Adult Neurogenesis in the Dentate Gyrus

Rachel and fellow student in lab

Students

2021
College

Faculty

Research Assistant Professor of Neuroscience

Project Summary

When I started the PURM program, I had not had any research experience at a wet-lab. Naturally, I was met with a steep learning curve as I began working at the Song-Ming Lab. I had not previously taken any neuroscience classes and, so, did not have much of a foundation of knowledge in the topics of research investigated at the lab. To my surprise, my mentor, Dr. Stephanie Temme, and advisor, Dr. Kimberly Christian, invested much of their time ensuring that I held a firm understanding each of the individual parts of their projects as well as their larger whole. Though in the beginning I struggled to understand the concepts, Dr. Temme’s careful, thorough, and often repeated explanations of the moving parts of her projects allowed me to develop confidence in my ability to contribute to the lab’s research. I was pleasantly shocked at the progress that I had made in the 10 weeks that I assisted Dr. Temme. For instance, in May I had never laid hands on a mouse before. By the end of PURM, I had begun performing surgeries on mice without supervision. Of course, I did my share of repetitive and/or time-consuming tasks, but I very much needed to in order to near proficiency in the lab. I cannot think of a single aspect of Dr. Temme’s projects that she did not actively invite and guide me into taking part in. On the last week of PURM, the Song-Ming Lab invited its summer undergraduates to present the work they had amounted, and, again, with guidance, I found myself entirely confident in my knowledge of Dr. Temme’s projects and my role in them. For the acknowledgments portion of my presentation, I filmed and edited a Full House opening credits montage with many of the members of the lab. As PURM came to an end, I felt proud and thankful for not only how much I had learned and the wonderful mentors that I had met but the deep sense of community I had developed at the lab.