This has been a truly amazing summer and an experience I will never forget. I was not expecting to love my lab and the research as much as I do. I was also not expecting to meet so many amazing young scientists and have one of the best summers of my life. It was truly a privilege to be a part of such an amazing program, to be trained by some of the best and brightest, and to be a part of such a tightknit (and better than Huang) community.
When I joined the Sanders lab I knew very little about Parkinson’s Disease and how the mitochondria could possibly play a role in the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder. Now, I know so much about LRRK2 and how the mitochondria can effect the cell in so many different ways. Even though I feel like I know so much, I am excited to keep learning and understanding the science behind the disease in the upcoming fall semester and hopefully for many to come.
I really emjoyed being in lab this semester. I was scared that research would make science feel like a job and would take away my passion for it. In reality, I loved going to lab everyday and I was sad to leave. I was lucky enough to be in a very supportive environment where everyone would help me not only with the physical parts of doing science but also with the deeper understanding. I am very thankful to everyone in the Sanders lab for teaching me so much about the world of science. They taught me to always ask questions, to question my work just as much as the literature, and that communication with other scientists was essential.
At first, I didn’t know why it was important to understand exactly what every reagant or technique we used did. Now, I am so thankful for the small quizzes on what PIC does or where the DNA went in my protein samples. Teaching me about every small step helped me understand the process at large so much better. I believe in the future this knowledge will help me figure out where I made a mistake or maybe even guide my project in new directions.
I am also so thankful for BSURF for providing me this amazing opportunity. I have learned so much in such a short amount of time about research, communicating science, and what the future might hold. The poster session and the lunch was so generous and it was so amazing to see everybody succeed in their labs. If it wasn’t for BSURF I would not have met my amazing peers who I hope to have by my side for the next three years at Duke. We had some amazing times, whether it was at the food truck festival, in the eno, eating in downtown, or simply hanging out at Swift. I’ll miss BSURF, my lab, and my new friends but I’m glad to say I’ll see them all in the fall.