Blog post from Allison Tsomides

Hello everyone! My name is Allison Tsomides and I am a rising senior here at Bates College. As a Biology major, I am very excited to be working in the Williams Lab for the summer!

I am one of four students conducting research in the lab this summer. Like Dan, I have my own independent research project for the summer and following school year. Using zebrafish as a model organism, my research will focus on the role of transcription factor, nfe2, in the production of red blood cells.

The summer has gotten off to a slow start due to large amounts of preparation and, of course, the cooperation of the animals. I have worked as a lab tech in a previous summer position that involved sorting through dead insects. However, I have never had to rely on living animals to conduct research before. This has been a learning experience for all of us. Our projects require living zebrafish embryos, which means we have had to test several methods of inducing breeding behavior. Starting this week, the fish have produced over 200 embryos! This means that our research and data collection will be in full swing in the coming weeks.

I am from Troy, Maine, about an hour and a half drive north of Bates campus. Therefore, living at Bates hasn’t been too big of a change for me. It has been great to meet and spend time with other students also doing research on campus. Being at Bates without the obligation of schoolwork has also given me the opportunity to explore southern Maine. I have been to Old Orchard Beach and a Greek festival in Saco, Maine. I have also taken day trips to Freeport, gone bowling in Lewiston, and grilled my own meals. It is exciting to find new and fun things to do in my free time!

I’m looking forward to the weeks ahead!