As I begin my 8-week journey working full-time in the McClay lab through the B-SURF program, I have thought much about what I hope to accomplish this summer and the many expectations I have for myself and for the program.
Although I have been working in the McClay lab for a semester already, one of my major expectations is to be entirely comfortable doing all necessary experiments independently. From culturing embryos to doing in situ hybridization experiments, I hope to become more autonomous in the lab. However, experiments sometimes give unexpected results or do not work at all. Therefore, I hope to be able to troubleshoot and find ways to improve experiments or confirm results.
Conceptually, I wish to understand the reasons certain experiments are done over others. I also hope to gain more factual knowledge sea urchin embryonic development and transfating which will be achieved through reading literature throughout the summer. Another way to understand concepts better is to ask relevant questions to lab members and even Google. Therefore, I expect myself to continuously ask questions any time I am unsure of anything.
Finally, I hope to improve my science communication skills throughout the summer and into the school year because there is no use doing extensive research if you cannot communicate it to others. In addition to being able to present my ideas clearly at the poster session at the end of the program, I hope to also improve my informal science communication abilities. Starting from my everyday interactions with people, I hope to be able to be comfortable talking to my lab members and my peers in Research Fellows, Huang Fellows, and BioCore what their research projects are on and be able to articulate my project as well. I also hope to be able to talk about my experiences informally through these blogs and also through my science Twitter account. Follow me @Michael_Wen_
Although I might fall short of my expectations and goals, I know that I will at least have a fun and enriching experience this summer while learning a ton.