“All good things must come to an end.”

By: Jennifer Siddique

The CIRM SPARK experience is truly one of a kind. I have been immersed into the world of research for six delightful weeks. As I approach my last week, I would like to reflect on my experience thus far.

The best way to appreciate the life of a scientific researcher is to follow their footsteps. After spending six weeks in this program, I can safely say that research is not easy. It takes hard work, dedication and patience… a lot of patience. You must love what you do in order to be a researcher.

Prior to this experience, I had very little knowledge regarding stem cells and the research side of science. I have heard of stem cell research before, but it was not until this CIRM SPARKS program that I was able to experience stem cell research firsthand. The unceasing efforts put into a single scientific project is remarkable. It takes a team of passionate researchers to make any scientific advancements.

One of my favorite moments during this summer internship has to be when I was finally able to do an ICC and use fluorescent microscopy on my coverslips without giving it a second thought. It became second nature to me. It took me a few weeks to become familiar with all of the steps of ICC and subsequent imaging but once I got it down, I felt like a true researcher. [Well, as true as a seventeen- year-old high school kid can be.]

Alysia, Ginger, Laura, Veronica- thank you. Without you, none of this would be possible.

With that said, I will forever be grateful for this experience. I do not know what I did to deserve to be a part of this program, but I am truly honored. I would like to think of it as simply being in the right place at the right time. I cannot believe that my last day as a CIRM SPARK researcher is nearby. As the saying goes…

All good things must come to an end.

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