It has been 4 weeks out of the 10 weeks stationed in Taiwan. In the beginning, it was a little nerve wracking to adjust to a different culture with the language barrier, meeting new people, and getting to know the workplace more often. First few weeks you are adjusting to the lab setting and figuring out your project, some people at this stage become eager to get started. Rest assured, a project design come to you when you start exploring your options.
After following two post-docs with two different projects, I found that I enjoyed both projects. One post-doc was assessing the pathway signaling of rat bone marrow stem cells which was a more familiar topic that I had previously worked in after working in Dr. Doran’s Lab at SDSU. The other post-doc was working on bio material engineering and observing the structure of human adipose tissue derived stem cells into hyaluronic acid hydrogels.
First I learned the ingredients to various mediums that affect specific cell differentiation and the factors within the medium that are important to cause differentiation. The experimental design was to determine whether certain drugs could inhibit or increase stem cell differentiation into osteoblasts. After observing the post-doc run the experiment once, she asked me to redesign the protocol and work on the experiment by myself.
Then, I learned the reagents used to make hydrogel scaffolds, the organic chemical background to the reactions, and the process of removing excess materials not used in the hydrogel design for the bio material project. I helped assist the post doc by offering my input and collaborated with the post-doc to come up with a better method, modifying each trial experiment.
D1 Stem cells differentiation into osteablasts after staining.
Injection pump for Methyl crylate into Hyaluronic adic solution.