Lab Work at Rush University Medical Center

Lab Work at Rush University Medical Center


Starting summer of this year, I became a lab assistant (volunteer) at Rush University Medical Center in the Pediatrics Department. I wanted to gain more experience in the hospital setting (different from patient care areas), learn more medical terminology, familiarize myself with scientific laboratory equipment, and get more connections to doctors, researchers, nurses, and more. Since Rush University Medical Center is a teaching hospital, I  hoped that I would be able to get a basic idea of what medical school is like by being around medical students.

Inside the laboratory, we have done a study on the effects of osteoarthritis and general arthritis by looking at the interaction of cells of the joints of lab mice. (Yes, children may get arthritis at a young age, too.) It is very interesting to see how different cells interact and it is even cooler to see the cells in different colors (dyes) under a high-powered microscope.

To view the slides under the microscope, I have learned how to make them from scratch. I can put the specimen in liquid parafilm and create blocks. Using a very precise blade, enclosed inside a machine, I can cut the blocks into very thin slices to be placed on the slide (micrometers thin).

This Friday, I am returning back to Rush as a lab assistant. I hope to have more fun and learn more about different topics. I look forward to the many things to come. 🙂

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