Choosing the Right Lab

2017 Mentoring Symposium
"Choosing the right lab and personnel for your career"
(Sponsored by the Women in Physiology Committee)


Date: Sunday, April 23, 2017 

Time: 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Location: McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, Room W192A



Karen L. Edelblum, Ph.D., Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Brandi Wynne, Ph.D., Emory University

Every new graduate student, postdoc or faculty member must make difficult decisions regarding the people we choose to work with. These choices will affect not only productivity and chances for success, but also our sense of well-being. Thus these decisions are among the most important we make. As a trainee, you will choose which mentor to work with to complete your studies, and as an investigator, you will choose which trainees to employ in your laboratory. There are many factors associated with identifying an ideal mentor/mentee relationship, whether you are the applicant looking for a position or the investigator hiring to fill a position. The Women In Physiology Symposium for 2017 will focus on the key aspects of this complicated decision-making process. To address this, we will discuss the crucial points that newly-minted Ph.D. students will want to consider when choosing a lab to facilitate success as a postdoctoral fellow, whether they follow career paths in academia or industry. For a new faculty member, the decision of whom to hire as a postdoc is just as critical for the success of a fledgling lab; therefore, we will also discuss important factors to be considered when interviewing postdoc candidates. Lastly, despite the best effort of both the applicant and the investigator, not every candidate or prospective mentor will be the perfect match. Our final speaker will discuss the best exit strategies to employ when it is time to sever the mentee/mentor relationship. This will be discussed from both the perspective of the mentor- letting trainees move on to a different position, as well as from the position of the trainee whose needs may not be fulfilled by their current mentor. A panel discussion will take place following the last seminar. The goal of this symposium is to provide you with the tools to help make these important decisions of your career.




  • Selecting good mentor and lab for an academic postdoc
    Karen Sweazea, Ph.D., Arizona State University
  • Selecting a good lab for a postdoctoral or research experience in industry
    Bryan Clay, Ph.D., Pfizer Inc.
  • Selecting a postdoc for your laboratory
    R. Clinton Webb, Ph.D., Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
  • How to let go and make go
    Marshall H. Montrose, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati
  • Panel Discussion