This semester in the lab was different from previous ones in that I was responsible for training a new undergraduate student on top of completing my other lab work. One of the hardest things to balance at least for me in the lab is time. With classes and experiments that run for hours it can be difficult to juggle all of those moving parts and even more so when you are responsible for someone else. To balance all of these things, I had to restructure my approach to lab work and timing. Over the summer and during previous semesters just a list on a sticky note could suffice to keep my list of tasks organized. However, this time around I had less time and a lot more tasks than a sticky could handle. I took advantage of my outlook calendar to block out time for specific experiments for the week in advance. Planning so far ahead helped me ensure that I had the necessary time and reagents to perform the experiment to the best of my ability. This also allowed my to pencil in specific times to work with the new student to make sure they were receiving adequate help also. Overall, this semester has been a big step forward for me as a researcher in that it tested my knowledge and ability to complete tasks efficiently.
Moving forward, I will be continuing work on my BPhil thesis with the VanDemark Lab which I hope to defend in March. I will also be joining the Ambrose Lab in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in the School of Medicine where I will be completely my research work for graduate school.
Attached as the cover photo is a gel I ran to test the activity of a new preparation of the Phusion enzyme used in our PCR reactions.