By: Hector Medrano
In a mere blink of an eye, four weeks have passed since I first stepped foot in the laboratory, and dove straight into the experimentation that is being conducted under my wonderful mentor, Dr. Vaithi Arumugaswami. Over the course of the past four weeks, I have worked alongside each of my laboratory members, witnessing the unique approach they each put forth toward tackling healthcare’s greatest challenges. Reflecting upon my time in the laboratory, I can proudly assert that I was placed in one of the best laboratories at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute. Such certainty is derived from the numerous hours that my fellow laboratory members have taken out of their terribly busy schedules to instruct me on how to perform different procedures while explaining the science behind their experiments. What was most exciting was when I was given my own plate of 25i induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), further allowing me to learn how to properly coat six- well plates with Matrigel, plate and clean the cells, change their media, and split the cells after becoming too confluent. Each day, as I changed their media, and observed their confluency under a microscope, I stood astounded as I viewed the gradual development of these cells. However, my experiences did not end there, as I was able to attend several conferences with renowned speakers, classes with professionals in their field, and tour world class facilities. For such memorable/breathtaking experiences, I must thank Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, as well as the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, for providing a program where high school students are exposed to groundbreaking research. Observing the intricacies revolving around the world of research, and the passion and excitement with which my laboratory members come to work, I have grown motivated and determined to pursue a career in the sciences, but more importantly, to have my work make a difference in the world.