In the month of December, I attended the Research Scholar’s Program at the Brain Research Institute Monash Sunway (BRIMS). BRIMS is a neuroscience research institute located in the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences at Monash University Malaysia.
The Research Scholar’s Program is a program for students who are interested in gaining hands on biomedical science knowledge and techniques as well as be able to experience first hand what a career in research would entail.
The program is focused on providing the students training of techniques most commonly required by those working in the field of research. Each student is matched to a researcher who will supervise them during this period of time.
The researcher will allocate the student a project to work on and decide which necessary techniques are required to complete it. My first day there, I was introduced to micropipettes, which while easy to use requires training to perfect especially with smaller volumes.
The first week, I was thought Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Gel Electrophoresis and Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphisms (RFLP).
PCR is a technique used in molecular biology to amplify a single copy or a few copies of a segment of DNA. Gel electrophoresis is used to test if the DNA amplification is successful. RFLP is used for the analysis of unique patterns in the DNA fragments in order to genetically differentiate between organisms. These were the three main techniques I would go on to use for the one month program.
Besides that, I was thought how to do DNA isolation which required me to later use a Nanodrop Spectrophotometer which is used to quantify and assess the purity of DNA, RNA, protein and more. A particularly inspiring event was when we were allowed to attend a Master’s Degree student’s milestone review.
At the end of each week, all students attended a Journal Club where a group of students choose a topic and present it. This weekly meeting is attended by the researchers who ask questions based on their presentation which is informative as well as inspiring.
In my opinion, this program provided me a better understanding of the emotional, physical and academical demands of a career in research and equipped me with skills that will allow me to thrive in the field.
P.S If anyone is interested to apply or attend this program and would like to know more, you can contact me through any of my social media