I’m not sure what exactly to expect from this summer, but I do know what I would like to get from it. I’d like to be able to follow lab protocols independently, and gain experience that will contribute to a degree of comfort and confidence in a lab.
Going into this program, I thought that I would only be in this lab (Molecular Genetics and Microbiology department) for the summer because I planned on returning to my previous workplace, Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, during the school year. Little did I realize that it is possible to work in two labs. Thank goodness! I am in love with both places and I’m very excited for what they will teach me about lab technique and procedures, and the opportunities they can provide for my own research interests. I feel completely honored to be able to actively engage in revolutionary research.
There is so much that DMPI has taught me that facilitated my transition into my new lab this week. I find it so beneficial and reassuring that across two different yet closely related fields- microbiology and molecular bio- there are protocols and technology that are parallel in structure. And I am so appreciative of the tools my introductory microbiology class has given me this past semester, especially with such a short timeframe.
Even during my very first meeting with my mentor, postdoc, and grad student, I was introduced to the possibility of one day going to grad school, and using lab work as a means of getting a degree. It’s a thought that reccured in my mind throughout the week, when I felt at ease and almost a giddy feeling while working. My experience so far already has me considering applying to Program II so that I can major in Microbio and Molecular Cell Bio. And maybe I will pursue a PhD in microbiology….
So for this summer, I expect, overall, to start shaping the way I view research and the career choices it could mean for my future, wherever I may be.