From Nature Lover to Structural Biologist: A Scientist’s Journey
A gift of medical books from an unlikely source spurred Chrystal Starbird's scientific career. She talks about what motivates her research on cell surface receptors and the obstacles she has faced as a Black woman in academia.
The Scientist Magazine®
Leadership challenges defused
Boom! The bomb exploded. But don't worry—it was a virtual bomb, part of a game I started to play with my research group through teleconferencing in the early days of the pandemic. Called Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes ( KTANE ), the game consists of a “defuser”—me—who has the bomb but no idea how to defuse it, and a group of “experts”—the members of my team—who have an instruction manual but cannot see the bomb. I have to describe the components of the bomb to them. They have to identify each component in their manual, figure out how to defuse it, and explain the solution to me. Then I have to execute based on their instructions. If we make too many mistakes or run out of time—boom!—the bomb explodes and the game is over. For our group, playing offered excitement and camaraderie—and for me, a lesson in how games can hone leadership skills. > “Maybe bringing this game to my research group … would be good practice for me.” I learned about KTANE from my older son, who organized a g