Cho Lab of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Dear Visitors to Cho Lab of Pharmaceutical Chemistry:
Just like anything else in our lives, my professional career comes to an end. In the spring of 2013 my lab will close its door. That will be after Patrick Guley’s PhD dissertation defense. Patrick is the one with the backward cap on the head. There were two more students of his contemporary in this lab but they could not stand the heat and left. As it stands now, Shyam Joolakanti (with the dark mustache) and Michael Hackett (the big guy in the middle) will end their post-doctoral tenure at the same time. Patrick most likely will end up in an industry, while the other two may begin to work for NovoLipid, a new technology firm that Michael and I helped found in 2009.
In the past 20 years or so, my lab has produced 10 PhDs. For a record, they are: Shin-Hong Kang (96 PhD, currently Wyeth); FJ Chen (97, Teva); Carlos Velez (97, BD & L Consulting, New York); Estelle Riché (98, Millipore, France); Bruce Rehlaender (00, Pharma Directions); Aravind Asokan (04, UNC Faculty); Enzo Palma (06, Genentech); John An (08, PPD, San Diego); Jin Lee (Hammer Institute); and Roland Cheung (09, post-doctoral fellow, UNC Chem Dept). Including Michael and Patrick, it will be a total of 14. Michael is expected to graduate this coming spring. Including Joolakanti, 13 post-doctoral fellows will have gone through the lab. Most of them are international scholars; from Korea (1), China (6), Singapore (1), UK (1), India (1), and USA (3). Many of them have gone back to their home country. As far as I can tell all of them seem to be thriving well professionally and remain healthy, and hopefully happy.
As I look back now, it was after all a job, a job in which I have neither terribly excel myself nor have been an outright failure. I do not have 300 publications as one may have nowadays but my research has been continuously supported by various NIH grants (except one short period a few years ago). The life-long motto, “Walk in the middle of the road,” has been thus well served. I have tried to maintain as good a balance as I know how between domestic and professional lives. Societal and my employer’s demand for an outstanding professional career is one thing, what I personally wish to achieve in my own life has been a different matter. No one, including myself, will ever know if my career has been somehow compromised by this duplicity that has been pulling my energy toward often opposing directions. However, one thing is certain: I have always respected the job at hand. And I will walk away with a great deal of pride and self-esteem.