Infectious Insights Blog

IDRI’s 5th Annual Gift Guide for Geeks

Haven’t had time to shop for a holiday gift for the geek on your list? Never fear – IDRI scientists have stepped in again to help you find the perfect present for your favorite geek. We’re pleased to share with your our 5th annual Holiday Gift Guide for Geeks! Alyssa Manning says “These tops are awesome!” They are made of many different pure metals (when possible) and are all exactly the same size and shape. “Great way to have fun with density!” To keep things local, Julie Early suggests Rocks for Brains, which focuses on broadening the appreciation of geology in the Pacific Northwest through “whimsical and functional pieces of art.” Linda Hawkins offers up something that is perfect for those with Einstein-like hair: hair chalk! “Hair chalk is not just for the kiddies and pre-teens, but also for those science nerds who want to complete their look,” said Linda. [...]

December 19th, 2016| |

The Role of a Mentor: Paying It Forward

As a young girl growing up in Trinidad, it was easy to fall through the cracks. At a time when boys were encouraged to pursue science and girls were politely pushed in other directions, I could have easily missed out on my scientific career path without the influence of my high school chemistry teacher. He was a true mentor, encouraging me, showing me that I was good at science and helping me believe that there were no limits. That was my first brush with having a great mentor, but certainly not my last. When I was at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, there was a professor who was in charge of one small aspect of a project I was working on. Like my high school teacher, he inspired me to strive for more. I went on to work with him in Tanzania, where we continued one-on-one training [...]

December 6th, 2016| , , |

The Role Rainier Beer Played in IDRI’s Founding

NOTE: This month, IDRI is celebrating its 23rd anniversary. The photo below shows founder Steve Reed, with a small sign pointing to the original IDRI site, sandwiched between a video store and a pizza joint on Nickerson Street in Seattle. It’s all about relationships. It was interesting to read about Rainier beer a couple of months ago in the local newspaper. And that made me recall the role that Rainier beer played in IDRI’s development – actually, in its birth. When I first moved to Seattle, I worked at the Issaquah Health Research Institute. I went from being an associate professor at Cornell to a postdoc in Issaquah, but that's another story. The institute in Issaquah was a small organization; we grew it over time and eventually it became Seattle Biomedical Research Institute and now the Center for Infectious Disease Research. But in those days, it was a little bit lonesome [...]

August 22nd, 2016| , |

The Brexit Impact on Science

I don’t normally write about politics, but last week something momentous happened in my home country that intersects with the world of science. It has been a week since the United Kingdom voted in favor of “Brexit” - a surprise result from a national referendum. The shock waves that went through the scientific community, and the sense of loss and confusion among my scientific friends and colleagues, was huge. While none of us know how this will turn out, those few days since that big vote have given us time to pause and reflect on the possible consequences. As a scientist, while working for two decades in London, my work benefited immensely from the UK’s participation as a member of the European Union. Science is a global pursuit, requiring the best and brightest minds from wherever they hail. Being part of a large union with freedom of movement meant we were [...]

July 1st, 2016| |

What’s on Your Summer Science Reading List?

What’s on your reading list for this summer? We posed that question to IDRI employees – focused on books related to science or technology – and got some interesting answers. Take a look – you might want to add these to your list! Linda Hawkins, Director, Quality Assurance and Compliance, has three favorites to recommend. “Drive:  The Surprising Truth of What Motivates Us” by Daniel Pink details startling results of psychological experiments that reveal that there are three elements that drive us – autonomy, mastery and purpose. “Forget the carrot and stick. Reading it gave me a better understanding of not only what motivates my employees but what motivates me as well.” The follow-up book to Marie Kondo’s first New York Times best-selling book, “Spark Joy,” shows that “we all need a little more joy from our environment as well as know-how to fold clothes origami-style. The book speaks to my Japanese [...]

June 28th, 2016| |
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