Oops, looks like I was a bit unclear. I am not yet a PhD, this was the qualifying exam. It is what I have to pass to 1) stay in the program and 2) actually be called a PhD candidate reather than a mere graduate student. I still have a couple more years before I'll be doing a thesis defense but passing the qual means I get to stick around for those next couple years.
Now my real work begins... As soon as I get the bacterial strains I need from the freezer and from some collaboraters.
And to answer the question that popped up a few times. I am working in bacterial genetics. I specifically am looking at a protein that works to regualte transcription of early stage sporulation genes and how it interacts with one of two different forms of RNA polymerase in the bacteria Bacillus subtilis. (And I am sure that is about as clear as mud to a lot of you.)