After several days spent with my lovely roommate and hilarious family members checking out the sites in D.C., VA, and MD, I've reached the near-end of the 4th of July break from Novo. It's funny that when I talk about it in casual conversation, I tend to say, "Yeah, I have to go back to work tomorrow..." in that typical back-to-school groan, as if I dread waking up to go in on Monday. But each time I do this, I catch myself, realizing that I'm actually quite excited to go in to work and I'll probably fight myself to get to work at 9 a.m. and leave by 5 p.m. instead of going in at 7 a.m. when the building opens and staying until 6 p.m. closing.
The Dossier project should start to dominate my agenda by the end of this coming week. Until then, Neil has graciously taken the time to nitpick through some published trial data with me so I know what to look out for with the Dossier literature search results. Basically, we kick this project off by skimming through hundreds of abstracts and flagging them for significance. Neil is teaching me how to determine if a study is airtight, whether its subject pool is too narrow, if the testing methods are consistent and leave little room for random variables to affect the outcomes, etc.
I realize this might sound quite dry thus far. While it may seem boring to the reader, I assure you that I could not be in a better place! This entire department is completely out of my typical element- as a biology major used to taking more abstract science courses based on pictures of cells and qualitative data, now I am faced with people who work almost entirely in the quantitative realm. I'm forced to think in numbers now and test the hard data using p values, confidence intervals, etc and then consider its economic outcomes (Will payers buy into this drug? Does it compete well with the other drugs in its class? Will Novo make a profit?) as well.