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Archive → August, 2010

Does it matter to your P.I. what you did this weekend?

Slacking? Or improving laboratory productivity and morale? And is it any of my business?

A few weeks ago, I used this photo in a talk at the College of Pharmacy at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. These are very exciting times at UAMS, capped by the recent dedication of their Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute tower. I had a lovely visit with pharmaceutical chemists, neurobiologists, clinical pharmacologists, and young exciting researchers and educators across the College. I also found that, despite the August heat, Little Rock is an enjoyable, medium-sized city with great cultural amenities and an excellent quality of life.

However, my only previous experience with the Arkansas River that runs through the state capital had been way upstream at the headwaters just outside of Leadville, Colorado. This picture shows yours truly as a young assistant professor and some of our lab group taking a midweek day off to enjoy that season’s snowcap runoff.

My thoughts returned to this photo last week at the MEDI Lunch-and-Learn session on Chemical & Pharma Blogging led last week by C&EN’s Carmen Drahl at the national ACS meeting in Boston, nicely liveblogged here by Lisa Jarvis. In my inaugural post last week, I noted with joy the chance to sit present and field questions together with Derek Lowe (In the Pipeline), Ed Silverman (Pharmalot), and Michael Tarselli of Scripps Florida. Continue reading →

Terra what?

Welcome back, friends, and thank you for all of the warm wishes yesterday on our relocation to CENtral Science.

Today, I thought I’d address one of the top two questions I get when introducing myself as Abel Pharmboy of the blog, Terra Sigillata. We dispensed yesterday with my beloved pseudonym as I’m now writing under my real name after what had been kept an increasingly poorly-guarded secret.

So, question two:

What is Terra Sigillata and why did I choose this as the blog name?

Continue reading →

The Right Chemistry

Welcome to the new home of Terra Sigillata, a blog about the pharmacology and chemistry of natural product drugs and dietary supplements, issues of under-represented groups in the STEMM disciplines, science and medical journalism, and the influence of science in popular culture.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you more about the blog itself but I wanted to launch with a personal narrative of how I got here.

Hello, my name is David…and I’m a science blogger

I’m your humble blogger, David Kroll, a molecular cancer pharmacologist and professor in the pharmaceutical sciences at a state university in the southern US. If you are an old-time reader of Terra Sig, you’ll know me as Abel Pharmboy, the pseudonym I selected to honor John Jacob Abel. ¬†Abel is considered the American father of pharmacology, having founded the first US departments of pharmacology (at Michigan and Johns Hopkins) as well as the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

But feel free to call me Abel. It’s a habit for many and folks in my daily life still know me as Abel.

And if you followed me on Twitter @abelpharmboy, just go ahead and follow me now @davidkroll.

After a fantastic four year run at ScienceBlogs.com, Terra Sig has spent a month in indie blog limbo while I searched for the right home for us. Some of my very dear friends are now at the wonderful new blog collective, Scientopia. I do hope to have a presence there in an educational capacity.

But where to bring little ol’ Abel and his Terra Sigillata?

Continue reading →