On my Facebook account I posted a picture during one of the more happiest times I have been a biomedical scientist. I was at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, as a newly minted Ph.D. working for a physician scientist who studied stress response proteins in congestive heart failure. My first trial period, I successfully cloned my transgenic construct to be injected in to mouse embryos. I had 7 founder lines and 3 of the mice transfered the transgene into their progeny, indicating the gene was in their germline. Every thing was PERFECT... Till I wound up waking off the floor...
Thinking what was best for me and the fact that my Ph.D. graduate advisor who has now died, said I needed to take care of myself, I decided not to return to my hometown, San Diego, but to get married to a wonderful man and live in Seattle and I thought, I could easily adapt to working at the University of Washington. Was I wrong.
As liberal as Seattle, Washington is, there is that glib bigotry and racism that rears its ugly head, especially in biomedical science. I was told, I was too loud, too boisterous, too--too much. When I did the research and organized it to the level I thought it should be based on the review of the literature I made, I was told, I did it incorrectly that I did not know anything. When I set up for experiments and gleaned results, then presented them for review, the feedback I got was, I did not know what I was talking about and what I tested was faulty...
What I studied was metabolism in a genetically altered mouse that prematurely ages, called WRN knockout mice. What I did was simple, add a horrific high fat/high sugar diet called Surwit, let them eat it and test their blood sugar and weigh them for 60 weeks. The aging mice got fatter than the normal mice. Pretty simple. But so many questions to test. These ARE EARLY DATA that have been now modified with statistical calculations - such as ANOVA. The last piece of data remains unpublished said it was not useful.
Then I was told, that after I wrote the paper, edited and reviewed it 1000 times, that no one was going to read the paper and that the research failed. Then my funds were cut and I could not get more funding. At that point I moved from my frying pan, I joined a laboratory that treated me inhumanely, dehumanized me and mocked my knowledge. I left taking the hit from the National Institutes of Health demanding their money back for lack of fulfilling my service.
Then I tried another position, where the professor would not write a letter conferring a job, then overspent the animal money budgeted because they did not know how to develop an experiment testing their animals. I had to euthanize 300+ mice in two days to hear I was getting fired. But that is not what made me leave... No... What made me leave was when the professor stated, "There no way a Black Man can become President in this country..." in a scientific laboratory meeting - that was 2008 since I worked for anyone else.
I applied to NUMEROUS other research positions, but the hiring of new researchers is by word of mouth and I was labeled. No one wanted to take the risk. I got disillusioned with the silliness and essentially moved my talents to the marketplace.
In 2008, I started my online social networking business with the license. It is my goal to make revenue so that I can pay my B&O taxes to the state. So far, I am not making anything. But at least I am under market scrutiny, rather than a scientific one, because let me tell you, what I have suffered, a Caucasian man would not suffer...
It is because I am an African American woman that boldly states what I know in Biomedical Science.
Long time ago, I set up a "Google Alert" for when my papers would be cited by other researchers. The paper never to be read has been cited ELEVEN times. Here is my paper below:
2008 Moore et al. Premature Aging Mice Fed Surwit Have Diabetes
My paper was recently cited by this group:
Michel Lebel, Nadja C. de Souza-Pinto, and Vilhelm A. Bohr
Metabolism, Genomics, and DNA Repair in the Mouse Aging Liver