Through the past couple of weeks my routine in lab has kind of been all over the place. Depending on the goal for the day, I alternate between the third, fourth, and ultimately the fifth floor (where my lab is located) of the French Family Science Center.
So why does my daily routine potentially have me going all over the place?
I always start my day in the fifth floor, leaving my backpack and checking what I have to do for the day. Sometimes I will have to check in with my grad students to see if they have something they want me to do for them. but usually, I will have some kind of plan before-hand for what I could be doing. If it’s a protein purification, I get started immediately on thawing the pellets in ice (from the fourth floor) and preparing my buffers. Protein purifications generally take 3 days so, when I need to start them, I will come into lab at 8 am in order for the sample to lyse, clean, and spin down to be injected into the chromatography system at a reasonable time. (Because spinning down the sample takes such a long time, I usually will load the sample on the second day). If it’s a protein expression, I’ll come into lab at around 10am, start making the medium, and then deliver it to the fourth floor to be autoclaved. After being autoclaved, I inject the sample and wait for incubation, finally harvesting them once incubation is done.
While I wait for incubating, centrifuging, or autoclaving (I’m usually waiting for one of these things) I’ll be at my desk area reading up on papers that I’ve been given or surfing the internet. Sometimes I’ll go on a walk. (Recently, though, I’ve been working on some image analysis for one of my grad students) Once my waiting is done, I will usually be at the bench finishing up preparation. Sometimes, I will need to set up a chromatography system or gel running in the background.
So far, though, I’ve only covered the fourth and fifth floors. Where does the third floor come in? Well, the Nano ITC I’m using is in the Hargrove Lab on the third floor so throughout my day, I go back and forth cleaning the ITC and then loading samples to run and doing my work in lab on the fifth floor. I’ll usually run the ITC while I am doing other experiments and check in on it after an hour and a half.
My daily routine varies depending on what I’m doing. I rotate between floors, wait a lot, and run different kinds of experiments. Overall, I love what I’m doing and working in lab.