I wake up by 8:00 every morning just in time to get my morning coffee, making sure to start my day off with a kick. Depending on the day I will either head to French Family Sciences for a B-SURF meeting or I will head straight to my lab in CIEMAS.
I will then either begin my day in the lab with a paper relating to my lab’s research or I will get straight to business, working on research.
My day-to-day research varies immensely depending on what my mentor, Nikki, is working on for the day. Many of her studies involve working with mice to study immune responses elicited by various copolymers, so we spend a lot of time prepping vaccines for the mice and running ELISAs to analyze the elicited immune responses. I spent much of the first couple of weeks shadowing Nikki as she taught me some of the various techniques her research entails and as each week passes by I get opportunities to do more and more techniques on my own.
Once it gets to be around lunchtime I take a coffee break and usually work on some additional papers. There are a lot of terms and processes concerning the immune system and also many studies being conducted geared towards learning how to best manipulate the immune system to help a wide variety of patients. So these papers are of great help to keep up with the latest ongoing research and discoveries!
After my coffee break I will perform other laboratory tasks whether it is continuing to run ELISAs, prep vaccines, or measuring out various ratios of amino acids to put in the peptide synthesizer. One day I even got a chance to go to Chapel Hill to analyze one of our samples on their TEM.
After a busy day I will wind down for the night and make sure to get a good night’s sleep for another exciting day in the lab.