SAP @ Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Being a scholarship student in the department of Genetic Engineering, I was selected among the 10 other students to do our final year bachelor thesis at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. We had to start the internship in short notice, but with the support of members of international office, our head of the department and faculties we could complete our 7th semester course before going and also other formalities such as visa interview easily.

After reaching Boston, USA, first few days pass by in settling according to USA customs. I was overwhelmed after visiting the Harvard campus and MIT campus on the first day itself. I met Dr. Anna Krichevsky and Dr. Nadiya Teplyuk officially on my orientation day where they welcomed me warmly and introduced me to different people in the lab. I was very excited to start my work and work with people from so many different countries.

In my initial days, Dr. Anna gave me some research articles to read so that I can a better understanding about the projects going in the lab. We then used to discuss my questions over lunch and during lab meetings. All people in the lab respected the fact that I wish to learn and always addressed my questions respectfully. This gave me confidence and helped me to maintain interest in the subject. I also observed the different experiments performed by different scientists in the lab and helped them sometimes.

With Dr. Anna Krichevsky, Dr. Nadiya Tepluk 
After a week or two, Dr. Anna Krichevsky suggested me to work under Dr. Nadiya Tepluk who was working in trying to find “The role of miR10b action in glioblastoma”. Dr. Nadiya, apart from an experienced researcher was a very good teacher. She patiently taught me all the basic experiments in the first few weeks. The experiments include Cell culturing, RNA analysis by real time PCR and protein analysis by Western blotting, some assays etc. After few weeks, Dr. Nadiya showed confidence in me and let me do the experiments independently from starting to end. Thus while performing experiments independently I learned about the protocol, its principles and then when I didn’t get results I know now how and where to change the conditions. “It is very important in research to be independent from the start itself”, as told by Dr. Nadiya. 

After 2 or 3 months I was completely independent in the lab, deciding on my own experiments and planning it accordingly. The lab timings were very flexible and I could work any time as the labs are opened 24/7 all 365 days. After I was successful in obtaining some significant results in my experiments Dr. Anna was happy and gave me a complete subset of a project to me. It mainly involved the cloning work and luciferase assays. I took the initiative of knowing everything about the set of experiments to be done and asked different people in my lab as well as different labs. I also basic stuff such as designing primers; gathered information about all kits and chemicals required and also ordered them myself. I faced problems seldomly in my experiments but was efficiently solved with the help of the lab members’ constant support and guidance. Working in Harvard, I also got to interact with the best of the scientists in the world which helped me a lot to be more mature in my reasoning capabilities. Pursuing research at Harvard motivated me a lot and made me more determinant to pursue research and study further.

-Anant Jain
 B.Tech Genetic Engineering
 SRM University