Open letter to my lab: I am not “moving to Canada”

Rafael Irizarry

Dear Lab Members,

I know that the results of Tuesday’s election have many of you concerned about your future. You are not alone. I am concerned about my future as well. But I want you to know that I have no plans of going anywhere and I intend to dedicate as much time to our projects as I always have. Meeting, discussing ideas and putting them into practice with you is, by far, the best part of my job.

We are all concerned that if certain campaign promises are kept many of our fellow citizens may need our help. If this happens, then we will pause to do whatever we can to help. But I am currently cautiously optimistic that we will be able to continue focusing on helping society in the best way we know how: by doing scientific research.

This week Dr. Francis Collins assured us that there is strong bipartisan support for scientific research. As an example consider this op-ed in which Newt Gingrich advocates for doubling the NIH budget. There also seems to be wide consensus in this country that scientific research is highly beneficial to society and an understanding that to do the best research we need the best of the best no matter their gender, race, religion or country of origin. Nothing good comes from creative, intelligent, dedicated people leaving science.

I know there is much uncertainty but, as of now, there is nothing stopping us from continuing to work hard. My plan is to do just that and I hope you join me.