Starting research in the Caron lab has been an exciting, yet terrifying experience. As the recipient of prestigious awards such as the Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research, Dr. Caron has set the standards high for his lab.
Upon first arriving, I was thrown in at the deep end and expectations were high. I witnessed many procedures and took notes as I watched, hoping that I would be able to replicate the techniques on my own when needed. Such is the case with transfecting and splitting cells, which is how I spent most of my time in lab this past week. While my mentor, Tom Pack, no longer has to overbook the hood for me (though he still does just in case), I find that I still have much to learn in the next 7 weeks.
As the summer progresses, I hope to not only increase my technical proficiency in lab, but also gain a greater understanding of GPCR signaling and the lab equipment that exists for studying it. While my current focus is on arrestin signaling following dopamine receptor activation by ligand, I believe I will be branching out to new topics and hope to gain as much exposure to the workings of lab as possible in 8 weeks time. I also hope to have my research experience guide my undergraduate experience for the remainder of my time at Duke.