In my lab, not every day is the same. Depending on what is going on with our project, some days may be busy days, and some days may be “waiting” days, when we are waiting for our experiments to run. As I stated in my chalk talk, the main thing my mentor and I are working on is isolating exosomes and looking at exosomal biomarkers.
When I walk into lab, I ask my mentor what the plan is for the day and we discuss any bench work that needs to be done. These past few weeks, my mentor has been running trial experiments to isolate the exosomes (exosomes are kind of hard to isolate) so we can send them off to another lab for further analysis on the proteomics and RNA sequencing. As a result, on any given day, my mentor could be running an ultracentrifugation, a bicinchoninic acid assay, doing a western blot, or passaging the cell lines for the project, and I just try to assist wherever I can. On days where we are waiting for one of these experiments to conclude (i.e. ultracentrifugation or western blots), we usually try to find someone else in the lab who is working on something that I want to learn about. For example, last Friday I ran my first PCR for one of my lab member’s project, so that was pretty exciting! Overall, I will say that I have learned a lot and I really admire every one of my lab members and the projects they are working on. I definitely wish I could contribute more to the lab, but I guess with time comes experience!