Money has slowly started trickling into my lab. (Slow and trickle being more noticeable than money...believe me.) I have secured 1 year of funding for a grad student to work on health care disparities and I get paid for one blessed month next summer. (I think I'll either insulate my attic or go to Vegas....both will pay back right?) Also, an undergrad got a fellowship for $1000 dollars which is about enough to buy half of the supplies his little project will need.
More important than the actual money is the fact that the influx of a little money gives me a little bit of hope that things may be getting better. I just re-submitted a grant. The only major criticism of the proposal was that the resistance genes I am working on make secreted proteins and secreted proteins could change the environment of the experimental cells. Matt Meyer (being brilliant and my friend) came up with this cute way of removing the secreted proteins without touching the cells. (I now love organic chemistry ant THAT is saying something). Maybe I will get that grant, It is a small one, but infinitely more than zero.
Certain collaborators who wish to remain nameless in the blogosphere are meeting with someone from DARPA who likes their work well enough that he occasionally visits to see if they are doing anything cool enough for DARPA to fund. A 10 minute discussion that goes well means lots of money for research. They are choosing to spend that 10 minutes presenting my research to the DARPA guy....(Yes, I feel cool...not as cool as if they wanted me to present my own research, but I guess I feel safer too).
And finally, Pilar Francino asked me to be on one of her grants. The positive aspect of this is that money follows her. The negative aspect is that she collects all of her bacteria from poop. I do not like to work with poop, but at this point I am willing. (Besides which, Leigh ann and I already make jokes about poopcicles. It will only get better if both of us work on them.) The data we get will also be really, really cool.
If my funding situation could move from that of a nearly dry rainspout to one more like a river (and it doesn't have to be the Mississippi, just something a little bigger than an irrigation ditch), I think I could launch the little life-raft I am bobbing around in and maybe set sail from here and head to sunnier shores.