It’s looking like measuring telomerase might actually be a real possibility! But there’s a lot of work to do. I applied the 80/20 rule (80% of outcomes come from 20% of the input) to finish a draft of the protocol yesterday. I’m glad I didn’t spend too much time perfecting it because getting my mentor's initial feedback today was incredibly helpful. He gave me some much needed guidance and focus.
Key points from our meeting today:
- Become an expert in ONE thing. The more you put into the study the more you have to defend. I had put about 20 different ideas into the protocol and am now narrowing it down.
- Take the next 2 weeks to become the expert on telomerase. This is the time to focus and be a scientist. Read EVERYTHING about telomerase.
- Don’t get too attached to one idea, research is a lot of back and forth. Try not to get frustrated. If I spend time doing something that doesn’t work out in the end, it doesn’t mean it’s a waste of time -- in 5 years I could come back to a lot of these things.
- Don’t involve too many other people in the study just yet. Be careful of people who want me to do their work for them. This is my year to learn clinical research and pursue MY project.
- Within 6 weeks, write a grant to get funding for the telomerase enzyme assays.
- By mid-January, submit protocol for IRB approval and begin enrolling in March.