Written by Molly:
I have had such an amazing and worthwhile experience at the Kawamura Research group. Not only has this opportunity allowed me to engage in lab work to a degree far beyond what can be offered at an undergraduate level, but it has also given me insight into what a potential career in research could look like. From logic to creativity to problem solving – it has been so inspirational being surrounded by such friendly people who appear so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about science. I have learnt far more than I could have anticipated and I’m sure that the skills and knowledge that I have acquired during my eight weeks here will be applicable in both the near and far future.
Most of my time was spent determining the effect of the PROTAC on protein degradation of epigenetic proteins and cell proliferation . This introduced me to many new techniques that I’d previously only understood theoretically. For instance: thawing, revival, and maintenance of mammalian cells, Western blotting, BCA and MTS assays, cell lysis, and qPCR. However, this project was interspersed with another, allowing me to use various assays (for instance, measuring luminescence and fluorescence) to determine the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 MPro in transfected HEK293T cells, by a variety of cyclic peptides. My favourite aspect of both projects was working with the cells in the tissue culture room – it was always thrilling observing their growth and reaction to the compounds!
I would recommend anyone who is potentially interested academic research to participate in a similar opportunity. I now enter the next academic year with greater confidence and keenness because of my experience with the Kawamura Research Group. Thank you to everyone (especially Akane and Marie-Helene) who have supported me throughout.