Harnessing Serendipity by Esther Landhuis
Along unpredictable paths to discovery, Peter Walter has maintained a sure-footed approach – to the science as well as to the people he mentors …
This article features videos of interest including:
- “Squeezing Time for Art” – Peter shares some of the pieces of art he has created and the stories behind them.
- “What is the Unfolded Protein Response” – Curious about the Unfolded Protein Response? Learn more from this video.
- “The 2015 Vilcik Prize in Biomedical Science Video” – The Vilcek Foundation produced this video which captures a bit about a day in the life of Peter and our lab. We thank them for their generosity.
Walking Along the Serendipitous Path of Discovery by Peter Walter
Students entering graduate school often ask for the “recipe for success.” Yet looking back at the events that shaped my own career, both personal and scientific, I continue to be amazed by the convoluted paths, which are neither linear nor predictable. This is a difficult message to transmit to those embarking on a research career, and it invariably prompts the next question: “So you say that our success in science will be determined by dumb luck?” Not so—it’s serendipity, a word that much better describes our path to discovery. It is not uncommon that initially disappointing turns lead to unexpected outcomes that then miraculously align to appear as a progression of incredibly good fortune …