With only 7 days until you can double your donation with the Big Give, we are doing a 7 day countdown, where we share a day in the life of a researcher each day, showing you an example of what happens within research projects we fund.
Dr Maria Georgiou, Biosciences Institute, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University tells us about a week in her life below. Dr Georgiou is working on Retina UK’s newest research project, led by Professor Majlinda Lako at Newcastle University, looking at how research focused on one gene can give hope for a wider proportion of our community.
“On a typical week in the stem cell lab there are many different experiments going on. Different people work on their individual projects, but we often collaborate to share ideas and help each other. We have weekly lab meetings to present our recent work and ask for feedback from our colleagues.
The lab needs to stay clean and organised to reduce the risk of contamination, so cleaning and restocking the lab are important daily tasks.
Tissue culture hoods are used to keep everything sterile and avoid infections in cell cultures. For this work we need to make media, feed cells, and prepare cells for experiments. These experiments often involve many different techniques that allow us to look at different biological structures and components. For example, immunohistochemistry allows us to view the location of specific proteins in a sample. We can use Western blots to quantify the amount of different proteins in samples or PCR to look at the genetic make-up. This is all important in working towards our goal of understanding eye disorders and discovering potential treatments.”
Tune in daily for more updates!
The stem cell lab is always busy, with each and every one of us focused on doing many different experiments each week.
Today’s our weekly lab meeting; we come together and present our recent findings and get some feedback from colleagues. It means we can keep driving research forwards and find solutions.
It’s my turn to head up the cleaning of the lab today – we need to make sure it’s spotless and organised to reduce the risk of contaminations. Tissue culture hoods are used to keep everything sterile and avoid infections in cell cultures. Much different from cleaning at home!
Next on my list this week is feeding and preparing cells for experiments. These experiments often involve many different techniques that allow us to look at different biological structures and components.
Today I am conducting an experiment that uses an immunohistochemistry technique. This allows us to view the location of specific proteins in a sample by tagging them with a special dye and then looking for them under the microscope.
Today I’m going to look at the genetic make-up of cells using a method called PCR (Polymerase chain reaction). With this technique, I can rapidly produce billions of copies of small DNA samples so that we have enough to study in detail. This is all important in working towards our goal of understanding eye disorders and discovering life changing treatments.
Thanks for following my week in the stem cell lab this week, I hope you’ve enjoyed finding out more about what I do. Our work wouldn’t be possible without the support of people like you, who donate to Retina UK. Remember if you donate this week, your donation to medical research projects will be doubled!