Postdoctoral Education

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Just for Fun

The Billion Dollar Molecule

Billion Dollar Molecule: One Company’s Quest for the Perfect Drug

Barry Werth
New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994

This book chronicles early efforts at rational drug design based on structural characterization of the drug target.  An interesting subtext is the interaction between academic and pharmaceutical industry research.

ISBN-13: 978-0671510572

The Double Helix

The Double Helix – A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA

James D. Watson
New York: Simon & Schuster, 1968

The fascinating story of the competition to identify the structure of DNA for which Watson, Crick, and Wilkins were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1962.  A compelling account that should be required reading for all biomedical scientists.

Todd Wehr Library Call #: QU 58.5 W339d 1968 / ISBN-13: 978-0743216302

Experimental Heart

Experimental Heart

Jennifer L. Rohn
Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Press, 2009

Another novel that uses the research laboratory as the setting and a postdoctoral fellow as the primary character.  Although a little too much like a romance novel, it might be worth reading for the take-home message about relationships “because in the end, nothing else matters – not science, not success, not any of the modern obsessions that blind us to essentials.”

ISBN-13: 978-0879698768

The Honest Look


The Honest Look

Jennifer L. Rohn
Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Press, 2010

The second lab-based novel by this author is set in the research laboratory of a small biotechnology startup. The plot is engaging and realistic - pitting potential profit against scientific integrity in the corporate world.  The story has the added benefit of offering some insights into the drug discovery process in a biotech startup.

ISBN-13: 978-1936113118

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Rebecca Skloot
New York, NY: Crown Books, 2010

This is the story of the HeLa cell line and the family of Henrietta Lacks who contributed the eponymous cell line,  The book is widely acclaimed, having won the Wellcome Trust Book Prize and Heartland Prize as well as being a top pick of the year from the New York Times and Publishers Weekly.

ISBN-13: 978-1400052172



Allegra Goodman
New York: Dial Press, 2006

A New York Times bestselling novel that provides a sometimes too realistic portrayal of medical research and issues surrounding research integrity.  It is also notable for having a postdoctoral fellow as the primary character.

ISBN-13: 978-0385336123
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Page Updated 01/23/2014