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BDSI 2016: Paul Bang

BDSI was awesome! There were a lot of experiments and techniques I learned and other neat tools to visualize expression patterns and cell death that I learned how to use throughout those 10 weeks. The topic on Notch-delta signaling was exciting for me: #1 because this lab was the first (or one of the first) to dive into the Delta side of the neural differentiation mechanism, #2 because I heard about all the techniques we would use to get a glimpse of the mechanism from a previous research student, and #3 because I heard about it previously before from Dr. Layden when I took his seminar class freshman year. At first it was just super hectic, learning about all the material at once and trying to get on top of it ASAP. During the first few weeks I did certain experiments not knowing what it was for, but Dylan and Jamie helped clarify exactly I was trying to accomplish. Sometimes I wanted to burn my experiments down to ashes especially when my in situs didn’t work twice in a row (that 100000000000x diluted anti-dig though…smh). When they finally worked, I was very proud to say the least. Jessie and I took some great images of all the expression patterns we identified. Though we were only able to get through 17 putative target genes downstream of NvDelta, I was happy enough to get all the probes ready for the returning research students to finish. My favorite part I would say was performing microinjections of the NvDICD and morpholinos. It was just so calming after getting used to it, and so satisfying when I could see the injections clearly. I also liked doing the TUNEL stain, especially visualizing the 3-D co-localization of the Hoechst and TUNEL. Not a lot of our wild type embryos had cells dying which was great, but I was a bit disappointed that we couldn’t continue on with the microinjected bros. My least favorite was probably doing the adobe illustrator and photoshop editing (though in the end we did get great images), and not to forget, getting shut down by Dr. Layden on our presentation. I realized he was just trying to make us to be better, which we were by the time we presented our work to everyone else.

Aside from the science aspect about research, I really liked our team. We were a squad. Though I screwed up a lot, Dylan and Jamie made me feel less guilty about costing them hundred dollar experiments and were encouraging. Dylan and Jamie were super fun and super nice, the RARE students were pretty cool, Alex was super nice giving me rides all the time in her new gold buggy. Jessie and I had our ups and downs, but we grew past our petty fights and were good friends at the end of the day. Though we were an odd bunch, just watching our dynamic grow every week was really awesome, and it made me want to perform and be that much better for the team. I finally understood why people were so intimidated by Dr. Layden… it frightened me sometimes when I didn’t understand what he was talking about. Sometimes I would just nod as if I understood 100% completely, and then ask Dylan what just happened l.o.l. Doing the simplest things sometimes made me happy now that I reflect back on it (ex. Watching The Shining during our down times while mopping, playing Pokémon Go and getting fired up about our grand Pokedex, etc.).

I enjoyed having the barbeque because it showed/proved to me that science professors and grad students do have a life outside of research (haha just kidding). No but it was awesome spending time with everyone after grinding out so much work together. We needed that relaxing time as a lab, and it was something I really appreciated.

I definitely miss this summer, I think it was blast just learning so much about so many new things, getting paid LOL, and finally of course the people that were there.



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