"Humanity needs dreamers" -Marie Curie

Inspired by the incredible physicist and chemist Marie Curie, the James Lab cares deeply about outreach, science advocacy, and encouraging women in STEM. In the midst of World War I, Marie Curie identified a critical need for diagnostic equipment on the front line. Dissatisfied with sitting on the sidelines, Curie developed mobile radiology units, which later became affectionately known as "Petite Curies", by outfitting cars with x-ray equipment and generators which Curie and her daughter raced into the battlegrounds to assist surgeons treating wounded soldiers. Curie's sense of urgency for translating her science from the laboratory into the clinic/battleground serves as an inspiration to us. It reminds us to remain focused on what matters most - i.e., innovating to improve human health, and to do all that we can to take our research out of the basement of the Lucas Center into our community where it can hopefully have a positive impact on diagnosing and treating those suffering from devastating brain diseases.

We are also passionate about teaching and mentoring the next generation of young scientists. Please feel free to contact Dr. James and/or her lab manager if you are interested in spending a few hours observing a brain imaging experiment, or if you would just like a chat over coffee about life as an academic and researcher.

April 2021: Michelle interviewed on The Art of Teaching Podcast

Michelle was interviewed by Matthew Green on The Art of Teaching Podcast. They covered everything from how Michelle stays curious and interested, to being a female PI, to how we can develop that inquisitive mindset in children. Take a listen! 

February 2021: Dr. James presented and mentored at University of Ottowa

Dr. James was invited to give a research presentation and meet students at the University of Ottowa Heart Institute Weekly Research Conference. She presented the lab's research and spent the afternoon meeting with scientists and trainees for mentorship sessions. Dr. James thoroughly enjoyed meeting the students and received glowing feedback for the empowering and supportive conversations.

May 2020: Sydney performs for SCOPE fundraiser

Sydney is a member of SCOPE, an organization that provides volunteer and interpretation services to a local hospital, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. The Emergency Department Medical Director at the hospital expressed how crucial the non-profit volunteer interpretation services are to the ED, particularly during the pandemic. To enable the volunteers to continue to serve patients in need, they raised money for iPads to provide necessary virtual interpretation services in the ED. Sydney did a contortion piece on the beach to contribute and also provided a few tips and tricks for staying healthy and flexible during the pandemic. To learn more about SCOPE, visit their website.

March 2020: Dr. James speaks on International Women's Day panel

Michelle was part of a panel for International Women’s Day at Thermo Fisher in South San Francisco, alongside Dr. Colón and Dr. Hayden Gephart. Many stories were shared about career advice, personal mantras, the imposter syndrome, and how women/URMs can look out for each other.

February 2020: Skype a Scientist

Katie and Carmen have both participated in a program called Skype a Scientist, where scientists skype with classrooms and families about being a scientist. They both thoroughly enjoyed sharing their experiences with the classrooms, ranging from 2nd graders to high schoolers, and are looking forward to the next session! Learn more about the organization at this link.

2019: Science is Elementary

Carmen has been volunteering with Science is Elementary for over 3 years and loves it! Once a month she helps teach science lessons to children at a local school. Carmen loves the moment when students understand a new concept and are proud of the work they do.

Fall 2019: Letters to a Prescientist

Katie is excited to be a part of the program Letters to a Prescientist! She writes letters monthly to an elementary student about life as a scientist. Career options, different areas of research, and campus life are just a few of the topics covered. And we all enjoy hearin questions from the student!

July 2019: James lab summer intern

Anoushka, an awesome local high school student, has been learning and observing techniques such as Nissl staining, autoradiography, brain slicing, and stereotaxic surgeries. She has also been helping with PET imaging studies of TREM1/AD and stroke mice, and learning how to image and analyze scans using Brain Atlas imaging techniques. When she’s not getting her hands dirty in the lab, she can be found neck deep in research papers for  journal club. Out of all the things she has been learning, Anoushka really enjoys learning about new research and analyzing Brain Atlas images, and she aspires to a career in neuroscience!

July 2019: A young guest visited the lab

Dr. James welcomed an aspiring scientist into the lab, who happens to be only 6 years old! Michelle showed her how to perform a histology experiment and taught her how to use everyone's favorite lab instrument: a pipette. We always enjoy bringing people into the lab and talking about the excitement of being a scientist!

April 2019: Brain Day

Aisling, Katie, and Haley went to JLS for Brain Day this year. They taught middle schoolers about brain anatomy and function. We cannot wait until next year!

February 2019: Professor James speaks at a postdoc mentoring workshop

Professor James was on a mentoring panel for the Stanford postdoc mentoring workshop. The workshop was focused on setting expectations, motivating people, setting boundaries, establishing your lab culture, and considerations regarding different mentoring/working styles and the potential pitfalls in mentoring.

October 2018: High school student mentoring and curriculum development at Nueva High School

In collaboration with the Nueva High School in San Mateo, the James lab has been involved in sharing cutting edge research in neuroscience with high school students. From guest lecturing, curriculum development, and one-on-one student mentorship, we are passionate about inspiring the next generation of scientists! We cannot wait to continue this collaboration throughout the school year and in the future.

July 2018: SF Marathon Fundraising for ALS Research

On July 29th 2018, Haley fundraised over $12,000 for ALS research by running the San Francisco marathon. We are delighted to support Haley throughout her training and fundraising efforts for this important cause!

June 2018: James Lab High School Intern

For the summer of 2018, we accepted a talented high school intern named Anjali. Anjali spent the summer learning and developing advanced image analysis and immunohistochemical techniques for a project regarding myeloid cell activation in a mouse model of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). We are excited to be part of Anjali’s long and successful career in science!

April 2018: Brain Day

For Brain Day this year, Marc, Aisling, and Kelly spent the day at Jordan Middle School teaching middle schoolers about brain anatomy! We are excited to share our love of brains with the next generation of scientists. 

March 2018: International Women's Day

We are proud to celebrate women in science! We are inspired by all of the men and women working towards the common goal of furthering scientific knowledge.

December 2017: Michelle Speaks at Career Day!

Rolling Hills Middle School

We are passionate about inspiring the next generation of scientists! What better way than to visit a local middle school on career day to talk about what academic research entails.

April 2017: Women in STEM Pannel

Wololooware High School in Sydney, Australia

Michelle led a Women in STEM Panel at Wololooware High School in Sydney, Australia.

March 2017: Brain Day

Brain Day is one of our favorite days of the year! Every March we spend a day at a local middle school and teach the kids about brain anatomy.