In these last few weeks, we have kick started our 2017 INBRE internships. My lab mates and I have been researching together for about a year in Dr. Rodnick’s lab, which meant we were having a blast right off the bat. Sure, we worked hard, but the companionship made all the work less tasking. Perhaps the hardest part of these first few weeks is adjusting to not being outside. I find it hard to avoid the siren call of the wonderful late spring days; the research, however, is important and interesting enough for me to suppress that impulse. Our research is mostly computational, for now. We use the Molecular Operating Environment (MOE) to model proteins and evaluate how molecules such as inorganic phosphate and metformin are playing a role in nonenzymatic glycation. That translates to most of our time being in front of a computer. Luckily, my fitness tracker on my wrist reminds me every hour to take a short walk through the building. On these little walks, I learned a lot. A kind graduate student saw me walking and offered me some of her chocolate, just to be friendly. The posters in the hall give me a brief idea of the research of all the professors in the hall around me. I have seen glimpses into labs around and the kind of techniques used in each. All this in my mini-walks for less than 10 minutes.
Another notable experience I had was when we were touring the Gale Life Sciences Building. Dr. Groome, our tour guide, took us up to the Molecular Research Core Facility (MRCF). I attend Idaho State University and was aware the facility existed, but knew little about exactly what went down in there. Dr. Groome pointed out some tools, specifically the next-gen sequencer, and ushered us out of the room. But I was too fascinated by the presence of the powerful sequencer and lagged behind. Luckily, another Fellow who works in this facility filled me in with the details. It was at that time (when I was fawning over the next-gen sequencer) that I made the connection that, maybe, the research I should do in my future should pertain to this tool specifically. I never had the chance to think of that before INBRE.