Caroline Desler – High School Stem Cell Research Intern – Summer 2013

In this video, I introduce myself and my incredible mentor Dr. Ana Aguilar, whom I will be working most closely with throughout this research experience. We are walking through the halls of CHORI to the lab.

Next, I am with Dr. Aguilar in the cell culture room looking at my sample of cancer cells under the microscope. Since the cells are considerably fresh, they remain suspended in the cell culture liquid. However, by tomorrow when I take another look at them, they will most likely be attached to the bottom of the container, displaying a completely different, more developed microscopic cell image.

I spend one of my first days in the lab performing a western blot procedure to identify, with specific antibodies, the levels of certain proteins in my cell samples. After transferring the protein markers from the gel to the membrane, I submerge the membrane in a 5% milk solution to block the membrane, which will later assist in preventing non-specific background binding of the primary or secondary antibodies to the membrane.

After my lunch break I stopped by Dr. Saba’s office to say hello! Thank you CIRM for allowing me to have this amazing opportunity.

Caroline Desler is a Bishop O’Dowd High School student who is doing a stem cell research internship this summer in the laboratory of Julie Saba at the Children’s Hospital of Oakland Research Institute. Her internship is funded by California’s Stem Cell Agency (CIRM) through the CIRM Creativity Awards grant. Visit our Through Their Lens page for photos and more videos from students and grantees.