Thursday, June 22

First few days in lab

I started in the lab yesterday at 2pm with our safety training - which wasn't nearly as long as any I've had a Trudeau, it was much more, "here are the lab coats", "here are the fire exits", "please read this insanely long safety manual" and "don't bring food or drink into the lab". Okay, so I got all that down. Then then was the introduction to our desktop space, now after having an entire lab basically to myself (with occasional sharing with Pete or Paula) my wee lab bench top would make you all laugh so hard you'd cry! It's about as big as the bench top in the Pre-PCR room that's next to the sink, but it's all mine, so that's cool. I have a set of Gilsons (as they call pipettes), some eppendorf tubes, 1 spatula, 1 pair of scissors, 100 glass slides, FOXP3 antibody kit, four 500mL glass bottles, two 1L glass bottles and that's it folks! I don't even have a freakin pen or marker to write with! Oh I do however now have 1 box of medium gloves (had to trade a pair of larges to get them of course).

We were given the safety manuals & set free to start making reagents. I had to make up 1L of Tri-Sodium Citrate Buffer and 1L of TBS . . . easy enough . . . followed directions on protocol, pH them and was done around 4.35pm, when PI1 said, "oh, you might want to check with PI #2, I think the pH meter is broken." (PI #1 &2 had both been in the lab the whole time watching what I was doing, while they were chatting away about their personal lives). So I went to get the head tech and ask her if she knew of a new pH meter near by. She came in & asked about why the pH meter didn't have a note & how long it had been down (not that it really matters to you, but the answer from PI#2 came back as "not sure" & "about 2 weeks") So I learned where the other pH meter on our floor is. Low & behold it's in "lab Kevin's" lab space so I got to see him for a wee while yesterday (and today).

So the background on the above "situation" is that my advisor is very much a "by the books" lady & very OCD about the lab AND also has a rather large administrative position at the moment while Eleanor Riley is away, so PI1 and PI2 aren't too fond of her, thus the waiting till I was done to tell me about the broken equipment. So now I have to remember all my skills about working in a BIG lab (which I'm not sure I ever learned at TI, since I typically worked alone or with Paula, Pete, and Larry, who are NOTHING like this!)

By the time I was done last night I was almost ready to cry b/c I was still tired from all the exams & frustrated realizing that this situation was not going to be an isolated one :( I MISS TRUDEAU (especially the Sayles & Johnson labs!!!)

Susan & Sacha were going to grab dinner & see Jane Eyre, and invited me to go along, so I went to try to free my mind of my not so great first day in lab. Play was really good, imagine the book is as well, course I haven't read it yet . . . just starting Plainsong.

Well Alero had me come in today so we could "start fresh" and we did! We went over what we hoped to do in the next few weeks before my thesis is due (25 August). I remade up the buffers for my immunohistochemistry work, pH'd them in "lab Kevin's" lab down the hall, sent them to be autoclaved, and got to draw a few cool pictures of how the antibodies are all going to attach to the tissue antigen. I also got to put 100 slides of tonsil into metal slide holders & put into a 55C oven over night to make sure the samples are adhered to the glass slide. When that was all said & done I had a few free minutes so I went down to the computer lab to try to find background info on EBV and Tregs . . . millions of articles out there, so I'll have to spend lots of time filtering out the crap in the list!

Got home, Lou & I made chicken korma & watched Mystery Alaska.

Okay that's all I've got for today . . . off to bed now . . . tarra.


At 22 June, 2006 23:21, Blogger PCS said...

You are in a new lab and you will be in new labs in the future. Some want things done 'their' way, others will say do it the way you are familiar with. If you are in a 'do it my way' type lab, grit your teeth and do it their way. If you don't, and something goes wrong...because you didn't follow the protocol, you will find yourself in some level of trouble.

At 23 June, 2006 07:53, Blogger Sara said...

I'm not worried about doing it "their way" I just don't enjoy the politics of being in the middle of the PI's dislike for eachother - so babyish!!!!


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