What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?
During my internship I was independently undertaking a research project that would benefit the research of the lab as a whole. I was investigating the effects of knocking down a molecule P-Rex1 on the internalisation of the receptor S1P in rat neuronal PC12 cells. I was responsible for culturing the cells and keeping them uncontaminated, taking immunofluorescent images under the microscope and knocking down P-Rex1 via RNAi and developing the results on western blots. I was also responsible for writing up my experiment in a report and analysing the data so that it can be referred back to in the future.
What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?
I learnt how to carry out and plan large experiments on my own with little guidance and supervision.
What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?
My results showed the optimum concentration of siRNAs and time point required to knock down P-Rex1 sufficiently. I also demonstrated that knock down of P-Rex1 does not currently show a significant difference to S1P internalisation compared to the control.
Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?
Initially my cells were getting contaminated due to lack of experience with cell culture techniques. However with more practice and repeating the experiment they no longer got contaminated.