Now Gasser, who joined UC-Davis' biochemistry and biophysics department in 1989 after a five-year stint at St. Louis-based Monsanto Co., faces the unenviable prospect of repeating the application process. In addition, he is struggling to settle into the still-unfamiliar role of teacher at Davis and, simultaneously, trying to jumpstart his research program and rev it into full gear. Marshaling the time and energy to manage all three demands--teaching, doing research, and applying for grants--is a tremendous strain, he acknowledges: "Each one could easily be a full-time job."

The complexity of Gasser's dilemma is familiar to researchers. "Scientist-types, by their very nature, are ambitious and intellectual, [which means] they can, by their personality, worry a lot, create self-sabotaging thoughts, be impatient with themselves," says David Munz, a stress researcher at St. Louis University who periodically leads a program in stress management for scientists and other employees at Monsanto.

Indeed, University of...

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