First Month In Harvard Medical School, SRM University (SAP)

I landed in Boston on 25th of August and today after one month I wish to share my 1st month experience in the labs of Harvard institute of medicine. I was heartly welcomed in Boston by one of the post docs of the lab Dr. Nadiya Teplyuk, who directly took me from the airport to the world’s best labs, the labs of Harvard medical school. I met my supervisor Dr. Anna Krichevsky, a well known scientist in neuroscience. The labs in the Harvard institute of medicine are one of the finest in the world with even greater scientists working in them. The labs are highly equipped and well resourced. After getting our ID cards on the orientation program day I got the amazing feel of being a part of this fantasy lab.

My first few days passed by reading the review articles, punctums, letters and research papers. I was provided with my own desktop and my own research work bench which is very well-equipped. I was completely mesmerized when Dr. Nadiya showed me the whole lab . It took me a couple of days to memorize the codes of the different doors in the lab. One thing which I wish to mention here is that “People here are so down to earth and very knowledgeable; they will never take your questions lightly and will treat every person coming to them as equal”. . The way things are executed here one is bound to become independent and this fascinated me a lot. For the next two weeks I learned some basic techniques such as RNA isolation from different samples, cDNA Synthesis from the isolated RNA and then the analysis with the help of real time PCR (Preparation of 384 wells plate for real time PCR is the most tedious job). I also learned about the basic tissue culture techniques (plating of neuronal stem cells, freezing them, transfection with different vectors, etc). I also learnt to dissect a pregnant rat and mouse, collect embryo, isolate cortex from their brain and then maintain the cortico-neuronal cells in specific media.

My work here is to be a part of project “Role of mir10b glioblastoma multiforme(GBM) and the epigenetic regulation of mir10b locus by long non coding RNA HOTAIR”. Micro RNA are small non-coding RNAs which are 20-24 nucleotides long and regulates the mRNA molecules (one or many) to affect many molecular functions of the cells. Mir10b is a very interesting microRNA which is present in all tissue except normal Brain cells, but de- repressed in the glioblastoma multiforme(most aggressive brain tumor). In general microRNAs are the most exclusively studied molecules today.

I find myself highly fortunate to undergo such a marvellous research experience in such an esteemed association. It is not only teaching me many things but also giving me the motivation to pursue research in my future life. I wish to thank the department of Genetic Engineering and SRM University to give me this opportunity. I also wish to give sincere gratitude to my parents without whom this was not achievable. Lastly I would like to thank all my well wishers and my friends for always stand by me in all my ups nd downs.

Anant Jain
Final year Genetic Engineering
SRM University.