My name is Tyler Wellington and I operate the histology core facility that serves Dr. Woodruff’s lab as well as many of the Oncofertility Consortium investigators. Histology in the core is an involved process that takes ovarian and other tissues dissected from research animals and processes it first into microscope slides, and ultimately into digital images that researchers can use to determine everything from the size and shape as the tissue, to its composition, to the location of specific proteins and other important cellular components. I’ll admit that the day-to-day of the histology core can, on occasion, become tedious. I’m the one that, in stock footage of a laboratory on the local news, is in the background wearing a long white lab coat cutting thin sections of tissue for a slide or pipetting small volumes of liquid from one tube to another. These small tasks, though, can never distract me from the big picture.
Reconciling and remedying the mental and health-related stresses of women facing diagnoses of cancer and infertility are enormous tasks charged to the Consortium, which means the daily tasks of the lab, however small, are always pieces of a larger and more important puzzle. Good ideas, no matter how good, cannot work without good science. Small changes on the laboratory bench can often lead to big changes in scientific ideas, and big changes is scientific ideas can lead to important changes in smaller stories. Whether it’s the girl’s decision to become a doctor after attending OSA or the patient’s renewed hope for fertility after cancer treatment, small science, big ideas, and personal stories are always very connected in the Oncofertility Consortium. I hope to use my space on this blog to look this, to examine the different ways in which science, ideas, and personal stories interact. I feel privileged to have this opportunity and I look forward to any comments you might have.