I applied to BSURF in hopes of a hands-on research experience that would allow me to explore the mechanisms of the brain. I sat at my desk and wrote about my fascinations in the subject. I typed away about neurons and different brain cortexes, or in other words, the very basics of neurobiology. My background in neurobiology was little to nothing, and to be honest, I was a little worried to enter the Glickfeld Lab.
However, I must thank Lindsey Glickfeld, the principal investigator, and Jenny Li, my mentor, as they provided me with informative papers and articles on both general and specific neurobiology discoveries. I was initially overwhelmed with the neurobiology jargon, trying to understand terms like LM vs PM, surround suppression, receptive fields, and more. I knew these words were familiar to the current members in this lab, but completely foreign to me. In my attempts to read each paper, I felt like an imposter, utterly confused on every other word. However, Lindsey and Jenny have sat down with me to discuss each article and have encouraged me to ask questions throughout this process. They draw helpful diagrams on the walls or on napkins, and it is not just them; other lab members come over to help me dissect through confusing data or puzzling procedures.
Although my level of neurobiology knowledge is nowhere near the level of my colleagues, I would argue that it has slowly been on the rise. Things have started to click . . . hence the title. I will admit that it does takes me a relatively long time to read each paper, but I have become more comfortable with the language and am developing a better grasp on neurobiology itself.
Here in the Glickfeld Lab, I am eager to learn from my mentors and lab members. I hope to get to know my colleagues better than the mutual hi in the hallway or the smile and nod in the elevators. I am excited to research something that falls under my interests without the lurking stress of academics. Furthermore, I know I will struggle (I already have!), and I know I will make mistakes. But, I will do my best to power through and learn from these obstacles. I expect to fail, but I also expect to stand back up with the help of my lab. I am grateful to have strong support in the Glickfeld Lab, and I cannot wait to spend my summer here learning under extremely bright minds.