I am a research student in a cardiovascular laboratory, and our main goal is to study hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – the most common genetic cardiac disease. I man all of the immunofluorescence work, which uses antibodies conjugated to fluorescently activated fluorophores to detect proteins of interest in cells/tissue.
Here is an example of the microscopy work that I am working with:
This is a cardiomyocyte (heart muscle cell) derived from induced pluripotent stem cells in a wild-type line. My job is to compare the mutational effects across our different lines to better understand the mechanisms of the disease.
In one of our homozygous truncating mutant lines, I have discovered a unique localization of a protein that no one in the field has seen before (data not shown, confidential to lab).
I love doing immunofluorescence work because it is not only an art, but it allows you to see a direct result of an experiment in an unambiguous, beautiful way.