Week 7 (May 6-10): Introduction to Animal Laboratory

Jun 04, 2019

This week ended up being the most jam-packed one so far, so buckle in for the ride!

At the Tuesday lab meeting I met the new volunteers and interns at the Chan lab. One of the lab members presented her Master’s thesis draft, and I was able to learn about new neuroimaging techniques while giving her feedback on her presentation. After the presentation, I introduced myself to a lab member who was a visiting student from the University of Hong Kong. I was able to practice speaking mandarin with her, and learn about her work in neuroscience and mice surgery.

Afterwards, I was able to visit the animal branch of the Chan laboratory where they have several ongoing experiments. Specifically, I was focused on the experiment where they induced mice with glaucoma and performed tests with them. The student from University of Hong Kong performed a surgery on a mouse where she had to replace cerebrospinal fluid with a marker fluid that could be picked up on an fMRI. First they had to knock-out the mouse and prepare it on the table. The surgery that ensued was so enthralling, that I didn’t move from my seat for 2 hours. At the end, I learned how the sacrifice the mouse, allowing me to get the entire experience of working with animals.

After the surgery, I left to attend a seminar lecture by the head of ophthalmology at NYU, Shy Shoham. He covered the cutting-edge technology being researched in all of his labs, most of which I couldn’t believe. In the field of optogenetics we are almost at the point where we can target single neurons with fiber optics, which could one day allow us to control electronics with our minds and so much more.

Throughout the rest of the week, I assisted Giles in more pilot testing so that his procedure may be cleared in the future.

All in all, this week was packed with knowledge and fascination, and I cannot wait to fill you all in on future developments in the lab!


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