From bed to bench and from bench to bed
The Lupus Foundation of Minnesota Fellowship was (no exaggeration) the most productive, meaningful, and inspirational experience I could have imagined my summer to be. Not only did I gain research experience and scientific communication skills, but I met peers, mentors, and patients who impacted my perspective on clinical and translational research.
Having the opportunity to interact with patients during my fellowship (with the courtesy of my PI, Dr. Erik Peterson) significantly and positively affected my fellowship experience. I am ...Continue Reading →
Confirming my future direction
Before the start of this fellowship, I was contemplating whether I wanted to go into medicine, research, or both. Upon talking to many mentors, I was leaning towards going into practicing medicine, but finding a way to also stay involved with research. However, although I have had a passion and interest in both for quite a while now, I wanted to experience more before I made the decision.
After the first several weeks of the fellowship under Dr. Peterson, I ...Continue Reading →
Channeling My Passion
I have had a passion for medicine and research since mid-high school. However, I was not sure about whether I would pursue one, the other, both, or the integration of the two as my future career.
At the start of my undergraduate career, I was set on trying to get into the M.D., Ph.D. program to integrate the two fields, as well as apply myself in both settings, as I always loved biology and medicine and had experience with clinical and ...Continue Reading →
Introducing My Lupus Research Project
My name is Ami Yamamoto, and I have the great opportunity of being one of the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota’s Student Summer Fellows for 2013. This summer, I am studying under Erik Peterson, M.D., in the Department of Rheumatic and Autoimmune Diseases at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities.
As I will write about in more detail in a later post, my project is to contribute to research on the gene PTPN22 which Dr. Peterson and his team thinks ...Continue Reading →
A summer of opportunities
This summer was amazing! I can’t even begin to describe how beneficial this summer fellowship was to my future career as a scientist. I learned so many new protocols that I can add to my list, as well as just how a lab works in general. I always thought labs had an impersonal and competitive environment, but this summer I got to see just how collaborative everyone was within and between labs.
I also got to do some amazing things that ...Continue Reading →
The buzz of science
Successful science is not done only from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Nor does it restrict itself to the working week. Working at the Center for Immunology has thrown me into the pace of science: a well-oiled machine that takes over your existence no matter which day of the week or what time of day.
The greatest excitement while doing my experiments has come as the sun is setting, as the lab quietens down from the hustle and bustle of the daytime. Still, ...Continue Reading →
What my project is all about
This week I thought I’d talk more about what my specific project is and what I hope to gain from it. It was nice because when I first heard about this project, I was able to understand all the concepts being discussed because of classes I’ve taken here at the University of Minnesota! My project deals with alternative splicing factors in a signaling molecule known as Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). Usually VEGF has been associated with pro-angiogenic properties, which ...Continue Reading →
Collaboration leads to solutions
This week I really got to dig into my individual summer project! It’s a joint project with Dr. Jerry Molitor who is focused on scleroderma. Seeing collaboration between labs is so refreshing because instead of seeing a highly competitive and self-contained atmosphere, my experience has been full of data sharing and collaborative efforts in order to come up with solutions. He even said I could visit his clinic and shadow him, which is an amazing opportunity that I’m excited for.
The ...Continue Reading →
“I now feel like a real scientist …”
Over the past two weeks, I have performed pilot experiments to finalize the design of my final project. One of these pilots compared an infected wild type model with an uninfected one; wild type means that the model has not been genetically modified in any way.
A day after infection, I examined spleen for the presence of certain dendritic cell variants. Dendritic cells are one of many types of white blood cells, and some of their subsets are found in greater ...Continue Reading →
DNA extractions: a “hands on” approach to theoretical concepts
This week I spent most of the week doing DNA extractions as we get ready for a large genotyping project in lab. Learning how to do DNA extractions was really interesting, because it’s a theory that is widely taught in high school and college courses, but I had never been able to see the practice of it. Being able to have a “hands on” approach to theoretical concepts I’ve learned in my undergrad career is a great way to cement ...Continue Reading →