INBRE…It is an opportunity to learn what it is like to be part of the scientific community in a way other than just academia. This is not my first time being in the INBRE internship program, although it’s been a few years. INBRE is a program that helps students get research, lab, and writing experience away from the academic lab scene. So far, this summer has been interesting. The lab I am working in has been my research lab for the last year. So I already know the people I work with pretty well. We mesh well together and are able to get things done in a comfortable environment. Our research is focused on diabetes. Here comes my nerd moment…I am doing research that I have been interested in doing since I was in Jr. High and High school. Not most kids dream about doing research at 13 years old, but I knew chemistry was for me when I borrowed my Jr. High science teacher’s college level organic chemistry book to read for a month. INBRE is an opportunity to explore the research side of the science fields and to be able to see if this is the area of science that I want to be in.
This summer will be interesting because I will be learning multiple new techniques and be refreshing on some old techniques to use in the lab. I have already been working on programs like MOE (Molecular Operating Environment) and ChemDraw (which I just recently learned). These programs and other instruments I will be using (like the NMR) are things that not all undergraduates have the chance to learn and work with. ISU and INBRE have made that a possibility for students, like me.
Another factor of this summer internship is meeting other science students in the different fields. I am a chemistry student but I am working with biologists and biochemists in my research lab. Within the INBRE program, I am meeting psychology students, microbiology students, and neurology students. There is such a wide range of science fields and INBRE works to bring those fields together.