Man on campus.

PI Finally Sets Foot On Campus 3 Years After COVID Lockdown 

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Mission Bay campus, Byers Hall.

After months and months of remote work, well esteemed, distinguished, Lasker awardee, national academy of sciences member, presidential medal, nobel laureate Professor Albright Allgood, MD-PhD-MPH-PharmD-BCPS-DDS-RN-DPT finally set foot for the first time on the Mission Bay campus.

Members of the Allgood lab were caught by surprise when their boss suddenly walked in on them using his office as a breakroom, a lab tradition born out of necessity during social distancing measures of the pandemic.

“I nearly dropped my cup of ramen, but thankfully I didn’t,” senior graduate student Alex Smart said. “I saw my PI maybe once every 6 months pre pandemic. With remote work becoming a thing, I was prepared to never see my PI again in person.”

“I was shocked to finally realise my PI had legs and was not just a talking figure on zoom,” 3rd year graduate student Zoomer Madison also added. “I have never actually met my PI in person since joining the lab.”

“I’m glad Albright is back,” senior post doc Michael Ikigai further added. “We do have lots of grants and papers that need to be discussed in person. I think I do have to give him a bit of space though. He looks super confused and overwhelmed coming back onto campus for the first time in a while.”

Synapse managed to snag an interview recently by chance with Prof. Allgood. While walking around campus, we found Prof. Allgood perplexed, standing at the closed entrances of Byers and Genentech Hall wondering how people were getting into the building.

We carried out the interview as we walked with him strategically through the other Genentech Hall entrance further away so we could get a solid three minutes of interview time.

“It feels wonderful to be back. Who knew that we even had a new science building!” Prof. Allgood said. “I feel bad for having been away for so long. A couple of months after remote work started, I started to get calls from everywhere in the world. I got trapped in a never ending barrage of zoom calls. But important science never stops even in a pandemic.

“I never left my house during that period with calls all around the clock. It was just a blessing to come out and smell the roses in my private garden. When travel opened up, I once again answered the call of duty and have been all over the world, but never got the chance to get to Mission Bay.

“I finally got the chance to come when I tried being environmentally friendly and booked an economy flight for once. However, Southwest cancelled my flight, so I had three hours to spare before I jet off in my private jet to New York for a conference tomorrow. I think I will make it just in time.”

We then ended the interview as he got into his office, walking past a long line of trainees with results and manuscripts waiting to consult with him.

Synapse is grateful to be able to get this interview with Professor Albright Allgood. It might be another 3 years before we see him in person again.