Hello fellow Scientistas! My name is Juliet Snyder and I am a rising sophomore at Harvard College. Although I am a Harvard girl, I am spending my summer in sunny San Diego working at the University of California, at a Pathology lab. San Diego is home for me - I made the decision to ignore my Freshman advisor and go home to do research instead of staying on campus to do research. Normally I am one for listening to authorities - well that isn’t completely true - but this time realized that sometimes you just have to go with your gut. I am glad I did because I can honestly say that I wake up every morning incredibly excited for work and for the project that I am working on. But I am getting ahead of myself.
common in diabetics) isn’t desirable. Corneal confocal microscopy was developed to non-invasively track nerve degeneration in the cornea – a technique that is well suited for determining diabetic neuropathy. I will get into the nitty-gritty of this equipment later. Diabetic neuropathy in animal models can also be determined through behavioral tests – which have their amusing incidences like having mice pee and feces rain down on you (that is also another story for later). My projects are continuing to evolve so I look forward to bringing forth new aspects of my work as the summer progresses.
As you can see I am amazingly enthusiastic about the project that I am working on but I am equally enthusiastic about the lab group with which I am working with. I am in a unique position – while most females in labs feel vastly outnumbered by their male lab members I am in the complete opposite situation. My lab is 80% female! I work with brilliant, wonderful people and I can’t wait to share some of the great things we are both working on.
So a roadmap for what this summer blog will bring – I will reveal my triumphs, failures, humorous stories, discoveries (hopefully) and personal realizations. As a rising sophomore I have decided that this summer is going to be an opportunity for me to explore my passions, learn something more about science and learn a little bit more about myself. I came in last year planning on concentrating (or majoring) in Neurobiology; alas, after a years worth of college I wasn’t able to take any classes in the field and I have no real idea of what concentrating in Neurobio would actually be like. So perhaps this summer lab experience will help me to understand the field a little better? Just like another Scientista blogger, Stephanie Wang (whose blog you should really check out since it is brilliant), I am a secret pre-med, which I know to some people has a negative connotations. But Medicine and research go hand in hand. To me, the idea that my research may one day help people is the most rewarding aspect
of my job. I may not see the final therapeutic benefit gleaned from our work in my lifetime (or at least not in this decade) but I know that at some point someone somewhere will can benefit. Anyways, I digress. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you!
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, concerns feel free to post your comments and I’ll get back to you!