With my postdoc leaving for Nebraska for her faculty position, I have been granted the opportunity to explore new fields of research in chemistry. Now, after all the online training and attending group/subgroup meetings for a few weeks, I have finally completed my first week in my new lab in a new field; Microrings and polymer/polypeptide brushes.
What drew me towards this new topic was really my desire to make myself applicable. I realized that the career interests I had in chemistry required more hands-on lab work, learning new techniques and protocols more applicable in company research and development. And after learning so much from him during my CHEM 447 class, I knew Professor Ryan Bailey had the experience I needed to prepare myself. The timing could not have been better, and now I am beginning my summer position in his lab under one of his graduate students, Shannon Wetzler.
The first week was absolutely amazing. It was full hands-on training and guidance by my mentor. She gave me the complete run down and before I knew it, she left me on my own to run scans, clean cartridges, create pH solutions, run R code, gather raw data. Our first week together was incredible, all of these skills and methods just becoming more and more natural to me. Soon enough, I will be on my own exploring a topic of interest she and I determine to be of interest concerning the application of polypeptide brushes which almost amazes me. The micro-scale is simply the most effective and interesting method of examining reactions; less material, less solvent, same results.
Concerning opportunities and challenges, the opportunities are boundless, I see so many of them for me in my research. The challenges are more suited towards my previous knowledge in R. Examining the code the first time was simply amazing. It was perfect, depositing mass information, charts, and results in the working directory effortlessly. However, I have already begun talking about modifying it, instead of two runs to collect both channels, having it all done in one run. Being able to combine the blank to sample into one scan then running it through. Even though it is great already, it can be better.
But that is all in the weeks to come. Right now, I am done with the first week. And I am excited for the next one.