimental parameters, not getting results, and writing thesis? I've spent a month optimizing my pcr and another 2 months doing cloning. And i started to worry bout that.

#2 philman

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 07:40 AM

3 years is fairly standard I think, and if that is how long your funding lasts then it would be a fixed length of time from the time you start yes!

I am also a PhD student in my first year, from what I have gathered from talking to the postdocs, the first 6 months or so is spent optomising techniques, the next year and a half is full of things not working, the final year is spent actually getting results, and writing up is squeezed into the final 2 months somewhere... They may have been having me on with an over-pessimistic view, but I think your experience sounds pretty standard!


Read up on basic techniques relevant to your study and obviously read up on relevant papers to your field and gene etc. My supervisor suggested writing an ongoing literature review throughout the PhD of everything relevant to your field, then when you come to write-up, the information for your introduction is already half there!

1 month for PCR optimisation and 2 months for cloning optimisation sounds pretty standard to me too.

you say your degreewasn't molecular biology, how connected was it? I did a biochemistry degree and am now doing more microbiology/immunology stuff, which is different but related, is yours similar or way off?

#3 hianghao

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 01:08 AM

3 years is fairly standard I think, and if that is how long your funding lasts then it would be a fixed length of time from the time you start yes!

I am also a PhD student in my first year, from what I have gathered from talking to the postdocs, the first 6 months or so is spent optomising techniques, the next year and a half is full of things not working, the final year is spent actually getting results, and writing up is squeezed into the final 2 months somewhere... They may have been having me on with an over-pessimistic view, but I think your experience sounds pretty standard!


Read up on basic techniques relevant to your study and obviously read up on relevant papers to your field and gene etc. My supervisor suggested writing an ongoing literature review throughout the PhD of everything relevant to your field, then when you come to write-up, the information for your introduction is already half there!

1 month for PCR optimisation and 2 months for cloning optimisation sounds pretty standard to me too.

you say your degreewasn't molecular biology, how connected was it? I did a biochemistry degree and am now doing more microbiology/immunology stuff, which is different but related, is yours similar or way off?


Thanks for sharing and advises. My degree was regarding disease vectors and urban pests. Now i am studying insecticide resistance mechanisms in mosquitoes. Not really related but somehow, related.

#4 toptea

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 05:25 PM

Hi hianghao,
After reading your post, I felt like if I have written this. My case is quite similar to yours, I don't have background of molecular biology and doing PhD in this field and yes working on Cytochromes P450. From the time of your post, it seems you must be in the final year of your PhD, please share your experience, how you overcome all the hurdles. I am also in 2nd month of optimizing my techniques and not getting the results. its frustrating....




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