Work-Life Balance

“After all, these endeavors overlap more often than many people realize.  For example, creative cooking isn’t too far removed from doing original experiments in the lab. Coping with the antics of children is a lot like dealing with the idiosyncrasies of grad students.  The pain of childbirth disappears just as fast as the torture of grant writing.  Not only can women do both, but doing so can help, rather than hurt, their careers.’”
— Quote from Marlene Belfort: Scientist, Mother, Juggler, By: Marlene Cimons

“Belfort regrets not being home in the afternoons ‘when my kids came from school hungry and tired and needy.  That couldn’t ever happen.  I had to be satisfied with not being able to do that.  But I tried to give them what they needed in the short amount of time available every evening.’”
— Quote from Marlene Belfort: Scientist, Mother, Juggler, By: Marlene Cimons

The lab is therefore a place in which both female and male students, post-docs and technicians, who are all driven professionals, find a place where their outside demands are well understood.


Marlene Belfort is a mother of three sons and consumate juggler, understanding the competing demands of lab and home, complex schedules and myriad responsibilities.  She believes that these multiple roles are mutually reinforcing and has written on this topic.

The Win-Win potential for motherhood and science

by Marlene Belfort

Women wishing to combine children with a research career should not be seen as taking a backstep but as bolstering both activities, argues Marlene Belfort. Read more

Microbiological Moms, Their Sisters and Brothers —
the Give and Take

by Marlene Belfort

The Committee on the Status of Women in Microbiology invited me to address the question of “how to become a successful microbiologist”—a challenge that I accepted and then cast into personal terms when I spoke about these issues during the 2002 ASM General Meeting, held in Salt Lake City, Utah. Read more