This week, Ted will be graduating with Uber-Nerd status from the illustrious California Institute of Technology. He earned his PhD in Biology after seven years in the Caltech lab, growing microscopic worms to further his research in RNA pathways and how they affect the genes that drive cell differentiation. And yes, I know exactly what I just said. He knowingly married a nerd, too, though a mild one at best.
In order to graduate, Ted had to prepare his thesis (which turned out to be around 150 pages) and then defend that thesis in front of his advisor, his labmates, and a committee that has been overseeing his work along the way. It was a pretty intense process to finish up that thesis and then create a detailed PowerPoint for his defense, so I left work early that day to witness the fruits of his many labors.
He certainly didn't disappoint! I was in awe of how easily he rattled off genetic codes and acronyms describing his research, but it REALLY blew my mind when I started hearing phrases like "My contributions to the C. elegans body of knowledge..." and "I discovered that...". I don't think I've ever been more in love with him than I was at that point. I thoroughly enjoyed my role as proud wife. Oh, and he spent the last seven years studying the vulva of that little worm. Yep - the VULVA.
Ted's friend and labmate volunteered for the task of advertising the event. These are what he came up with:
Take a good look at the colorful diagram. This is something Ted designed to show the cell differentiation of the 7 cell types in the vulva. It became somewhat famous in his lab, so they did a play on that with the Skittles. Another labmate wanted to lure participants to the thesis defense with the advertisement: "Taste the vulval rainbow", which of course sounds dirty.
A replication in dessert form, compliments of one of his lab mates: