CSHL Press News

At the Helm: Leading Your Laboratory provides fresh advice for new principal investigators


New edition of popular handbook by Kathy Barker is released by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. (May 4, 2010) – Newly appointed principal research investigators have to recruit, motivate, and lead a research team, manage personnel and institutional responsibilities, and compete for funding while maintaining the outstanding scientific record that got them their position in the first place. Small wonder, then, that many principal investigators feel ill-prepared.

Since 2002, the first edition of the best-selling book At the Helm has helped thousands of newly appointed principal investigators successfully transition to running their own labs. The second edition, just released by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, has been substantially revised and updated, offering new PIs advice on adapting to the changes and challenges that the years have brought.

"The world has changed since the first edition of At the Helm was published in 2002," writes Dr. Barker, "and the laboratory has changed with it, for better and worse." Changes in technology continue to transform the way science is done, affecting ways in which labs communicate, organize data and supplies, and keep current on the latest developments. The culture of science has also evolved, as more scientists explore non-academic career paths, seek new ways to communicate information and ideas, and acquire skills and knowledge outside of their field.

In the book, which is based on interviews and is enlivened with quotes and real-life examples, Dr. Barker discusses a wide range of management challenges and the skills that promote success. New topics include collaboration contracts, performance evaluations, communicating with non-scientists, tips for succeeding on the tenure track, and professional development. She offers advice on building relationships and has thoroughly revised the resource lists at the end of each section.

At the Helm is Dr. Barker's second book. Her first, At the Bench: A Laboratory Navigator (�1998, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press) gives instruction on techniques that are usually relegated to a difficult-to-retrieve oral tradition, and also explains the culture of the research laboratory to new recruits.

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About the book:
At the Helm: Leading Your Laboratory, Second Edition (� 2010 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press) was written by Kathy Barker. It is available in hardcover (ISBN 978-087969866-9) and is 372 pp. in length (7" x 10"; illus., index). For more information, see http://www.cshlpress.com/link/at_helm2.htm.

About the author:
Kathy Barker received her B.A. in Biology and English, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Microbiology, from various branches of the University of Massachusetts. She did her postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Viral Oncology at Rockefeller University and was an Assistant Professor in the Laboratory of Cell Physiology and Immunology at Rockefeller University. She is now based in Seattle, where she writes and gives workshops on various aspects of running a lab.

About Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press is an internationally renowned publisher of books, journals, and electronic media, located on Long Island, New York. Since 1933, it has furthered the advance and spread of scientific knowledge in all areas of genetics and molecular biology, including cancer biology, plant science, bioinformatics, and neurobiology. It is a division of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, an innovator in life science research and the education of scientists, students, and the public. For more information, visit www.cshlpress.com.

Ingrid Benirschke, Book Marketing Manager
[email protected] ; 619-275-6021

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