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My trip to Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole, MA.

Lipid synthesis, stem cells, CRISPR, cell differentiation, coffee, faculty life in Puerto Rico, softball, ion channels, PhD in Europe, ball room dancing, buying a house in seattle, Epilepsy, larval Drosophila brain dissection – that’s an eclectic mix of topics to talk about for one day and this is not even an exhaustive list! These topics pretty much sum up my first day here at Woods Hole, where I am a part of the Neurobiology summer course at MBL with 13 other students from different parts of the US and Europe. I am housed at the Ebert hall with another student from the same course. The view from our room is gorgeous!

View from my room overlooking the Eel Pond

We started the day with an orientation/welcome brunch at the swope center. I was pleasantly surprised with the variety of food and taste. For cafeteria food, it was really good. There was everything from cereal, to yogurt parfait, to your-style-eggs and toast, waffles, fruits and vegetables, juice and coffee. There was even ice cream at 9 am! Despite the scorching heat, after the orientation my roommate and I went exploring this quaint nautical town with several beautiful small beaches.


I also just had to try the coffee at the local cafe.

Ok, not an image of coffee. But this was an unusual yet appropriate sign at the cafe

We had to get back to our ‘base’ because of the heat but we got some rest before the course’s first meeting in the afternoon. This session was interesting and we jumped right into a lecture about ion channels and Graeme Davis, one of the directors of the course, outlined some of the questions we are going to work on in the following week. After the lecture, we headed to the lab where I met the larval drosophila for the first time. I have dissected testes from adult flies before, but today we learnt to dissect brain from 3rd instar larvae. The larvae were expressing GFP in their motorneurons which let us take a quick look under fluorescence to see if we destroyed the brain completely or managed to successfully practice isolating the tissue for FACS sorting tomorrow.

GFP expressing motor neurons in Drosophila larvae. I did not do this btw.

The day ended with passionate discussions about science interspersed with pizza and beer!