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Important techniques in today’s biomedical science research that PhD candidates should be exposed to: a perspective from the FASEB journal

TA John


The need for best evidence has driven researchers into multidisciplinary, collaborative approaches which have become mainstay in today’s biomedical science. The multidisciplinary and collaborative approaches to research in research-intensive academic medical centres in the USA and in other countries of affluence has brought in significant advancement in knowledge as well as colossal progress and financial benefits. Therefore the author speculates that for Nigerian and other African PhD graduates in the basic medical sciences to become successful researchers, effective peer reviewers, reliable mentors, and progressive administrators in research-based academia, they need some exposure to multidisciplinary approaches to research during their subject-based training. The present report sought to substantiate this need. Thirty three published articles in the April 2012 FASEB Journal were studied for the methodologies employed and the results showed that the papers utilized an average of nine major biomedical science techniques, 9 being the mean, median, and mode showing the global status quo of diversity of methodology per scientific paper. The most popular procedures and techniques recorded in more than 1/3 of the published articles were: cell isolation; cell culture; in vivo or in situ whole animal studies; animal models of disease; gene/protein expression, sequencing and cloning; transfection, constructs, and genomic interference and silencing; western blotting; fluorescence and confocal microscopy; ELISAs and cell-based assays; and ready-made biotech assay kits. The most popular statistics testing were various forms of student’s t-tests at 0.05 confidence levels and ANOVAs. The GraphPad Prism software was the most frequently used statistic software.

Keywords: Techniques, Biomedical Science, PhD, Research