Our first few weeks!

After a week of researching and reading up on some of the literature involving each of our projects, things are beginning to get underway in the Williams Lab for Michelle, Nancy, and me.

We began the week by presenting the important information for each of our topics, and then delving straight into the methodology. I am finishing up some of the work previously started by Tam Pham ‘15, as well starting to collect time point samples for Western Blotting and qPCR of Nfe2. Previous research surrounding Nfe2 has been very limited and predominantly focused on the mRNA portion. We hypothesize that Nfe2 functions as a transcription factor in development specifically for hedgehog signaling and hematopoiesis. Hopefully, through qPCR, Western Blotting, and ChIP (Chromatin Immunoprecipitation) we will be able to begin to determine when and how Nfe2 functions during development. I am excited to not only get to practice these techniques, but also to see the data that will come out of these experiments. I am also immensely grateful to Tam for helping me learn the protocol for ChIP as well as guiding me in my introduction to the Williams Lab.

Michelle has been learning the ins and outs of the Confocal Microscope. I have seen some of the images she has taken with it and they are pretty amazing. Nancy has been learning how to run a qPCR and perform RNA extractions with Phenol to create cDNA. We have also been breeding a lot of zebrafish this week. It has been a great first couple of weeks and I am excited for the rest of the summer.