My second week at King’s was spent with Dr Matthew Grubb and his team consisting of Elisa Galliano and Adna Dumitriscu which I got to work with closely with. Their project was more focused on neurons and more specifically, the olfactory bulb in mice. They want to see if and how stimuli affects the AIS (Axon Initial Segment) in neurons where action potentials are generated, whether it affects its length and how far along the axon it is. This can be done with a process called patching where you can observe the action potentials and the way the neurons interact with each other.
I wasn’t able to participate as much in this week as most of the things were technical but I was able to watch and help out in small ways, all the while asking questions about their work. I was able to use a confocal microscope to view some of the zebrafish slides after some immunofluorescence. This works by targeting antigens with a primary antibody and the fluorophore as a secondary antibody to target that primary antibody so we are able to detect the antigens which in this case is the TH enzyme (tyrosine hydroxylase) in the olfactory bulb. The AnkyrinG also found in the AIS is what enables us to see the latter as they’re the ones being labelled.
It was a real eye-opener to work in this lab, the two weeks felt really short but I was introduced to so many aspects of neuroscience and how life as a scientist would be so I’m really grateful for this opportunity and that I was able to meet such amazing people. Everyone was so passionate about their project and so eager to help me out in introducing their work and making sure I was able to make the most out of it; I could write about 20 blog entries!
Thank you to In2ScienceUK and everyone at King’s!