My name is Hannah Broussard and I am a rising Junior at Tulane. I have two majors: Cell and Molecular Biology and Dance. My research will correspond with my first one, and I will be working in Dr. Stryder Meadow’s lab this summer. He was previously my Genetics professor, and I loved his class so much that I decided to take a chance and ask him if I could join his lab. Staying here over the summer and working with Dr. Meadows and his team of graduate researchers is going to help me build up my research skills and hopefully be able to do research on my own once the school year starts. I may even be able to help other undergraduates around the lab since I will have so much experience. I think that spending the summer here, surrounded by such great mentors in science, will start to give me the skills I would need to continue research as a graduate student, or even become a leader for the other undergraduate students in the lab. I am looking forward to starting my own project that Dr. Meadows has assigned me. His lab already found out that a certain gene causes mouse pups to die shortly after birth. My job will be to investigate if the mice fatalities happen because the gene’s deletion destroys blood vessel development, or alters it so that it does not happen correctly. I will be using special techniques to analyze many mice embryos to understand how this gene functions. I hope to accomplish these 5 specific learning objectives, which mostly have to do with mastering different lab procedures (dissections, embedding, gels, and in situ hybridization).
1) Perform a correct dissection of a model mouse retina.
2) Build dexterity skills from using delicate laboratory instruments, performing dissections under the microscope, and embedding embryos and other mice organs.
3) Practice interpreting results from gels, dissected retinas, and embryo in situ hybridizations, and using that information to help understand the gene in question.
4) Learn how to interact with other members of a laboratory in a professional setting and gather information about grad school and other career opportunities in a laboratory setting.
5) Practice in situ hybridization for whole mount and sectioned samples.