Since before I met Abe, he has been an MD/PhD student. When we first met he was finishing his second year of medical school. The next year he started work in the lab for his PhD in genetics. Since that time, most of his medical school friends have interviewed and matched for residency, moved away, and are now finishing their residencies. Since that time for us, Abe has been working in the lab. It has been very frustrating at times with mishaps with DNA constructs, failed mouse surgeries, cannabilistic mouse mothers, etc. But finally within the last few weeks Abe turned in his monster written thesis and finally presented and defended his thesis to his committee.
This was the advertisement they had for his thesis presentation last Friday.
Here he is with his mentor right before the presentation. His mentor had a lot of great things to say about Abe, as well as a chance to poke a little fun at him before the presentation.
Everyone agreed Abe did a fantastic presentation to a packed house, standing room only.
After that, he had to meet in a room with his committee to field their questions. This was the actual part they call the “DEFENSE” and the most stressful part of the day. Luckily after about 45 minutes they congratulated him on a job well done and declared he had met the requirements to graduate with his PhD. They had some great compliments, two of the members said it was the best written thesis they had ever read! Also, more great news is that he will not have to make any revisions to the thesis, which is a fantastic surprise as it is expected to have to make changes after.
After the defense his lab had a party. They made some cakes for him (I think they felt a lot of pressure knowing how great a baker Abe is): a mouse with headphones (to illustrate all of his work with deaf mice) and a kit-kat cake, a lab joke about Abe stealing the lab kit-kat stash.
Here is Abe with his labmates.
We headed to dinner to celebrate that night with the Sheffields at Wildwood.
Abe will have a few weeks off now before heading back into Medical school. I think our lives will get pretty crazy from here on out! I can’t believe the PhD is finally over.
*Unfortunately, he will not be rewarded the actual degree or title until May 2012 when he graduates with his MD as well. But as far as I’m concerned, go ahead and call him doctor.