My mom is a physicist by training who studied semiconductors, so I was always in the lab. We left Odessa in 1990. As
scientists we are very fortunate to work in such a stimulating environment. I study ion channel regulation, specifically how drugs
may regulate ion channels by affecting general properties of cells
other than the proteins they’re designed to target. Understanding
how they do this may help us improve therapeutic and toxic
profiles of medications that are already on the market or are in
the developmental phase.
One of the key activities for a scientist is to publish. With a newborn, you think, “she’ll nap for three hours straight and I’ll work.”
That’s not the reality. So I do data analysis, writing, and reading
on the bus between leaving the lab and picking up Rosa from
daycare. It’s an off-time when no one can distract me.
Having kids is a series of choices. Spending time with my
girls is very, very important. I’ve been lucky that my PI, Dr. Olaf S.
Andersen, has been incredibly supportive. He understands that
I may need to leave earlier or come in later. Not everyone is as
lucky as I am.
As a mom, you prioritize. Before, I’d get stuck on details. Since
I’ve had kids, I’ve become much more efficient. I feel that I am
more helpful to my lab-mates because I’m better able to see the
bigger picture. The responsibility of children makes you more
confident. I doubt myself much less.
Radda Rusinova, PhD
Instructor in Physiology and Biophysics