“Science is better and faster when shared among open-minded peers, in a safe and enjoyable environment”

We work really hard to build a close-knit team with a stimulating atmosphere.  We want our lab members to feel safe to exchange honest and constructive feedback. To that end, we cultivate trust, brainstorming and an open mentality.

Team member’s contribution:

Our lab is intentionally small, so each individual has the ability to have a major impact. We believe that achievements, small or big, deserve to be rewarded, and we do our best to champion everyone, their ideas, their contributions and their personal accomplishments.

Informal meetings, discussions and project check-ups:

I meet personally with each student, in an informal way, on a (nearly) daily basis to check on the advancement of their experiments and projects, discuss papers and ideas, set new goals, brainstorm thought-provoking ideas, and/or troubleshoot issues that may have arisen. We also meet informally to debrief department talks or seminars relevant to our research or teaching goals.

Formal Lab Meetings:

Our Lab meetings (60-90min) occur every other Friday and consist of either a round-table or a data/paper presentation. In the former, every lab member is given 15min to share any matter they wish to discuss with the rest of the lab, while the presentation meetings consist of one lab member presenting the advancement of their project or a publication of interest. Pre-COVID (hopefully resuming in a few months) our lab meetings featured coffee and French-quality (i.e. TJP-approved) pastries!

One-on-one Meetings:

Our lab meetings alternate weekly with one-on-one meetings during which Dr. Papouin meets individually with every lab member for 60min, uninterrupted (currently virtual). This is quite informal and offers an excellent setting to discuss data in depth, and define future plans and directions.

Take-a-PI-to-Lunch:

Once a month, our team takes a WashU PI to lunch. This is a unique and casual opportunity to hear about their personal and professional history, how they came to science, what their lab is doing, the ideas they are pursuing, techniques they are using, where they see their field going, as well as fascinating details of their personal journey through science. Many of our past guest are now pillars of our lab’s ongoing collaborations and/or members of our student’s thesis mentoring committee.

Lab retreats (currently on hold):

We make great efforts in organizing a yearly lab retreat in a pleasant location. Ideally, future retreats will feature a guest of honor and this will be a unique opportunity to spend some privileged time with a leading scientist in our field. One focus of these retreats will be on learning to talk about science without any form of support. In advance of each retreat, one person will be in charge of writing a 5-6 page memo covering the advancement of all projects in the lab.

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