My first week at Duke for the BSURF program has been fantastic. I’ve enjoyed meeting and connecting with the other students in the program, and have made many new friends. I’ve also very much enjoyed having the opportunity to be involved with Dr. Pickup’s lab and research. Microbiology (especially virology) is a field that has always fascinated me; having the opportunity to work in a lab that studies virology is a dream come true! Although I was initially a bit timid about ‘fitting in’ to a new lab environment, everyone in the lab has been extremely kind and patient, and I’m finding myself very happy there.
This first week has largely been focused on gaining familiarity with the lab, its experimental procedures, and its research topics. Consequentially, I’ve been reading a lot of literature related to virology, tissue culture, plasmid preparation/manipulation, and restriction enzymes. Although the literature can be a bit difficult to navigate through, I’ve found many of the articles to be very insightful. I’ve also had the chance to observe members of the lab run and explain experiments, and I’ve learned a great deal this week! This kind of insight is what I’m most looking forward to this summer: the opportunity to learn extensively about microbiology and experimental procedures, as well as being able to be involved with exciting research. I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity, and am looking forward to delving into research with the Pickup lab!