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Getting the Lay of the Lab

I have had a wonderful first week as a CMOP intern. I am working in Dr. Tebo’s lab, and my frontline mentor in Christine Romano, a post-doctoral researcher studying the biochemical mechanism of manganese oxidation in bacteria. This summer my project will entail working with her to purify and characterize the Mnx protein complex, a copper containing enzyme that is crucial for microbial manganese cycling.

            This week has been a whirl-wind of activities, both in the lab and out. Monday began with an orientation to the program with the other interns and a little information about CMOP and the Institute of Environmental Health, and OHSU in general. I then met up with members of my lab, which were participating in a mini symposium presentation of some collaborators on findings from their expedition to Antarctica to collect soil and rock sample for metagenomic analysis. They found evidence of several microbial manganese oxidizers in the ice caves, and discussed with members of Dr. Tebo’s lab the direction they would like to take the research in now. This was followed up with a dinner at Dr. Tebo’s house with the collaborating researchers, it was great to see some senior scientists casually chatting about their research, and it turns our that Dr. Tebo is an amazing chef! Tuesday through Friday were spent in the lab learning procedures and and getting a feel for the lab dynamics and layout. There are two other interns in my lab, a grad student and another undergrad from Reed, and we joked this week that we are Christine’s ducklings, trailing her around the lab. I am excited to start my own research project in the coming weeks. I am learning so many new protocols and techniques that I hope I can keep them straight!