Dr. Fritz-Laylin is committed to helping all lab members build the skills needed to achieve their long-term career goals. Such skills include biological knowledge, molecular and cell biology techniques, project management, as well as science communication in the form of oral presentations, scientific publication, and grant writing. Dr. Fritz-Laylin meets with lab members weekly to discuss research progress and training needs. Enthusiastic applicants with diverse perspectives who wish to join a dynamic research group are encouraged to apply!
Graduate students: We accept graduate students through the UMass Amherst MCB and OEB programs. If you are interested in joining and/or rotating in the lab, please email Lillian directly or come by the lab.
Postdocs: If you are interested in joining the lab as a postdoc, please email Lillian directly, and include your CV and a cover letter explaining why you are interested in joining the lab and an idea you have for a project.
Meanwhile, you might want to know more about us:
The mission of the Fritz-Laylin lab is to take advantage of organismal diversity to understand cellular behaviors and how they evolved. We ask clear and important scientific questions and develop the most direct approaches to answer them. This includes learning new techniques, initiating collaborations with other labs, and developing new model organisms.
Each lab develops its own unique culture that has a profound affect on the science that comes out of the lab, as well as the quality of the day-to-day existence in the lab. Our lab culture is based on the following acting principles:
Joining a lab is like joining a sportball team. To help us play effectively as a team, it helps to know what we can expect from each other.
What you can expect from Lillian
What the lab expects from you
Your lab notebook is the most important product from your time in lab. In order to share our ideas and work most effectively, we use electronic lab notebooks. Your notebook must include all information needed to replicate your experiments (cell lines, concentrations, quantities, times, etc), as well as links to where your raw data is stored on the lab server. Your lab notebook should be updated by the end of the day. It is tempting to assume you will remember what you did, but it is easy to forget critical details. You can’t afford to risk it. Be prepared to show your lab notebook during meetings.
There are different types of meetings, each with its own purpose and expectations. Active participation in lab meetings is expected from all lab members.
One-on-one meetings are a forum to set milestones/deadlines to help you meet our shared scientific objectives and your personal career development goals, as well as discuss progress and strategize.
Your time is precious. My time is precious. In order to maximize the value of these one-on-one meetings, come prepared with an agenda (the recommended way to do this is for both of us to collaborate on a google doc agenda ahead of time). Prioritize your agenda to make sure we cover the most pressing concerns first, as we might not have time to get through everything on your list. Also bring something with which to take notes. If we don’t discuss anything worth writing down, we might not have needed to spend time on the meeting to begin with.
Sub-group roundtables are designed to help lab members working on related projects to troubleshoot experiments, and share important know-how. Bring your raw data as well as the analyzed versions of it. Remember, it is really hard to help you troubleshoot if you don’t do controls or label your data; please don’t waste everyone’s time by doing this.
Formal lab meetings are an opportunity to practice discussing our research in a broad context. Communicating science clearly is a key skill that we all can improve upon. For the audience this means paying attention, and asking questions. For presenters, lab meeting is a good time to step back and think critically about what you are doing and where you are going.