Hello everyone! The beginning of our third week in Taiwan started off with the Dragonboat holiday on June 18th, where teams from all over Taiwan came to compete at Love River in Kaohsiung. I have been on a dragonboat team in Colorado for nearly 5 years now, so it was a very familiar and exciting experience for me. During the Dragonboat festival, we found a street vendor that sold a bag of dumplings for $1 USD (they were incredible!!!).
In the past two weeks, Brendon and I started our research in Dr. Li’s lab at KMU. Our project focus is on how overexpression of FOXA2 in various cancer cell lines will affect cell mobility. More specifically, we are looking to see the relationship of upregulated FOXA2 and CDH1 via Western Blot, and we will be assessing migration through transwell migration and wound healing assays. We started our work in the lab by preparing for transfection of the cancer cells with FOXA2. So far, there are obvious differences in lab procedures and protocol that I was surprised about, however, I am acclimating very quickly with the help of our grad student, Kelly!
Later in the week, we took the ferry to Cijin, an island close by Kaohsiung Harbor. We were able to rent a motorized bike and ride around the small town, where we found a beautiful black sand beach and various scenic places to take pictures. We also visited Lotus Pond, a must-see in Kaohsiung in my opinion! About a week later, our group decided to visit Fo Guang Shan, a famous Buddhist temple and monastery on the outskirts of Kaohsiung bordering Pingtung County. Although it was a far distance from KMU (about 40 minutes via Uber), I thoroughly enjoyed the temple and museum and highly recommend it! There was so much to see, and we were told that it would take around 2 days to explore the entire temple ground!
Some advice I would give to future MHIRTers (as well as anyone interested in travelling to Taiwan) is to spend your time wisely. These past few weeks have gone by incredibly fast for me, and I am trying to soak up every moment before I leave. Taiwan has so many treasures to see, so don’t be afraid to go out and explore!
Until next time everyone! -Kathleen 🙂