Company/Organization: Columbia Genome Center
Mentor(s):Christine Rupp, Ming Chien, Dave Weir
Topic of Internship
The Columbia Genome Center is an interdisciplinary center that conducts research in the field of genetics as part of Columbia University. Here, new techniques and technologies are explored to aid studies in biological and biomedical sciences. These technologies are used to study the possible links between genetics and diseases such as Alzheimer’s and epilepsy. The center is also working on the Hudson River Project in which bacteria from different areas of the Hudson River are studied and categorized. The research projects worked on at the center fall under three major areas: human genetics, technology development and comparative genomics, and the molecular libraries screening center.
Summary of Internship
During my internship at the Columbia Genome Center, I was able to gain valuable experience working in a laboratory. I had reading assignments and worked on projects with my mentor, Ming. I learned how to perform certain genomic techniques such as using pipettes, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), agarose gel electrophoresis, and sequencing. I worked with Ming on his Hudson River Project, culturing bacteria and preparing their DNA for PCR and sequencing. I also helped him sequence portions of patients’ DNA to study the probability of an increased likelihood for a disease such as Alzheimer’s, and to look for mutations that may be linked to epilepsy. I was able to learn how to use computer programs such as Seqman, which is used for DNA sequencing. My time at the Columbia Genome Center enabled me to gain an understanding of genomic research and techniques through the projects I worked on, the materials I read, and the discussions I had with my mentors.
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