I am so excited that I was able to squeeze a High School Musical reference in and even more excited to be starting my BSURF journey with the Sanders Lab. I can already tell from the first week back in Durham that this will be an amazing, challenging, and very hot summer filled with many new people, learning experiences, and good memories. I have very high expectations for this summer and for myself.
First and foremost, I want to learn as much as I possibly can in the next 8 weeks. I have never worked in a research lab before so I have a lot to learn. I have already started to learn about cell culture technique, DC protein assays, LCL protein extraction and western blots, things I had never even heard of a week ago. Using all of these techniques constantly to work on my research project, I hope to improve my lab skills. I have also been doing a lot of research about Parkinson’s Disease and the particular gene I am working with. The research out there is so interesting and rather overwhelming. It is obvious that so many good people are trying to figure out the causes of this debilitating disease to hopefully find a cure one day and I am glad to help.
I have also been learning from my mentors and my peers in the lab about the life of a researcher and about their path to this research in particular. On my very first day I think I got a good overview of the research process. There were some people handling brains, others working in the cell culture room, some reorganizing the laboratory, one working on a presentation of her work for a lab meeting, and everyone running through the halls celebrating when they got news that their grant had been chosen for review. I have also been learning about all of my coworkers, their education, their goals, and on a personal level. They’re really amazing people and I love working and joking with them.
Finally, I want to learn from and about my peers at BSURF. Even though all Duke students are amazing, it seems like the people at BSURF are some of the best. I am already enjoying getting to know everyone and making new friends. I am sure we will bond throughout the summer, whether it’s in our kitchens struggling to cook, in the lounge binge-watching the best of Netflix, and jumping into the pool immediately after climbing the 3 minute walk up swift avenue.
I am so excited to be here and to finally start BSURF. I know that I will learn a lot and have fun doing it. Here are a few pictures of my first time splitting cells by myself! What the HEK 293 cells?