This summer, I headed to UC Davis to intern at a Nephrology lab, which focuses primarily on renal cancer. So far, I can’t really say I’ve done a lot. I’m still getting accustomed to the lab, and most of my time is taken up following a post-doc around the lab as she does various assays, cell cultures, and western blots. I stand next to her, absorbing her work and furiously taking notes so that I’ll be able to replicate the protocols in the future.
So far, the hardest part has been finding fun stuff to do at Davis. Beyond taking the bus and trips to Safeway, I have had limited interaction with the locals, as Davis students were taking finals when I arrived and have pretty much all left now. I’m living with my friend, a Ph.D. student, and her roommates, which is an interesting experience. They have pet chickens and an extremely annoying rooster that cock-a-doodle-doos at the crack of dawn every day. But I’ve found some interesting things to do on and around campus that I think will keep me occupied in my free time over the summer, like biking, (which is huge at Davis) watching movies, shopping (there’s a ridiculously large Forever 21 adjacent to campus), and reading books.
It’s interesting getting accustomed to a college campus aside from USC. Although I’ve only been here a week and a half, I find myself really enjoying the atmosphere. The lab provides a new and exciting experience, but everyone is very relaxed and passionate about his or her research. I listened, in awe, to a post doc who described her favorite protein to me, p21, because her belief in its enormous role in the potential cure for cancer inspired her to join this particular lab. I’m definitely looking forward to the next six weeks that I will spend here.