I was given the opportunity to do a 2 week research shadowing program in Dr. Silvia Paracchini’s laboratory this summer. The project I was involved in is the study of allele specific gene expression in brain tissue for dyslexia, and I had the chance to work alongside Dr. Kerry Pettigrew (Dr. Paracchini’s postdoctoral researcher) and 2 other medical students doing their research projects.
Throughout the 2 weeks, I was exposed to various aspects of research and gained numerous hands-on experience. For example, I got to learn how to utilize specialized equipment such as the precise pipette, centrifuge and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine. Furthermore, the staff in the laboratory are all extremely friendly and helpful, and would always spare their time to explain what they were doing and the theory behind it.
Additionally, I was introduced to different software programs that were employed in the field of genetic research such as Haploview and Primer3Plus. It was really helpful, especially when I am considering to do a dissertation on genetics for my coursework next year!
In conclusion, I really enjoyed my attachment in the lab and would definitely recommend anyone who has a interest or passion in research to do one during the summer!