Spandan Joshi ’22 — I would like to start off by thanking G. Michael Dill ’71 and his family as well as Wabash College for making this internship experience possible for me. The internship could not have been financially feasible for me without their help. I would like to thank them for providing many other students like me the opportunity to intern at various places over the years. I would also urge every student reading this to capitalize on the Dill Fund if they have not done it yet. From unpaid internships with non-profit organizations to student-generated research and study programs, the Dill Fund takes care of it all.
I interned as a research assistant under Dr. Bilon Khambu at the Tulane University School of Medicine’s Liver Pathology lab. I remember walking into the lab on my first day wide-eyed and oblivious to what was going on, and frankly, a little intimidated by the white coats and all the equipment I knew nothing about. My project emphasized on identifying novel hepatic factors in the liver that are observed at the time of liver injury development. I examined proteins from liver samples of different mice models (differing by genetic model or diet or both) and looked for the varying levels of different proteins observed. Unfortunately, I was not able to identify any of the peculiar proteins I had observed due to a shortage of staff at my workplace which deemed the proteomic analysis part unviable. However, I made significant progress on the project and collected a good amount of quality data and trends that I could always go back to build upon and analyse.
All in all, the internship has served as a great opportunity for me to get familiar around a typical lab setting. I now have ample experience with basic and intermediate lab skills such as SDS gel preparation, CBB staining, Western blot analysis, operating machines for protein estimation and western blot imagery, mice handling, etc. These skills will certainly help me out a lot in the future if I decide to resume working in a lab setting. I also had a great time working with fellow interns from other institutions and made meaningful connections in the process.