Accolade – Part 2

Another great news for our heartmate manuscript published in Circulation Heart Failure in 2011 (discussed in a previous post).

You already know that it was among the most important manuscripts, related to exercise physiology and rehabilitation, published in Circulation and the Circulation subspecialty journals.

It has now been chosen, by the editors of Circulation Heart Failure, as one of the most important manuscripts in heart failure and therapeutics:

Circulation: Heart Failure Topic Review
Circulation: Heart Failure Editors’ Picks
Most Important Articles in Heart Failure and Therapeutics
Circ Heart Fail. 2012; 5:e73-e78

This is great!



Repost – Area of expertise: General or specialized?

This is another repost from 2 years back. I would really like to have your opinion on that issue!

You are at the end of your PhD studies, right after having successfully defended your thesis (congratulations by the way !!). What’s next? Assuming that you have already decided to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship somewhere around the world, will you decide to continue working in the exact same area of expertise in order to become (hopefully) the world leader on a really specialized issue, or at the opposite, will you decide to work on an issue that will permit you to have a more general view of your field?

Some years ago, I have asked myself the exact same question, and although I am comfortable with the decision I took back then, I still have my doubts as to whether or not I took the right decision !! Indeed, sometimes I feel as if I don’t know enough on a specific area of interest, even after all these years in school!!!

As you have probably guessed from the title of this blog, I have decided to take the pathway of integrative physiology. Although my master’s degree, PhD and postdoc work were related, one way or another, to exercise physiology, my studies were not dedicated to only one issue. I like to see myself as a traditional physiologist…For the moment, this situation totally fits my personality.  I have always needed to know and to understand the “big picture”. However, with all the new technology and the capacity to measure a lot of different variables at the same time, it is difficult to keep the pace. One cannot masters every technique, even if we are interested in integrating all the information in one study (between several human body systems for example). That will be a challenge throughout my career.

Whether you are about to choose “what’s next”, you are already dedicated to one specific issue or you have a more general background as a researcher, tell me your story!


Repost – To review or not to review…manuscripts outside your research expertise?

This is a repost, with minor language modifications, from 2 years back.

I have been initiated pretty early, by my PhD supervisor, to reviewing manuscript. So, I guess it is not surprising that I have reviewed over 100 manuscripts to date.  I have often accepted to review manuscripts not directly related to my area of expertise (as a student, I had more time).

Some months ago, I reviewed such a manuscript… I worked hard and thought that I did a good job, until I received an email from the editor with the decision, including reviews from all referees…

Geez, Reviewer #2 looks like a junior!

Actually, Reviewer #2 was me ! That situation made me think: Should I continue to accept reviewing manuscripts outside my research interests*, now that I am in the beginning of my second year as an assistant professor, with a busier schedule compared to when I was a PhD student ?

What about you, dear readers? Are you accepting to review manuscripts that are not directly in your field of interest?

I am looking forward to reading your comments !


*Since the publication of that post, I started to review fewer manuscripts outside my area of expertise.

I won’t read my emails…really?

It’s Friday. D-Day minus a couple of hours before you officially leave for vacation. You are preparing your vacation auto-response, which probably looks like the following:

Hi, I will be in vacation from xxx to yyy 2012. During that period, I won’t read my emails. I will answer you back as soon as I return to the office

I have 2 questions for you:

1. Are you really able not to keep an eye on your emails during your vacation?

2. What is the most cleverest vacation auto-reply email you have seen?

What’s happened to Le Physiologiste lately??

I know…I haven’t been around lately. Everything happens very quickly since a couple of weeks. Our little boy is growing up really fast. I think that I have already said it in a previous post, but being a father is an extraordinary experience. I am looking forward to seeing what will happen in the next few months!

In the marvelous world of research, well I didn’t have to occasion to really do research since I’ve returned to work. I have worked on grant proposals, reviewed manuscripts and theses, participated for the first time to a PhD defense as a member of the examination committee, and worked on my grad students’ manuscripts. At the moment, four papers from our group have been submitted for publication in the last few weeks.

By the way, a PhD student I am co-supervising published a very interesting story on the impact of mental work on cardiovascular function in men and women. This manuscript is my first publication as a senior author. Yay! A lot more interesting data from her PhD work has been submitted for publication or is about to be submitted. Stay tuned !

More good news! Maybe that my second publication as a senior author will arrive sooner than later since we’ve just submitted a manuscript for the third round of revision… Almost there… Fingers crossed !

Oh and yes…I knew that it was coming, but my friend Peter Rasmussen and his collaborators published a convincing story about the contamination of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS; a device used to measure brain oxygenation) signal by cutaneous vasoconstriction during administration of norepinephrine…these results are definitely challenging the conclusion of one of my manuscripts… I will blog about this story most likely in September and will try to convince Peter to participate to the exchange.

That’s all for now.