McArdle 'Blog' photoMcArdle Blog L7 ~ 12/26/2013

10th Floor Friends: Megan Maguire

Megan’s journey to working at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research began when she was in the fifth grade, when she first learned about dinosaurs. “They were so old, so alien looking, and so BIG. I was captivated when the teacher told us that some were even bigger than elephants.” From that point on, she was hooked on science.

Megan graduated from UW-Madison with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Her first job on campus was in the genetics department working on the E. coli sequencing project. She also worked in the animal sciences department and in the private sector.

But destiny would wait until 2002, when she joined Dr. Daniel Loeb’s lab at McArdle. Megan says that of all her different work experiences, her time in the Loeb lab was by far her favorite.

“Dan’s environment was tough but fair. I loved the research I was doing and realized that after working for him I couldn’t work for anyone else doing research; it just wouldn’t be the same. Dan and I discussed that after he retired I would move into an administrative role.”

But as luck would have it, she didn’t have to wait for him to retire. Bette Sheehan, who had been Senior Administrative Program Specialist for 27 years, was retiring and two positions werLoeb labe opening to replace her roles in grant submissions, faculty awards and student services. “I was surprised when the position opened up but knew that I should apply even though the timing wasn’t ideal because I knew that eventually I would make this move and I absolutely love working with the people of McArdle”, says Megan.

Today Megan’s official title is “Administrative Program Specialist”, but for those of you who don’t know what this disarmingly ambiguous title means, she is the one you need to talk to when submitting a grant or fellowship application. She coordinates with other programs such as the Institution of Medicine and sponsor programs to ensure that your application is submitted and received in a timely fashion. She also deals with Faculty awards and promotions as well as grant money logistics. Being the point person for grant/fellowships, she has four basic rules that will greatly help the submission process and help maintain your sanity during submission. Here they are, in her own words.

#1  Start early
#2  Come talk to me early
#3  Make sure you read the directions and, in case you don’t, know that I do
#4  Submitting your application on the final due date is a bad idea.

But don’t let these rules deter you from submitting an application if you are indeed running late. Megan is very helpful and strongly encourages all graduate students to try submitting a funding application.

Maguire family
 Megan feels that she has settled in quite nicely since accepting her new role. When I ask her if she misses anything about bench work she quickly responds, “Southern blots! I rocked Southern blots and if anyone needs an ad hoc DNA isolation, please let me know. Western blots, now that’s a different story.”

In summation, Megan is quick-witted, kind and resourceful. She is also a jack of all trades and has been an invaluable resource for McArdle. If you would like to get to know Megan better, her favorite thing to do on campus is to hang out at the student unions.


~Emily Chin