Leaving Taiwan

One of the failed western blots in Dr. Li’s lab…….

Hello everyone! It’s hard for me to believe that my summer in Taiwan is finally over. For our last couple of weeks in Taiwan, we decided to take things slow and spend time with our fellow labmates and Taiwanese friends. During our second to last week in Taiwan, Brendon and I wrapped up our work in lab. We had originally planned to treat various cell lines with 5-Aza-2′-deoxycytidine, test them in wound healing, then extract their proteins and perform a Western blot to observe for differences in FOXA2 and CDH1 gene expression. However, we did not have enough protein in our samples, so we could not run a Western blot. Overall, I am really thankful for the opportunity to conduct research in Dr. Li’s lab this summer. I have learned so many lab techniques in cell culture and microbiology that I know I will use back in the US. This experience has taught me to be more confident in my research skills and has helped me realize that I know more about biology than I think I do. This summer in lab wouldn’t have been so memorable without the help of Dr. Li, Kelly, and Brendon.

Salt Fields in Tainan
Me and Melissa in Tainan

During our last week in Taiwan, some students from Dr. Guo’s lab had rented a car and offered to take us around Tainan for the day. Coincidentally, the day that we visited Tainan was August 8th (which is the Taiwanese Father’s Day). One of the students, Patty, had family in Tainan and brought us all back to her house to visit her father. Her parents were so kind and offered us many drinks and snacks. Her mom had bought us stinky tofu (a very popular Taiwanese snack… you can smell it at every street market); at first I was very hesitant to taste it, but to my surprise it was very good! They also brought us around town to see some tourist locations and take pictures. Later that night, we had dinner at an incredible beef hot pot restaurant! Although this trip in Tainan was short, it was probably one of my favorite moments in Taiwan.

On our last night, I had planned on staying up the entire night so I could sleep on the airplane and attempt to rectify my sleep schedule. Luckily my roommate (who typically stays up until 3 or 4 every night) stayed up to talk to me. Although my flights and layovers were long (about 25 hours total), I was hardly jetlagged coming back to the US!

MHIRT Taiwan 2018

Now that I am back in the US, I can’t help but think how my summer would have been without this MHIRT trip. This internship has impacted me emotionally and professionally, and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity. I view American society and culture in such a different way now. I have many long distance friends now, and I know that I will stay connected with my friends in Taiwan as well as the other MHIRT fellows.

Thank you for reading my blogs, and I wish the best of luck to any future MHIRT applicants!

Kathleen 😊

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