These last seven weeks have definitely been some to remember!
It seems as if just yesterday I was just flying into Sacramento, and now I am on my last week in Davis. UC Davis as well as all of the other UC’s are very well known for their research findings and their state of the art research facilities. It was an honor to be given the opportunity of a research internship at this university.
During my time here, I did research in the Trimmer lab in the Department of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior. My research focused on a voltage-gated potassium channel known as Kv2.1. This was my first research opportunity in my collegiate career and I learned so many things. Some of my day-to-day work included culturing cells, plating cells with lipofectamine, performing transfections, and labelling proteins with antibodies. All of these contributed to my final research presentation which I will be giving this Friday. I learned the laboratory basics as well such as how to properly use a million-dollar microscope, how to properly use both automatic and manual pipettes. I learned how to handle both toxic and non-toxic chemicals, and I even learned how to autoclave equipment.
In my research lab, we had lab meetings with the entire lab once a week. The lab would be split in half and each half would have to rotate each week and present what they had been working on for the past two weeks. This was an amazing public speaking opportunity for me, as well as good insight on what everyone else in the lab was actually working on. I don’t remember a single negative moment in the lab. All of my lab members were very welcoming and polite. They treated as one of their own, and it will be sad to have to leave them at the end of this week.
In addition, I built many friendships with other HBCU students from all over the country. We have become sort of like a family. We spend most of our free time during the week together, and every weekend with them has been an adventure. We literally made a trip out of almost every weekend that we spent here in California. We have travelled to Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland, Vallejo, etc. We have tried out many different restaurants, gone to movies, explored different parties and clubs, and even went to the California State Fair.
I can’t forget the GAP program administration who made sure our weeks were never dull and empty. All of the activities, panels, discussions, and organized recreational activities that they planned for us really made this entire trip complete. I learned so much from professionals on how to improve my own skills to get into any graduate school that I desire. They helped us get a jumpstart on the different application materials and have provided beneficial feedback which is amazing.
This program was everything that I could have asked for and more. All of my experiences, both in and outside of the lab, I will forever be grateful for.