We are officially at the end of week 3 of the 10 week summer research period! Here is what has happened so far:

Six permanent members of the Pollock lab have hit the ground running (see the student tab above for photos!). Maddie has returned for her third summer and is already making significant progress on her major goal for the research period. She has also taken the lead in training Jessica and Courtney, two new members of the lab. These two ladies have quickly picked up skills on protein expression and purification, SDS/PAGE gels, and various biochemistry techniques. I have high hopes that this team will be ready to put together a publication near the end of the summer or start of the fall. Kiana has returned for summer two and is keeping the cell culture room in order. She is continuing with her proliferation studies and hoping to master gene regulation studies this summer. Joseph has jumped in head first to start developing HPLC protocols for the whole department on our new instrument! He has established a great method that will help us move forward with the compounds Hyejin synthesized before she graduated. Ritwika has joined a team in collaboration with Dr. Kristine Nolin that has expanded our protein production for a new and interesting application.

Speaking of collaborations, there are six other “half” Pollock lab members this summer. Najwa, Libby, and Michael are continuing to optimize the production of enzymes for biosensors in Dr. Mike Leopold’s lab. Patrick, Malik, and Shannon, together with Ritwika, are Team V.S. that have taken over the biochem lab space and are hoping to solve all the world’s water problems.

The whole building is buzzing with the excitement of scientific discovery. All the instruments are constantly in use, the dry ice orders have been increased, and my desk is completely covered with papers and notes. It is exhilarating, and exhausting, but this is the best time of the year.

Good luck to all the undergraduate researchers on our campus and throughout the country. May your summer be productive! May it motivate you to understand your science! May you make great discoveries!