Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Job at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Finally some success on the job front!  I have been hired as a lab technician at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) for a part-time (70%) job.  Established in 1974, the EMBL is "one of the highest ranked scientific research organizations in the world" and the headquarters are located in Heidelberg, Germany.  I am working in the Berger group laboratory, learning new protein-related techniques that are cutting edge, as my boss has recently developed/modified a method that is patented and taught to people from labs around the world.  We are infecting insect cells with a modified virus, to produce large amounts of (human) protein complexes which can then be analyzed for structural and functional properties.  I have not previously done any protein work, so this is very exciting for me and at the same time, it will involve considerable learning but I am really liking it so far.  Our team is actually made up of three labs that are shared between my boss and his wife, and consists of approximately 20 people.  As you can imagine, Grenoble being very international, the group is very diverse.  There are !two! Canadians in the group and !one! Czech at the EMBL in a lab down the hall.   Finding my way around the three labs for equipment is a bit of a challenge ;)  So to sum this all up: the environment is dynamic and the research very interesting.  Let's hope I can do my job well and that this might just be the key to establishing a solid repertoire of techniques that will later help me find a decent job in Canada.

Jakub's mom came over for a few weeks to help me with the transition.  So far, she's been driving the kids to school and picking them up, but she just left today so we have to finally figure this out on our own (at least for the month of June for now).  I've been biking to work and back (25mins one way), which is really nice, but doesn't always work.  We have a bit of a setback with the kids being at two different schools, having to pick them up separately, and we have to do some juggling around with some of their extra-curricular activities.  Hopefully by September, I will have figured out my flow of things in the lab and everything will settle down.  The kids are going to Czech republic for the summer holidays to stay with their grandparents for 6 weeks, which will be very hard for me, but at the same time will allow me to figure out my work routine...

That's all folks!  Wish me luck and success :))


1 comment:

  1. Petro ahoj,
    To zní skvěle ale samozřejmě velmi náročně. Máte můj plný obdiv! Znamená to tedy že jste ve francii pouze dočasně a Kanada bude vaše příští stanice? Další zajímavost je že děláš "molekuláru", říkám to správně? Barča, (starší ségra) se taky zabývá biologií a "labák" mají ve Studenci (kousek od Náměště nad Oslavou) kde bydlí. Chystáte se zdržet se na pár dnů o prázdninách, jak povezete děti k prarodičům?

    Hodně stěstí v nové práci a gratulace k získání!

    Vašek z ulice