Just this week, I finally wrapped up my summer internship at the Biomedical Research Center here at Michigan. To say the least, it was one of the most influential experiences of my life, in that it gave me the deepest look at the world of biomedical research. To think that earlier this past year, I had no idea what it meant to “genotype,” or what goes into immunofluorescence staining just goes to show how much an internship can open your eyes.
I am most grateful to my P.I. and the graduate students in the lab who everyday taught me something new about the techniques and biological concepts involved in outlining and then conducting certain experiments. The way my P.I., who also works as a graduate school professor of cell and developmental biology here at the University, would stay after hours to clear up any confusing concepts for me or teach me how to dissect mouse olfactory epithelium (for fun, even!), really showed me how generous this lab was. And for that I am truly so thankful. The whole experience, actually, went further than just increasing my passion for biomedical research—it made me realize that ultimately I would love to be able to teach the fundamental concepts of genetics and biochemistry to dedicated students one day.
My weekly sit-ins on practice prelims of the graduate students, thesis defenses, and lab meetings gave me a chance to see what the journey will be like to one day get to the place that the graduate students are in now. But I really am excited about it all! This school year, I will be continuing my research of the Hedgehog pathway of the mouse olfactory epithelium in the lab I am currently in. Furthermore, I may go on to take on a new project that is somehow related to neurogenesis. Through it all, it will be the literal techniques and fundamental concepts I have learned throughout this summer that will help guide me. And it is the generosity of the P.I. and graduate students that I have worked with that has without a doubt inspired me to believe in how far I can go as long as I am never afraid to ask questions, collaborate, and think beyond.