There has been more push for scientists to interact with the greater public. As a young scientist hoping to break into the field, it is important to take every opportunity to get exposure. Last year, I had a great opportunity to be featured in Nature Biotechnology. Although it ended up to be just one line in the end, the experience I had of being interviewed was a nice opportunity to understand how science journalism works and more importantly, to share the research I am doing to my target audience of drug discovery practitioners. In this brief blog post, I will share how it happened.
Last year, there was a drug that got approved from the firm Astex. Coincidentally, although the drug was not derived from the approach I am studying for my PhD, the firm Astex is one of the pioneers of in the approach called fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD). With this news, the person writing the article, Mark Peplow, was looking around for more information about Astex and FBDD. With some luck, he came across our consortium website (Fragnet.EU) and found the research that I was carrying out which was just about that – the development of the approach. He first reached out to my supervisor Peter. However, realizing how great of an opportunity it would be for me, my supervisor who was very supportive decided to direct him to me.
With that, a time was set for our interview. Before the actual interview, I prepared a little bit by reviewing the numbers I had with regards to collaboration in FBDD. At first I was a little nervous, since I had not experienced an interview before. However, with time, I eased up and just talked about all the things I knew about FBDD. It probably ended up to be a 30 minute call as I talked about various facets of collaborations. It was a really pleasant experience overall. At the end, he informed me when it would get published and said that he would inform me once again when it happens.
After a month of waiting, the article was live and I had my 1 minute of fame.