Since March 21, I have been feeling confused. I have been confused about my career trajectory. The reason behind that is my ‘research career.’ More specifically, I felt perplexed due to my two-fold research interest (Neuroscience vs. Plant Molecular Biology).
When I was admitted to the university, I had a generic dream —to be a Biotechnology researcher. However, in my sophomore year, I realized that the field of ‘Biotechnology’ is literally a huge one. Hundreds of branches and thousands of research interests are available here. A researcher can choose whatever field he/she feels comfortable in. This simple yet deep realization reshaped my mind and thought process to think about my research interest again.
While I thought about these things, I found a book named ‘The Brain that Change Itself’ by Norman Doidge. This book talks about seven different stories related to the field of neuroplasticity. From this book, I, for the first time, read the famous quote, ‘The neuron that fire together wire together’ — Donald Hebb (1949). I did not realize this quote’s weight in that period, but now I know that several neuroscience fields have been established based on this single quote.
Later, my extensive reading process forced me to think about neuroscience more profoundly. After finishing this book, I watched a lot of neurobiology lectures on youtube. Among those lectures, Robert Sapolsky —an American neuroendocrinologist — caught my eyes more insightfully than any other professor. He is amusing and unique in his way. Besides, I found his lecture incredible enought to prolong my dream in the neuroscience field.
During my final year, I got my undergrad supervisor, who works on biometrical genetics. Since my research interest did not match my professor’s work, I sincerely completed my undergraduate project, but not the passionate way I wanted. Besides, I joined many collaborative works —which are also related to plant science. So, I could not settle my career trajectory, yet I finished my graduation.
However, plant science has never been my favourite area. The unnecessary urge to publish scientific papers in any field gradually moved my brain from the things I love the most —neuroscience. On top of that, in my country, there is literally no opportunity to research neuroscience. You can do some computational research; however, I was not a fan of computational biology. Thus, my dream about neuroscience constantly moves away from the point my heart wants to hold. Even at one point, I lost my hope to pursue my career as a neuroscientist.
But in the middle of the pandemic, I started to work on a research project —the relation between the SLC6A4 gene and depression —which facilitated me to synthesize my old love again. And this resurgence creates confusion to choose my future career. I overwhelmed my brain with a lot of calculations since March 21. However, I got only one answer —stick in the field, which is not easy to pursue but passionate about.
So, from now, I will be focused on neuroscience from the core of my heart. I want to get a neuroscience master’s first. To do that, I formulated my plan for the next five months. I will write my plan below so that my brain subconsciously helped me to focus on my passion, new career trajectory more effectively than at any other time of my life.
- I will submit my first research (SLC6A4) within 15 April of 2021. Next week, I will complete all the writing processes and manage an editor who can act as a corresponding author.
- Every week I will finish a chapter from the book called Neuroscience: exploring the brain, and I will write a short lesson summary in my NeuroBlog.
- Between 1-10 April, I will design other three projects related to neuroscience: Migraine, Stroke, and Serotonin.
- In April, I will finish three courses from the Coursera related to neuroscience. Those courses are (1) Neurobiology of everyday life; (2) Synapses, neurons, and brain; (3) Introduction to Psychology.
- I will learn Python as a 40 days challenge program (from April 2 to May 12)
- Also, I will read four books regarding neuroscience. Those are (1) The man who mistook his wife for a hat by Oliver Sacks; (2) Descartes Error; (3) The tell-tale brain by V.S. Ramachandran; (4) We are our brain —from the womb to Alzheimer’s.
I don’t know what will wait for me in my future, but I learned something —if you plan well and stick with it for a longer period of time, the result will come in good shape— by reading a book called 12 rules for life by Jordan B Peterson. Therefore, I will make sure that outside talk doesn’t matter for me because I am going for my passion, not for my fashion.
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2 thoughts on “My Career Trajectory: Plant Science to Neuroscience”
Assalamualaikum Vai. I am Tarikul Islam Turjo from GEB-24.This blog(My Career Trajectory: Plant Science to Neuroscience) is fantastic.I have some query. As you mentioned that neuroscience related projects aren’t done in Bangladesh then how did you work in the project named relation between the SLC6A4 gene and depression. As a beginner, can you suggest me some books/YouTube channels to know about neuroscience. If I want to build my career in this field, then what should I do from now as a first year student?
Thanks for your questions. My work is in silico based, that’s why I was able to complete it. You can read various books to increase your knowledge regarding neuroscience, e.g. The Brain that Changes Itself Book by Norman Doidge, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat Book by Oliver Sacks, etc. You can watch the lectures of professor Robert Sapolsky on youtube -he is fantastic. Also, you can read HarvardNeuroblog.
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