How Cell Biologists Work ‘at Home’ Featuring Josh MacCready


Josh MacCready is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Anthony Vecchiarelli in the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology department at University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He received his PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Michigan State University. In the Vecchiarelli lab, Josh is studying the new field of bacterial organelle trafficking. Being away from the lab during the COVID-19 pandemic has Josh trading in one bench for another—find out more below!

Let’s start with your Name: Josh MacCready

Location: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Position: Postdoc

Are you able to work? Minimally

If you are working, where and with whom are you currently working?

I work in the Vecchiarelli lab at UMich (studying subcellular organization of bacterial organelles), but we’re currently staying out home waiting out COVID-19.

What is your daily (or weekly) routine? Any regularly scheduled meetings or activities? Anything you really enjoy or really dread?

Currently shifted from ~100% benchwork to 100% bioinformatic analysis of the system Anthony (Vecchiarelli) and I discovered.

What are your daily distractions?

85% Alcohol/15% TV.

Do you have any strategies that are helping you stay productive (or sane for that matter)?

Podcasts and Apple Music. I’ve been trying to stay away from mainstream media for the most part, other than reading state-mandated changes to quarantine procedures. Beyond that, picking up new hobbies; guitar, piano, drawing, etc.

A musical distraction.

Is there anything you have time for now that you previously kept on the backburner?

Literally every hobby I love; the time off has been amazing. I’ve also found time to read a lot of literature (books that have been always been pushed to the back burner because of reading exhaustion from work).

In light of recent events, is there an initiative (or multiple) in which you have taken an interest or active role?

Not particularly. I reached out to my local hospital for volunteer opportunities, but apparently PhDs in Microbiology don’t carry that much weight in that area.

Anything else you’d like to share?

This is the first time in over 10 years that I have had more than two weeks off of work. I feel so much better (after a period of learning how to shut down my brain), and I will definitely pursue more prolonged off time in the future.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are the views of the author(s) and do not represent the official policy or position of ASCB.

About the Author:

Emily Bowie is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the lab of Bob Goldstein at UNC-Chapel Hill. She is interested in morphogenesis and embryology. Twitter: @docbowie Email: