Blog post from Dan Jordan

Hello from the Williams Lab! I’m Dan Jordan, one of four summer research students working in Larissa’s lab up here at Bates, and one month in it seems like we are finally settling in and getting down to business.

As Larissa explained in her first blog post, our lab is working on tackling three separate projects with the goal of characterizing certain transcription factors through the use of zebrafish as a model organism. In my case that means knocking down said transcription factor and examining whether or not expression of certain genes we think are related to that factor is changed. As a Biology major, I have taken numerous science courses at Bates that involve countless hours of lab work and study, but a full time research position is not only new to me, but completely different and exciting in ways that I never thought it would be. For instance, much of my work thus far has been research-related: sifting though mountains of other peoples’ publications looking for information, studying other projects that have been conducted in the past, and designing and testing the tools I will be using later on in my work to make sure that once I start, I am good to go. This past week was the first time I was actually in the lab for extended periods of time, and it was nice to get my hands dirty again. But it’s really no exaggeration to say that every hour of lab work requires nearly just as much preparation and planning beforehand!

Being on campus over the summer has also been a great experience thus far. I’ve always thought it might feel strange to spend the summer at school in a research capacity, especially because I already spend so much of my time at Bates during the rest of the year, but my opinion quickly changed. And even though it has seemed abnormally rainy so far, nothing compares to the sunny, mid-70s days and beautiful clear blue skies of Maine, especially having grown up in DC where the summer months routinely reach the mid-90s with equally bad humidity! It’s really a great opportunity to get to spend the summer up here, and I’m sure that the memories of now will help to console me once the temperatures dip back down to below zero during the winter months. For now though we’re letting the good times roll.

Stay tuned for more updates from our summer research team!