“This week was amazing. I have never done research before, so I was totally blown away by what was going on. I was also quite nervous (and still am a little). What struck me most is how little we know about biology. So many mechanisms are mysterious, and that is probably what I love the most. It’s like the last frontier. I was also amazed at how complicated the processes of cells are. I have had high school biology, but I had no idea how complicated things can get until I started learning about signal transduction, macroautophagy, and apoptosis. Cells are almost like chaotic systems. It seems like there is a link in function between every protein and every organelle. The multipurpose nature of the cell parts result in an interconnectedness that keeps everyone guessing.

The techniques in the lab puzzle me a lot. Some are simple and “old school.” Others are extremely complex, and it seems impossible that such advanced techniques exists. The other thing that surprised me was contamination. I was thinking we would have to wear bubble suits and manipulate samples with robotic arms (or something ridiculous like that). In the lab, that is so far from the truth. The precautions against contamination are actually straight forward and common sense.

My PostDoc is also great. She maintains research at the highest level while still being down to earth. She is a great teacher and has my best interest in mind. What a great experience! Now next week is the start of my own projects…”

-2011 FDSRP Participant, Layton Lamsam on first week impressions from the lab