Skip to main content

Finding Balance at the Bench

September 20, 2022

This National Postdoc Appreciation Week, we asked our postdoctoral fellows how they strive to keep balance between their research and personal lives.

Wistar postdoctoral fellows serve as critical members of a principal investigator’s lab. They have the opportunity to lead independent projects, delving deeper into scientific questions beyond their Ph.D. degree. Our postdocs are mentored and trained by leading scientists and involved with cutting edge research to prepare them for lasting careers in biomedical research and the life sciences.

Exercise and Other Hobbies

In Wistar’s Ellen and Ronald Caplan Cancer Center, exercise and creative expression keep some of our postdocs balanced.

Dr. Xue Hao in the lab of Rugang Zhang, Ph.D., is currently working on the interplay between tissue aging and cancer and hopes her research can inform strategies to promote healthy aging and combat cancer.

She shares, “I always try to find some ‘me time’ to balance the intensity of bench work. I am a strong believer in daily exercise and good sleep to help me stay positive and energized. I also enjoy listening to classical music, sketching, and cooking.” Hao also enjoys watching tennis games, inspired by the champion players and their mental fortitude to help her overcome challenges in her life.

Exploring Beyond the Lab

In the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center of the Institute, some postdocs turn to travel and exploration of the world around them to find their balance.

Dr. Maria Belen Palacio in the lab of Amelia Escolano, Ph.D., develops new models to address challenging immunology questions in vaccine design and infectious diseases. Originally from a small town called Metán in the northwest corner of Argentina, Palacio is the second eldest of four siblings and spent her spare time during her college years visiting her large family. Now 7,000 kilometers away from them, she has taken this time to engage with the new environment in which she now lives.

She explains, “Whenever I feel stressed, my family is my strongest support. I also like running and outdoor activities. Since I am new to the U.S. and to Philly, I really enjoy exploring new areas of the city and traveling to nearby places.”