The Broad's Bridget Wagner offers tips on how to tell if clinical research is right for you.
It's not easy to find a clinical focus when you're steeped in basic laboratory research for most of your graduate life. Still, says Bridget Wagner at the Broad Institute, if your interests and research seem a good fit for any kind of translational work, getting to know your niche early on will be helpful down the road.
First off, not everyone is interested in research that has a clinical application, so know what motivates you. "Myself, I'm very much motivated by knowing the applications of the research that I do, that it's not happening in a vacuum," Wagner says, adding that there's plenty of opportunity today in research to have an impact on human health.
It could be overwhelming to delve into the clinical side of one's niche research area. Wagner advises seeking out basic biomedical journals for background and inspiration. "I would encourage people to read some of the clinical journals, like New England Journal of Medicine and JACS," she says. "Reading the clinical journals is useful to get ideas of what is important, what are the important questions in medicine."