How the Four Months Influence My First Step to the 10 Year Future Plan to Be a Genetics Research Scientist

dc.contributor.authorPark, Soomin
dc.description.abstractLast summer, I interned as a research assistant at the Chromatin Biology Lab (CBL) in the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). It was my first opportunity to work in a graduate school lab environment with PhD candidates and postdoctoral fellows. I was mentored by a PhD student who studies how the interaction between the protein complex Spt-Ada-Gcn5 acetyltransferase (SAGA) and the proteasome influences the transcriptional regulation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in vivo. For the first few weeks, I worked along with my mentor, following the exact procedure she conducted and taking notes of the process. I also studied sections of Biochemistry and Epigenetics textbooks along with several papers related to SAGA, the proteasome and overall transcriptional regulation in S. cerevisiae, to familiarize myself with the topic and the purpose of our experiment. After I became familiar with the main procedures and the lab techniques, my mentor assigned me to duplicate her result in gene expression level comparison using wild type, rpt2-1 mutated, and sgf73 deleted samples of S.cerevisiae. I used qPCR to verify the quality of chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) process, which consisted of harvesting cells and isolating the DNA-protein complexes by sonication and DNA purification. The purified DNA samples were sequenced and analyzed using softwares such as Homer and deepTools. My research was successful as the final analysis supported that the mutation of SAGA and the proteasome interaction affects the rate of gene expression of S.cerevisiae cell in vivo. The four month experience at CBL gave me an insight in qualities required to be a successful research scientist, and also in what future academic and career paths I am expected to follow.
dc.description.panabstractMembers of our panel explored various fields of Biochemical research outside the realm of Mount Holyoke College over the course of the summer. As undergraduate students of different backgrounds, we collaborated with PhD candidates and postdoctoral fellows on projects ranging from legume symbiosis and yeast epigenetics to Alzheimer’s disease and aging in hematopoietic stem cells. Our members were associated with graduate school labs at the University of Massachusetts, Yale School of Medicine and the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), as well as labs such as The Jackson Laboratory in Maine. Though the environments and the sizes of the labs varied, we all learned many essential lessons on conducting ethical research and succeeding as scientists. Some of these included habits such as maintaining a detailed lab notebook with appropriate procedures and modifications, reading a plethora of papers linked to our fields, and asking our mentors questions whenever necessary. Since the nature of our research projects was unique, we cultivated different lab techniques and skills that we will share through individual presentations. We will also share the processes involved in securing the internships, using the Lynk funding, and adjusting to new lab environments.
dc.titleHow the Four Months Influence My First Step to the 10 Year Future Plan to Be a Genetics Research Scientist
dc.title.alternativeCrash Course: Student to Biochemical Research Scientist


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