About Nicole M. Baker

Nicole M. Baker received her PhD from the Department of Pharmacology at UNC in September 2016. She is currently a member of the Der Lab where she studies the role of p21-activated kinases in regulating the growth and metabolism of KRAS-mutant pancreatic cancer cells. Nicole's interest in pursuing a career in scientific writing led her to start SWAC. She was both a co-founder and the first SWAC President. Her hobbies include reading, playing cello, laughing when it’s inappropriate, and playing difficult video games and bragging about it to people who don’t care.

by Nicole M. Baker August 2, 2016

If you haven’t seen the cinematic masterpiece that is Jurassic Park, drop what you’re doing and go watch it now. Even if you don’t dig dinosaurs, there’s an immaculate scene of an injured, bare-chested Jeff Goldblum, and that alone is … Continue reading

by Nicole M. Baker April 26, 2016

When you work in an academic lab and are fully engaged in your research, it’s easy to overlook all of the people that provide support for your experiments and keep the lab working like a well-oiled machine. The microscope facility, … Continue reading

by Nicole M. Baker October 23, 2015

If you have any interest in science and have ever contemplated your existence within the confines of this universe, chances are that you’ve come across an interactive Flash-based animation called “The Scale of the Universe.” Developed by two 14-year-olds, Cary … Continue reading

by Nicole M. Baker August 11, 2015

As scientists, many of us have read a paper, been inspired by the glamorous data, carefully followed the methods section in order to replicate the results in our own hands, and failed to validate the original results. I’ve often attributed … Continue reading

by Nicole M. Baker June 1, 2015

Requiem for a Western Blot: A Haiku on Reversing the Positive and Negative Electrodes Two weeks to prepare It’s time to transfer this gel Data finally? Excitement building Put the wires on backwards Proteins all lost, $%!#   PEER EDITED … Continue reading

by Nicole M. Baker May 19, 2015

Speaker: Mark Derewicz, Science Communications Manager at UNC School of Medicine/UNC Health Care Date: May 26th, 2015 Time: 5:30 PM Location: Bondurant Hall, Room G030 Event Link: https://swac.web.unc.edu/event/mark-derewicz-seminar/ Last month, SWAC hosted a very successful first seminar featuring Lauren Neighbours, … Continue reading

by Nicole M. Baker May 15, 2015

Non-scientist friends and relatives often ask me whether I am “curing” cancer, and question why the cure for cancer doesn’t already exist following decades of funding for research. Worse, some social media conspiracy theorists are irrevocably convinced that the cure … Continue reading

by Nicole M. Baker April 29, 2015

Most people would presume the safest place to survive the imminent Zombie apocalypse would be in an underground bunker. This erroneous conclusion has led to the untimely death of a large number of soft-shelled clams – admittedly not by Zombieism … Continue reading

by Nicole M. Baker April 27, 2015

For weeks, I struggled to produce a successful harvest of lentivirus. I needed to transduce my pancreatic cancer cell lines with shRNA targeting my gene of interest. This is a common protocol in my lab, and I had never experienced … Continue reading

by Nicole M. Baker April 24, 2015

SWAC’s First Monthly Seminar: Lauren Neighbours, PhD, RAC Wednesday, April 29th at 5:30 PM Bondurant Hall, Rm. G074        In my fourth year of graduate school, I decided that I did not want to pursue a career in … Continue reading