Week One: Learning Magnetic Cell Separation

This week marks the beginning of my journey with my internship. I will be researching cellular and molecular mechanisms of disease and immunology for the University of Michigan.  This will be my first time being an intern and it is a very exciting experience. I chose this research lab prior to beginning the summer internship as it was the lab I obtained a UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities) position in and have been a member of since the beginning of my studies hear at the university which has been around a year. I chose this lab for a few interesting reasons. First, the topic of research is based on immunology with the focus on studying T Cells. To me this is very exciting because this topic is one of great interest to me and has been since I have learned the basics of immunology in prior courses. Second, the lab was new to the university just like I was. I transferred to the University of Michigan for the fall of 2016 term and since I have been here I have been provided with many opportunities that have allowed me to thrive. When I had found out this lab was new and that it had offered me a position I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of it. Though my role may be limited I desire to be apart of a team that has the potential to accomplish many great tasks in this field and I find satisfaction in contributing to the growth of the lab while it does the same for me. With those reasons I knew that this was the lab that I desired to be a member of and contribute to.

So far this week has been very exciting. I have began testing kits and procedures against each other to determine which is more optimal for our research goals in the lab. This was done by isolating splenocytes with the desire to magnetically isolate CD4 T cells. The kits are very interesting as to how they work by placing a magnetic anti body on all cells except for the desired target which in our case is the naive CD4+ T cell. Then the cell suspension is placed through a magnetic column where all of the magnetically labelled cells are pulled from the population and then by washing with a buffer solution the desired cells pass through the column.