Beginning in the lab [#1]

We are curing cancer. That is the goal, the point and the reason for our work. The focal point of the lab I am participating in is the importance of exosomes and the under appreciated abilities that they posses.

What initially drew me to this research internship was the fact that it is based in Chicago. Being that I am from such a small city, big cities always did hold a high level of excitement. But what did throw everyone off was the fact that I am a neuroscience major who decided to work in cancer research for the summer. The reason I decided to branch out was because I had already gained some insight on neuro-related research and wanted to try my hand in a new field– preferably one that would provide a completely new experience for me.

Honestly, my expectations going in to the program weren’t very exciting but rather educating. I expected that I would be sitting in a chair, listening to lectures, doing the exact same experiment, and working with tools and machines that I was already familiar with for 40 hours a week. But so far, this experience is already proving to be one to remember. I am working on a novel experiment using ideas that were previously formulated. I am learning to become more independent in my work because my mentor is a Ph.D student who is so well versed in her research, that it makes learning new material so seamless. But more than that, the day FLIES BY! I come in by 9am and before I know it, it’s 5pm and I didn’t even realize it because I was so immersed in my project.

Besides the lab being a comfortable place to learn and make mistakes, I do foresee a challenge — time! 8 hours a day may seem like enough time to make sure all the experiments are done but in reality, it isn’t! Alot of the work that is started on one day may not end up being done until a day or two later (Because of course, you can never rush science). Although challenges are inevitable, I am still expecting many opportunities to present themselves as new people and new information show up everyday!

One thought on “Beginning in the lab [#1]

  • July 19, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Hi Megan, my name is Maggie Davidson and I work at the LSA Opportunity Hub. I’m going to be following your blogs this summer to learn about your experience!

    That’s so cool that you decided to branch out and learn something a little outside of what you’ve been doing! It’s such a good way to learn new skills and really hone in on what your interests are (and aren’t!). I’m so glad to hear that your experience so far have been more exciting and engaging than you expected.

    It sounds like you’ve really identified what your challenges are going to be, and identified a mentor! Definitely don’t be afraid to discuss these challenges if you need to with your mentor. I’m sure that they, being so familiar with the research, would have lots of helpful advice.

    I’m looking forward to continuing to hear about your experience!


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