I love the challenges and those (rare) moments of “eureka”! Realizing that you might be the first human to observe or find out something new about nature is extremely rewarding. And yes, since I can remember I always wanted to be a scientist. I have always being amazed by all the living things surrounding me, even the most tiny, humble ones. So I actually consider myself very lucky as I am doing what I always dreamed about.
There is always an experiment that does not work, a deadline that is getting too close, a competitor that might scoop your work, a grant or a paper that gets rejected … but you keep going. I read once about a study describing that a personality trait that seems to be common in scientists is ” people that are good at dealing with frustration”. Science is both amazing and frustrating. I grew up in Alicante, a small town by the Mediterranean Sea, in the Southeast of Spain. The main difference with NYC is that life over there is not so hectic, somehow time seems to go slower. Here in NYC a day seems to have less hours!
Javier Fernandez-Martinez, PhD is a Research Associate at the Rockefeller University studying Biochemistry in the Laboratory of Cellular and Structural Biology.