How to succeed in science? Tips from Jonathan Yewdell

by Alexey Bersenev on April 28, 2008 · 6 comments

in career

This question ask everybody who choose scientific path in the life. Jonathan Yewdell – professor immunologist at NIH give a lot of very good advices and tips for young biomedical scientists in Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology.

Biomedical research has never been more intellectually exciting or practically important to society. Ironically, pursuing a career as a biomedical scientist has never been more difficult. Here I provide unvarnished advice for young biomedical scientists on the difficulties that lie ahead and on how to find the right laboratories for training in the skills that you will need to succeed.

Cartoon by Alexander Dent

Making discoveries is the most important part of being a scientist, and also the most fun. Young scientists need to develop the experimental and mental skill sets that enable them to make discoveries, including how to recognize and exploit serendipity when it strikes.

Highly recommend to read and discuss!

Part I: taking the plunge
Part II: making discoveries

If you don’t have subscription download (pdf) here:
Part I*Part II

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Lost and Found May 9, 2008 at 1:31 pm

I have started reading this article. It is very good. One important thing is also “luck”. “Luck” in most cases comes from the ability to chose the right project and therefore, from experience.


JWS May 17, 2008 at 8:38 pm

I hope there will be more professors like Dr. Yewdell who has a great insight on working in academia. More important, I hope there will be more people like him who is really committed to leading young scientists in a right way – ‘right’ meaning not just projecting one’s philosophy on another, but listening to student’s philosophy and giving advice based on individual’s point of view. Unfortunately, even in one of the largest and prestigious institutions, such a mentor is rare.

Also, this is closely related to an issue of effective communication. I believe that this can be improved and I have called for solution to this issue on my blog.


Yim Zhi Hui July 6, 2008 at 5:00 am

Thanks for the fulltext. It’s difficult for me to get fulltext here as my univ did not subscribe nature. Thanks a lot, both articles are important to me.


Alex July 8, 2008 at 9:12 pm

not a problem Yim Zhi,
if you need some full text papers you can ask me, i’d help you with that


Raj January 3, 2009 at 7:07 am

I’m very thankful that i got the full text onine…..
Also at the right time, helped through a lot of confusion regarding my career ahead ..
positively motivating, nicely illustrated.


Academic Career Links March 22, 2009 at 12:27 am

There is also a fairly interesting discussion of these papers at the NatureJobs Forum.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: