Right now I am in the middle of my NAD+/NADH assay. Each assay I need to conduct three times and take measurements during specific days during the growth curve. The hardest aspect of this experiment is keeping the bacteria alive. Mycobacterium bovis-BCG has always been a difficult bacterium to grow. Cell death can arise from tainted media, bad culture, all the way to poor incubation. Everything needs to be as precise as possible to have the best chance to get accurate data. Coming into the lab every day is tiring which is prone to mistakes. But with the support and guidance of my primary investigator, it’s not too difficult. One positive is that we finally have preliminary data that we can work with to obtain newer and better data.
Another difficult task I am faced with this semester is finding the balance between class, research, and studying for the MCAT. Scheduling and planning ahead have never been so difficult. If I focus too much on one responsibility the other two lack. One thing I am trying to do is to keep up with a strict schedule.
One extra responsibility I’ve been tasked by my primary investigator to teach the upcoming new researchers in my team. Performing a lab experiment is a challenge but stepping back and watching someone perform and trusting they can do the job right is ten times harder. This was because one year ago I was the new recruit proving myself to my peers and showing I was dedicated to the project. That mindset was what pushed me to come to Pace in the summer and work on my project. I had to learn to trust the ability of my peers and have patience. But I’m working on it.