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Ask Alice

Ask Alice
Credit: G. Grullón/Science

Alice and her friends answer questions that you don’t want to ask your preceptor, peer, or colleagues regarding your career in science.

Help me change my field
05 Jaunary 2015
I’d like to move to the United States and start working in a new field. Can you help?

Don’t waste my time
15 December 2014
Help! My adviser wants me to work on her half-baked pet project instead of my good one!

Rehabilitation science
09 December 2014
I want to teach, and I want to help clinics adopt evidence-based therapies. What should I do?

My adviser is stealing my project!
02 December 2014
My adviser wants me to train my replacement to continue to work on my project after I’m gone. What should I do?

Hunkering down
24 November 2014
Yes, it can make sense to stay in the same lab for graduate school—just don’t get complacent!

Improper contact
17 November 2014
A new postdoc insists on rubbing up against me in the lab. What should I do?

Call me by my name
10 November 2014
My adviser wants me to call him by his first name! What should I do?

Lab romance
03 November 2014
I'm falling hard for the professor I work for. What should I do?

Should I join an NIH study section?
27 October 2014
The advantages of serving on a study section, Alice says, more than justify the substantial time commitment.

Should I stay or should I go?
20 October 2014
In a new feature, Alice Huang answers your questions about science career issues.


Alice Huang

Dr. Huang is one of the pioneering researchers in molecular animal virology. She trained at Wellesley College and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She has worked at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard Medical School, New York University (NYU), and California Institute of Technology. She has served on the boards of the University of Massachusetts, Johns Hopkins University, and the Keck Graduate Institute at the Claremont Colleges, in addition to many other nonprofit organizations. She introduced vesicular stomatitis virus as an experimental model in virology. She carried out many of the initial investigations on the molecular biology of virion structure, replication, macromolecular synthesis, viral spread, and virulence. Her work on the virion-associated RNA-dependent RNA polymerase led to the grouping of many viruses as negative-strand viruses. Her studies on pseudotypes, especially between RNA and DNA viruses, demonstrate the spread of viruses to new host cells and provide important tools for genetic engineering.

As a teacher, Dr. Huang has taught and mentored undergraduates, graduate students, medical students, postdoctoral research fellows, and clinical fellows. She has guided junior faculty members and department chairs. As an administrator, Dr. Huang provided the vision and obtained support for beginning what is now known as “Silicon Alley” around the NYU neighborhood. She is a past president of both the American Society for Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (the publisher of Science Careers), two of the largest scientific societies in the world. She also dedicated 18 years to shepherding the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, together with Sydney Brenner and Chris Tan, into a successful center of research in what is now known as the Biopolis in Singapore. She continues to consult with research institutions and governments, sharing her expertise and practicing science diplomacy and policy.

Throughout her career, Dr. Huang has advocated for women in science. She encourages thoughtful approaches to reforms in teaching, to attract students with diverse backgrounds and interests to become interested in and committed to careers in science. She has been honored for her advocacy as well for her research accomplishments. Her wealth of experience as a leader and team player in research, administration, and advocacy prepares her well to provide advice to those pursuing careers in science.

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