My First Independent Research Experiment!

July 27, 2017

Posted: October 30, 2015, 10:00am

Although it has already been two months into school, I hadn’t actually run my own experiment until this past week!  Because I did my undergraduate here at USC, I was already familiar with most of the biomedical engineering professors and their research.  I knew that I was interested in going into industry after my Ph.D. and that I wanted to work on a device that was multi-disciplinary, but when I was applying to graduate school, I wasn’t quite sure which lab I wanted to commit to.

Luckily, one of my best friends at that time joined the Laboratory for Systems Engineering and told me about Dr. Megan McCain (pictured above with her Ph.D. and undergraduate student researchers) and her innovative research in cardiac tissue engineering.  Having had a heart condition when I was younger, I knew that working on advancing knowledge about the cardiovascular system would align closely with my goal of improving the healthcare of individuals around the world.  Therefore, once graduate school started, I immediately began working with

Dr. McCain and am currently in her lab for my first rotation (of three).

In the first month and a half, I shadowed her four current Ph.D. students and began familiarizing myself with all of the lab protocols, equipment, and space.  Because I had never done research involving cell culture before, I had a lot to learn.  Everything has to be sterile to avoid contamination and certain gear has to be worn to ensure that our samples are protected.  This week, however, I was able to finally get my hands dirty and run my own trials.  Although I was under supervision, I was still able to do everything, from seeding my cells to staining them, myself.  Before long, I will be designing independent experiments and working on them on my own!

Published on July 27th, 2017

Last updated on August 10th, 2017