Making Eyes Pop

There is nothing better, when you are in a commercial role, than teaching someone a new way to do things and watching their eyes pop. Recently, I had the pleasure of watching a senior faculty member experience some eye-popping results, but how it came about was different than what you might expect.

I have waited awhile and won't mention names, but this lab was doing what I would call "grad student grinding" experiments. Here is the protocol we have used for 20 years, it involves a lot of manual microscopy and even more manual analysis. Each experiment, from the time you put it on the microscope, will take you at least a full day to do correctly. We ran a Proof-of-Principle experiment on a high content system and gave them results to analyze in a few minutes. We then showed them how to automate the analysis and get those results in a few minutes as well. Here is where things were unexpected.

During our initial visits we discussed this with the graduate student doing the work and they had no interest whatsoever. Later, we ran into the faculty member behind these studies and mentioned what we were demonstrating, without realizing the above-mentioned graduate student was from that lab. The faculty member was very excited and from there the demo proceeded. So, contrary to the jokes many of us post on Twitter, in this case it was the senior faculty that saw the advantage to changing methods and the grad student who was stuck in "this is how we have always done it" mode.

Are you questioning "this is how we have always done it" in your organization?



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