Summer research project

July 1st:

Rather than enjoy a long summer holiday, I decided to apply for a summer studentship for 6 weeks. Now that the start day is here I am wondering why on earth I did this instead of playing in the park with my kids!

I nervously ring the buzzer at the academic department of cardiovascular surgery, unsure of what i have let myself in for over the next 6 weeks. Waiting quietly in the kitchen, I am really starting to wish I was back home – I hate the beginning of new things.

Luckily I am soon at ease, the lovely PHD students explain the projects that they are working on, I will be involved in the project on extraction of SVF cells and ASC’s from adipose tissue. I feel embarrassed when I’m asked about my research/lab experience and I quietly utter “ummm, none!”  Though the whole point of me doing this is so that I can witness and maybe even understand the techniques and processes used in a lab. During my first year, there was fairly little lab time and having come to medicine from an unusual background, even pipettes look exotic to me!

I am given some papers to read and set up in our an office. There was fairly little else to do on day 1- aside from the obligatory health and safety induction. Before going home I did get to play around with the pipettes to practice technique- the PHD students seemed embarrassed that this was all they had to offer, yet I was secretly thrilled as it would reduce my chances of later disasters!

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