Third Week: The Beginning

Almost halfway through the third week and it has been great so far. Since arriving at Ensenada there has been a lot of things to do at CICESE.  By the second day I met my PI/Mentor and the graduate students I will be working with, everyone is very friendly. That same week we arrived we attended a three-day intense course on immunology thought by Dr. Flores, from (CINVESTAV) Mexico City, and a well-recognized immunologist in Mexico. The course was thought in Spanish, it covered the main concepts of immunology and there was a coffee break in between the four-hour class. This was a great experience although, the class was fast paced, I got most of the information, just some of the scientific terminology was different and at times difficult to follow.

By the second week and beginning of the third there was a lot of shadowing and learning of the methods and the rules the lab has. There is a lot of animal research (with mice) in the lab, therefore, some of those techniques were further explained to me. This third week I began my project and working on things on my own. I started with a transduction and a dose and time course of dox. on two different cancer cell lines, to evaluate a previous protocol. Additionally, my PI gives a course on Cancer Biology which is thought in English for Post Bacs and Grad students, I attend the class when I don’t have an experiment planned for that day.

Our roommates at El Sauzal are very friendly and we have a pool table that at times we all use to play we share a kitchen, but everyone has their own space for food, which everyone is respectful of. There are several tacos stands and restaurants, as well as stores nearby that if you need anything can easily walk to. So far since we have been here we have tried new places whenever there is time to go eat out—the food has been great at every place.

Exploring Ensenada over the weekend has also been amazing, for the most part our means of transportation is the public bus, which is usually fast and passes by every 5-10 minutes, there is no official bus stop, just lift your hand in the air when you see the bus and they will stop for you. Downtown has been a good experience there are several museums we have been to, they are very inexpensive and some are free. The Malecon area has a lot of restaurants to eat, shops for souvenirs, “la concha musical” (where local music bands play), and the fountain show, which is highly recommended. Additionally, there are a lot of boats that take tourist around the Malecon, we tried this and were fortunate enough to see several sea lions and two dolphins. Also there is the Bufadora or the blow hole is also a great place to go its usually very crowded but it has been great. Looking forward to doing more lab work and exploring Ensenada a bit more.

–Marisela Martinez

Our view when walking up the hill to our lab at CICESE.
The department’s pet.
The view from some parts of the Malecon.
Sea lions on our boat trip!!
The entrance to the museum of History in Ensenada.



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