My internship was a summer research program for undergraduate students. It is in the same lab I work in during the school year, but what makes this opportunity special is that I can dedicate myself full-time to the work without worrying about classes and other responsibilities during the week. It is also a time where all of the students can work together all day every day whereas it wouldn’t be possible during the school year with non-overlapping schedules.
Each person in the lab is assigned a specific part of the overall project – to discover the underlying disease mechanisms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. I have been assigned the tasks of analyzing the structure and morphology of our different heart cell lines using fluorescence microscopy. I particularly love microscopy because it allows you to see with your eyes what is happening on the cellular and tissue level of these organ systems in a very pretty, artful way.
The image attached (if it uploads correctly) is a stem cell colony derived from skin cells – induced pluripotent stem cells. They are stained with markers of pluripotency. The green stain (E-Cadherin) localizes to the cellular borders, the red stain (Sox2) localizes to the nucleus, and the DNA in the nucleus is stained in blue.