The time is absolutely flying by this summer, and the pressure is on to get results and analyze the data. I already feel as though I have learned so much and gained experience that I feel I definitely wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for the INBRE program. Coming into things this summer with very little lab experience before hand, everything has been new and exciting, even the trouble shooting when things don’t work out like I need them too. I am also excited to have started on my first poster that I will be able to present at the INBRE conference at the end of the Summer. As fellows, we have received help and guidance from other fellows as well as grad students to help make our posters great, which I am super grateful for. We have also had some visitors come and speak to us about reaching out and educating the public regarding research as well as applying to grad school and what grad school is like. This has been really informative.
As for my research this summer, so far, I feel as though I’ve learned a lot as well. I have been able to learn the techniques and process behind RNA extraction, primer design, growing and treating cells in culture, cDNA synthesis, PCR and qPCR. I have had good success in extraction of RNA and synthesis of cDNA, however the major road block that has been taking up most of my time this summer has been the design and efficiency of primers that I need for my qPCR reaction in order to quantify the regulation of mRNA in the cells in response to my hormone treatments. I have finally found an efficient primer for the target gene of interest, however the primers I am currently using for my house keeping genes are still not efficient enough. While I trouble shoot this problem, with a lot of help from the DA student in my lab, I am still able to continue treating and harvesting my cells, extracting the RNA and synthesizing cDNA so that everything is ready to go for when I finally get everything worked out with the house keeping genes that I need to use. I have my figure crossed an am hopeful that all will work out in the end!