Wednesday, May 11, 2016
More Public Speaking...
It's about 4:00 pm right now so I think it's safe to say that we've all survived our Research Proposal presentations. Congratulations to everyone!
I know that most people would expect a post like this to talk about how much I've improved since the journal club presentations and that actually, I don't hate public speaking. That Nicole and I made up a game plan early on because we learned from our past mistakes and through the power of friendship we produced a perfect proposal.
However, just in same way that we do real science in the lab, my journey with Nicole did not follow a plot of a cheesy movie.
For one, I still loathe public speaking.
Secondly, although Nicole and I are great friends and did manage to pull through this, mistakes were still made.
Our proposal had bounced around through quite a few avenues. We could do something with quantum dots, or miRNA sensors, or reattach an arm! When we had settled on the idea of combating immunosuppression caused by tumors, we didn't look specifically look at exosomes at first. Actually, I wasn't aware that exosomes caused immunosuppression until I had finally gotten to class (30 minutes late....sorry...) to pitch our proposal and Nicole communicated the exosome idea to me via our google doc.
I would like to give a shout out to my lab partner, Nicole, who has the amazing ability to come up with things on the spot!
Although the idea of targeting cancer derived exosomes lead to fixing more problems than just immunosuppression, it also created a lot of challenges. The goal was to find a way to just target these exosomes and remove them from the body. However, most of the surface proteins on the exosomes were common among other exosomes. So we couldn't just cover cancer derived exosomes with a bunch of nanoparticles because it would cause off target effects. Also, we needed either the digestive system or immune system to flush these exosomes out once they were tagged. Because our original idea of a competitive inhibitor nanoparticle wasn't going to accomplish either of these goals, I had started to research ways that we could use exosomes to combat the production of tumor exosomes.
However, we were still dealing with these complications when I abandoned my labmate (I'm so sorry, Nicole!).
I left MIT and went back home over the weekend to go with my boyfriend to his senior prom.
I know, I'm shameless.
Needless to say, not much of the proposal was going to be done over the weekend. So when I came back Monday night, Nicole and I hammered out our proposal presentation. In case you're wondering, yes, the protein chaperone idea came about on Monday night through the creative ideas that only come about one in the morning.
The next day, tragedy struck. When I texted Nicole asking what time we should meet up to rehearse, she had said that she had woken up feeling like a steam roller had ran her over.
However, she pushed through, we rehearsed, and got through our presentation. Although she was near death, Nicole was still able to present our ideas eloquently and intelligently and I really don't know how she did it. I wasn't even sick and my legs were trembling the whole time!
I would like to thank Nicole for everything this semester. She has honestly pulled through when I most needed her and she has been patient with me through this whole learning everything in the lab process. Thank you for being the best labmate anyone could ask for.