Hello again! I bet you thought I forgot my login. (I did.)
Wow! What a difference a year makes. It's fall in school again and I'm still plugging away, only from Las Vegas now. It was so hard to say goodbye to Portland, the people and animals that I love there but this where I need to be now. I'm excited to see what adventures UNLV has in store for me.
Classes have begun and I am finding my way through a new campus and a new schedule. What I mean by finding my way through... Read more
Hello! First of all, let's talk about last week. It's so good to be back working at Portland State University ! I don't know what it is about, but I love working in an academic environment. Those of you reading this that knew me twenty years ago, who would've guessed, right? So, yay, I am back at PSU (temporarily anyways).
My first day at the lab was a Monday. That's the day we have lab meetings. In this meeting, graduate student, Eric Iverson , presented about his project which involves testing all of the ORFs... Read more
I just set my alarm clock for 4:50 am and I'm actually excited about it!
You see, this last week, besides wrestling with SDS-PAGE Gels and glass and all that jazz, the Stedman Lab at PSU has been preparing for the annual trip to Lassen Park and Boiling Springs Lake.
There was anaerobic media making. There was Thermoplasma Volcanium Medium making. There was more lab math. At home there was packing! I needed a tent, a sleeping bag, clothes for cold weather, clothes for hot weather, bug repellent, sun block, sunglasses I don't mind ruining or losing, and... Read more
I've been a busy girl. If you're squeamish, please ignore the pictures and accept my apologies in advance. I veer a bit off topic of actual lab and share with you about some safety and a recent experience. I think it's an important share.
I just love how I keep throwing myself in the path of new and exciting life lessons. My most recent life lesson learned is one that I thought I had learned a couple of years ago when I started skating with Rose City Rollers. Clearly, there was a reminder needed. Here's the lesson: Safety is... Read more
What do employers want to see? Barry Starkman, CEO of Hemcon, shares his message.
This week at Portland Community College's Bioscience Technology Program we had the privilege of hearing from Barry Starkman, current CEO of Hemcon Medical Technologies. After telling us how he became an engineer and began working in pharma, he spoke with us about the opportunities that have come his way throughout his career. Starkman began his career on the east coast working for Merck. He was successfully lured to the west coast by Genentech and managed Genentech's construction project for their Hillsboro, OR fill/finish... Read more
The class goes on a tour and learns about primates.
Our Exploring Biotechnology class toured the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC). Education Outreach Specialist, Diana Gordon spoke with us about the work going on at the center and gave us a tour of the facilities. ONPRC was the first National Primate Research Center and dates back to 1960. Support through grant funding from the National Institute of Health and the National Center for Research Resources is supplemented by private funds from institutions like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Using these resources, the ONPRC divides its research... Read more
Bioseparations ended in a whirlwind of information and lab work! So much so, that I felt like I was watching a Shrek movie (in a tornado). You know, with all the Disney characters in the same place all mixed together. By our final, which was a mock interview for a bioseparations lab tech position, I was sorted out on what the different types of chromatography use to equilibrate and elute proteins. Although, I did get busted still trying to intermingle PAGE and gel columns. Whoops!
Why are Bradford assays like Groundhog Day? You'll have to read about it to know.
Apparently I'm in movie simile mode this week too because this week was like being stuck in the movie Groundhog Day. We started our week with the Bradford assay. I made serial dilutions from our first aliquot. After checking with some other lab groups, we determined that we would have within range results using 1/10, 1/20, 1/30, 1/40, and 1/50 dilutions. Next we mapped out our 96 well plate to run our assay in duplicate. We got a beautiful standard curve with an... Read more
Jennifer and her classmates start a fictional biotech company and practice using Quality Systems. Doesn't Strawberry Science Panda Extractables sound yummy?
Strawberry Science Panda Extractables. Catchy isn't it? That's the name of the fictional company my team and I will be operating under for our Applied Quality Practice class. The class is a follow up from last term's Quality Systems class. Both classes are designed to give us cGMP experience and an edge in an interview for a position in a regulated environment.
Our goal is to use our Quality Systems knowledge to design, create an... Read more
Bioscience Technology at Portland Community College is getting slippery! As our class forges ahead in the fun filled world of Bioseparations we tackled chromatography and protein gels (protein electrophoresis) this week! We learned how to piece together a gel set-up which is like negotiating a particularly tricky set of Legos. We also made our own resolving and stacking gels! Gels are fun!
There's a lot going on in running gels. Sure, I've seen a picture of a gel in textbooks. Our class even talked about them a bit in Current Topics last term, but I wasn't... Read more
Jennifer shares an impressive list of the skills she's learned in the biotech lab and reflects on her self assessment.
Fall term labs are finished here at Portland CC Bioscience Tech Program and all that's left is to take finals in the non-lab courses. For Lab Tech's final we have been asked to look back upon the term and think about what we have learned. Also, think about our skills and our personality traits. That includes our faults too.
Think about it. I mean really think about it. If someone handed you a... Read more
Not unlike many students whom are perpetually task saturated throughout the term, I tend to catch up on my social media as soon as we break. In addition to my love for Bio-Link.org, I have quite a bit additional science nerdiness representing on my personal facebook and Google+ feeds. So this week, I thought I would share some of those pages as well as some of my favorite Chrome apps and maybe (hopefully) find out what some of your favorites are too.
Cell Culture Technique on Facebook posts links to articles related to current topics in cell... Read more
Is it science or art? Jennifer tells us about make tubes with lovely colors, better known as Bradford and ss-galactosidase assays, and graphs with Excel. Guest speakers tell the PCC classes about technology transfer at OHSU and cell culture at Najit Technologies.
Hostess is threatening to take away our Twinkies. Bravely, we forge ahead into the bioscience learning horizon with exciting guest lecturers.
This week at Portland Community College's Bioscience Technology program we were treated to visits from people in our local biotech industry. Our first visit was from Jerry Thomas, PhD , formerly of Molecular Probes/Invitrogen/Life Technologies. Dr. Thomas' lecture was informative, entertaining and friendly. While answering our questions about what he looked for during interviews for potential new hires and entry level technicians, he gave us more insight about exactly what we need to communicate during... Read more
We got our CHO (Chinese Hamster Ovary) cells on Monday and began by doing our first subculture and passage. Observing the cells throughout the passage process was fascinating. Although we're using antibiotics in our media, there still appears to be some kind of visitor whom as of yet remains unidentified.
( Anybody care to venture a guess? See the pic on... Read more
This week Jennifer's classwork takes it's toll on outside activities, decontamination continues, and we learn about YOLO and safety goggles.
What a challenging week. It was Exam 1 week for ALL of our classes. I'm pleased to report I got an A in my Basic Lab Technique written and practical exams (woohoo metric conversion redemption!). The rest of the exams are not graded or back yet. It's a safe bet that I did okay on them. Okay isn't good enough for me though.
Eighteen term units is pretty serious and is requiring a healthy amount of my time.... Read more
The first week of classes is over. What an awesome week!
Of course our first classes were orientation, introductions and review of the syllabus. Based on my first impression, this is going to be such a fun year packed with tons of great information and tons of opportunity. The instructors have real world experience, all kinds of wonderful acronyms behind their names, and all have worked in labs at several different companies. They have done a fantastic job of welcoming us and giving us an idea of what our classes will entail while being enthusiastic and honest about workloads... Read more
I hope it inspires other bioscience students and is helpful to potential future employers.
I have spent more years than I care to admit in the mortgage industry as a loan processor. Clearly, it is not the industry for me. I've been quite pleased to have found an opportunity to return to school after... Read more