Dr William Silvers
Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Radiology, UTSW
Dr William Silvers grew up in Kerrville, Texas and matriculated from Texas State University with his BS in Chemistry. He entered the graduate program at Louisiana State University in Fall of 2007 and joined Professor Robin McCarley’s Lab. When asked what he appreciated most about his time as a graduate student, Will answered, “Although we all came from different backgrounds, there was a tight bond that formed with our fellow graduate class. You’re going to be at this place for 4 to 6 years and go through some difficult times, so having great friends makes life a little easier. Also, beer with everyone else in the department after Friday seminars was highly appreciated as well.“ While in Dr McCarley’s group, William’s research consisted of synthesis, characterization, and in vitro analysis of latent fluorescent probes for detecting NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase-1 (NQO1) activity in cancer cells for potential use in fluorescence-guided surgical resection of tumors.
William graduated with his doctorate in the fall of 2012 and accepted a position in the Department of Radiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center as a postdoctoral associate. His schedule varies from week to week, depending on tasks that need to be completed. “I spend a fair amount of time each day writing SOP’s, protocols, grants, manuscripts, and/or scheduling studies with collaborators. I work a lot with animals and other biological samples and they require tending to almost every day for setting up short-term or longitudinal studies. If I’m lucky, I’ll get to perform a little chemistry or biochemistry and perform a little science that day.”
During graduate school, William reached a turning point common to most graduate students. “It honestly took about a year to fully understand my project I was undertaking and where I was going and how to hopefully get there. This took hours and hours of reading literature and working in the lab to get to this point, but it was crucial for me to become an effective student.”
Asked if there was anything William wished he had done differently in his career to-date he stated, “Certainly would like to have started earlier on obtaining a better grasp of what it took to reach the next step in my career path. You get so caught up in the here and now time flies by and you’re playing catch up to figure out how to obtain your next goal.”
For the current and prospective graduate students, William left us with a piece of advice, “Just enjoy your time and don’t take life too seriously. Sure you need to work hard in the lab and spend a lot of time writing, but you also need to spend time enjoying yourself with friends during those years. It’s easy to get burned out in graduate school if you push yourself too hard.”