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publishable research

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by yankdez, May 15, 2007.

  1. yankdez

    yankdez 10+ Year Member

    May 12, 2007
    I'm about to start researching at my school and was wondering which departmentS or areaS of study would give me the best chances of getting published? Stem cell research one of these? thanks for ur advice.
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  3. byong_soo

    byong_soo Member 5+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2004
    stem cell is not one of them.
    it really depends on luck, whom you work with, what stage of the project you enter the lab, how nice the graduate/post-doc is to let your name be on the paper, etc.

    above goes for most pre-meds. a few actually do conduct signficant research and publish. and if you work very hard in the lab (ie a lot of time), you will get there.

    and i know how competitive it is to get into medical school, but you really shouldn't worry about publications. your PI's LOR is more important IMO. Anyhow, good luck!
  4. BlueElmo

    BlueElmo 10+ Year Member

    Sep 6, 2006
    Stem cell research? Are you even allowed to do that as an undergrad?
  5. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers Faculty SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2005

    I agree. However, if you are planning to apply for MSTP, then publications are almost expected. More importantly, your research interests should fit with those of the schools to which you are applying. So, anything very unusual might limit your chances of finding a lab that will be interested in you for the PhD.
  6. yankdez

    yankdez 10+ Year Member

    May 12, 2007
    everbody agrees that stem cell research will not likely get me published? b/c i looked at recent publications for a few labs im interested in and they have average around 4 papers in '05, '06, and '07. what signs do i look for if i want to find a productive lab to join?
  7. speedyE

    speedyE 2+ Year Member

    Oct 11, 2006
    byong_soo put it very well. You can't bank on getting published in any lab. Stem cell research is so new, and the labs doing it so few, that I'm not surprised this group is putting out a lot of papers. However, I doubt that you would be able to waltz into this lab and become a first author on a paper. Plenty of people devote a lot of time to research and do not get published (myself included). There are so many factors involved with this, and I have seen several friends get into very competitive PhD programs with lots of research, yet not one publication. So if you're thinking MSTP, I don't think it's absolutely necessary either. Posters, attending and presenting at a conference, and great LORs can also come from research and will enhance you application. Plus, I think an outstanding LOR from a well-respected PI can be as good, if not better, than a publication.

    Just pick a group that you are interested in and will have the patience to teach you the ropes. Don't put everything on getting published!
  8. enigma85

    enigma85 7+ Year Member

    May 3, 2006
    New York, NY
    Are you applying MSTP or not?
  9. ssquared

    ssquared Member 2+ Year Member

    Why wouldn't you?

    Most stem cell work is done in model organisms. I don't see why it would be any different than any other research. Even if they were human ESCs I still don't see why undergrads would be prohibited from using them.
  10. dragonark

    dragonark 10+ Year Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    because it's expensive (time and money) to train and work with ESCs. That's why they use animal models first.
  11. ssquared

    ssquared Member 2+ Year Member

    Well, yes, but it doesn't mean that they aren't allowed to. I was just surprised by the question. Especially with animal models, it's no different than working with HeLa or NIH 3T3 cells, really.
  12. dragonark

    dragonark 10+ Year Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    i suppose implicit in my response was the idea that you can't just waltz in and get trained for such things. you'd probably have to put in some time and prove that you're sticking around and a hard worker, then they would consent to put in the time and energy to train you. But yes, plenty of undergrads work hard and get published, it just might take a few years of working in the same lab.
  13. ssquared

    ssquared Member 2+ Year Member

    True, waltzing in and hoping to get published rarely works. Generally it's the quality of the research, not the type of research, that ensured future success in getting things publishing.

    Go look at prof's websites, and see if they have a fair amount of recent publications, and see if they have undergrads listed as authors on those publications. A prof who publishes in Nature every 6 months will do you no good if he refuses to let undergrads have authorship. Stick with the PIs that allow their undergrads to do independent research and have their names on those papers.

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