Postdocs + HSLS MolBio = “How-To” Talks

Postdocs: don’t miss a unique opportunity to expand your teaching portfolio! Request a time slot in the third round of Postdoc “How-To” Talks now being scheduled for this fall.

The “How-To” Talks are a collaboration between the Molecular Biology Information Service (MBIS) of HSLS, the Center for Postdoctoral Affairs in the Health Sciences, and of course, all of you biomedical postdocs.



Modeled after the MBIS workshops, instructors are encouraged to teach a 1–2 hour workshop to a class of up to 24 attendees. The specific topic is chosen by the presenter, but should be a “how-to” style talk rather than a seminar. The MBIS will work with the postdoc to create a workshop that is both a positive teaching experience and instructive to attendees. The session is open to all interested attendees:  grad students, fellow postdocs, principal investigators, lab techs, clinicians, even friends and relatives.

Please note that the topic can be ANYTHING related to health sciences, not specifically molecular biology or bioinformatics.

Topics from previous “How-To” Talks include: histology image processing using Photoshop, CV preparation, choosing matrices for 3D cell culture, DNA/RNA immunoprecipitation & NGS, correlation of methylation profiles w/expression data, CRISPR, UNIX for biologists, ethics of scientific image manipulation, and protein expression analysis.

All postdoc instructors will receive feedback, a letter of acknowledgement from the HSLS library director, and an optional digital recording of their session with the option to have it posted on the HSLS YouTube channel. If you’ve already presented, feel free to participate again. However, preference will be given to new instructors.

For more information, please contact MBIS.

~Carrie Iwema

Mobilizing Power for Your Mobile Technology

Mobile technology is a great convenience, until your iPad is low on battery and your charger is at home. While mobile charging stations are available across Pitt’s campus, Falk Library is offering mobile power stations that travel with you. These battery-powered units have USB inputs that will power your tablet or smartphone. If you don’t have the USB cord for your device, there’s a selection of connector cords available to borrow. The battery life of the mobile power stations can last up to 18 hours, depending on the power of your device.


Mobile power stations are available to borrow for four hours with your Pitt ID from the Falk Library Technology Help Desk. The stations can be taken outside of the library for use at a class or meeting. If you need the station for longer than four hours, you can renew it in person or by requesting a renewal online.

The Technology Help Desk is on the upper floor of Falk Library and circulates a large variety of equipment, including MAC and Windows laptops, iPads, Android tablets, display cords, and flash drives. For more information, contact the Technology Help desk at 412-648-9109.

~ Julia Dahm

William Shakespeare Visits HSLS in September!

Click to download a printable 8.5″x11″ poster of the exhibit events at Falk Library

HSLS will be hosting the traveling exhibit, “And There’s the Humor of It”: Shakespeare and the Four Humors, produced by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and coordinated by the American Library Association. The exhibit uses materials from the historical collections of NLM to explore the prevailing belief during the Shakespearean era that human emotional states were physically determined by the four bodily humors—blood, bile, melancholy, and phlegm.

The connection between Shakespeare’s time and our own is the common understanding of neuroscientists that human emotions are based in biochemistry and that drugs can be used to alleviate mental suffering.

The exhibit is set to arrive at Falk Library on September 29, 2014. Please mark your calendars for the following free events during the exhibit:

OPENING PRESENTATION: October 2, 6-7 p.m., 1105 Scaife Hall

“William Shakespeare and the Four Humors: Elizabethan Medical Beliefs”
Gail Kern Paster, PhD, director emerita, Folger Shakespeare Library

*Visit the exhibit in Falk Library following the lecture, 200 Scaife Hall

OCTOBER PRESENTATION: October 21, 6-7 p.m., Scaife Hall, Lecture Room 5

“A Clinician Looks at Shakespeare and Medicine”
Robin Maier, MD, MA, director of medical student education/clerkship director, Family Medicine, University of Pittsburgh

~Ester Saghafi

The Mendeley Mobile App

Mendeley Logo VerticalMendeley promotes itself as “a free reference manager and academic social network.” It allows users to create searchable libraries of citations and PDFs, cite as you write, read and annotate PDFs, and connect to fellow scholars in a field of interest. Students, faculty, and staff of the University of Pittsburgh have access to the Mendeley Institutional Edition which allows for increased personal storage space among other benefits. 

A free Mendeley app is available for iOS devices at Apple iTunes. Once downloaded, users must sign in with their existing Mendeley desktop account information or create a new account to get started. Continue reading

HSLS Staff News

The HSLS Staff News section includes recent HSLS presentations, publications, staff changes, staff promotions, degrees earned, etc.


Melissa Ratajeski, reference librarian, has been appointed a one year term as chair of the Majors/MLA Chapter Project of the Year.


Lydia Collins, consumer health coordinator, NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region, presented the keynote address, “More Than a Bandage: Health Information Resources for K-12 Health Professionals,” at the Voices of School Health V Conference in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, on August 6, 2014.

Classes September 2014

HSLS offers classes on database searching, software applications such as Prezi, bibliographic management, molecular biology and genetics, and library orientations. For more information, visit the online course descriptions.

Classes are held on the first floor of Falk Library (200 Scaife Hall) in Classroom 1 and on the upper floor of the library in Classroom 2. All classes are open to faculty, staff, and students of the schools of the health sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, who will need a valid Pitt ID or e-mail account. They are also open to UPMC residents and fellows, who will need to show their UPMC IDs.

No registration is required, except where noted. Classes marked with an asterisk (*) qualify for American Medical Association Category 2 continuing education credit.

Class schedules are subject to change. Please consult the online class calendar for the most current information.


FlashClass is a “deal of the week” Groupon-like offer of timely and useful learning. Each week’s offer proposes one or two topics, and you’re invited to sign up to attend a one-hour class the following week. If at least three people sign up, we’ll hold the class. (We’ll notify you either way.)


EndNote Basics (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Friday, September 12 9-11 a.m.

Advanced PowerPoint for Presentations (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Monday, September 15 10 a.m.-noon

Painless PubMed* (Falk Library Classroom 1)

Wednesday, September 3 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Monday, September 8 4-5 p.m.
Wednesday, September 17 9-10 a.m.
Monday, September 22 Noon-1 p.m.

Prezi for Presentations (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Friday, September 26 12:30-2:30 p.m.


Literature Informatics* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, September 10 1-3 p.m.

Genome Browsers 1* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, September 17 1-3 p.m.

Genome Browsers 2* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, September 24 1-3 p.m.


Customized classes can be developed for your department, course, or other group.