Excited To Assist In Cell Culturing! Introductory Post
Hello. My name is Raleigh White, and, as stated in my senior project abstract, I will conduct a literature review on current techniques used for canine tissue analysis and the potential applicability of techniques developed by my internship location (George Mason University’s Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, or CAPMM) to that. However, while I will work on that project by night, by day I will assist in the laboratory, helping a graduate student culture cells and run chemical assays with the aim of identifying biomarkers useful in predicting the course of cases of triple-negative breast cancer or helpful avenues of treatment.
I am especially excited to work with CAPMM’s equipment. They have mass spectrometers, tools for reverse-phase protein microarrays, lasers, biological safety cabinets, funny little tub-like flasks (with which I will mainly work), and more. In the clear fluid of these flasks, the cancer cells of relevance live unmoored in darkness, incubating at a precise temperature in a mini-refrigerator stashed near some cabinets and a fume hood. They eat sugar, grow rapidly, and have to be moved to another flask within two days, before they cling to the plastic interior. From what I understand, the aim is to select for certain resistances in the cancer cells by chemically treating the fluid, and then to analyze the cells, whether by observing them under a microscope; centrifuging them to individual components; running them through mass spectrometers; assaying their proteins; or so on. Wow!
Of course, I will have to be trained to use these things. But I’ve already completed the two trainings I needed to enter the labs and work, and I am excited to learn from Purva, the graduate student I will assist! Moonlighting as a biological researcher and daylighting as a laboratory assistant will be sure to make for an interesting spring.