I can hardly believe I’m halfway through the summer and my internship- it’s going so quickly! When I applied, my learning goals for the summer were to use and expand upon my laboratory skills, gain an understanding of what a career in research will be like, take advantage of the many learning opportunities that were being presented to me, gain experience working and collaborating with others in a scientific setting, and to enhance my critical thinking and problem solving skills. Every day has been presenting me something new and exciting, and I’ve been progressing well with the goals I’ve set out for myself. Tasks that once seemed tough and intimidating are becoming easier for me to do, and things that took me 20 minutes in the beginning of the summer are taking less and less time, which I take as an indicator of my progress and growth. It’s also easier for me to speak up and share my ideas, which was much scarier for me in the beginning.
I am helping out Dr. Lyon with his project examining the implications of Naa10 knockout in mice- so essentially, the difference between normal mice and mice that lack a certain subunit typically responsible for N-linked protein acetylation. I’ve been doing things such as weighing the mice (to see if there are any differences in weight or development), preparing their skeletons for analysis (to see if there are differences in bone development or structure), and analyzing their organs under a microscope to see if there are any differences- check out the mouse embryo as seen under a microscope at the top!
When I first began, I felt intimidated by everything going on. I was nervous to ask too many questions and ask something silly or seem like I hadn’t prepared for what was being done. As the weeks have progressed, I’ve become more and more comfortable asking questions and taking initiative. I’ve gotten to the point where I am comfortable doing something because I feel it’s needed without asking Dr. Lyon, and am able to do my own research and come up with potential projects to share with him.
This internship has helped me become much more outspoken, which is something I’ve always struggled with. I know the confidence to voice my ideas will come in handy wherever I end up career wise, but also in class and in general life. I am also achieving a greater understanding of what a life in research based science is like. Dr. Lyon is an excellent teacher, and has a very interesting perspective since he has a PhD. and an M.D.. Speaking with him is helping me decide what I’d like to do in the future, and is allowing me to understand the pros and cons of both paths.
I’m really enjoying my time at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and with Dr. Lyon thus far, and am excited for what the rest of the summer has in store.