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Passion in Research Leads to a Valuable Internship Experience at Genome Institute of Singapore

28 Oct 2019

I am Lim Kai Shen, a final year Medical Biotechnology student at the International Medical University (IMU). Throughout my time studying at IMU, I found myself paying more attention during laboratory session and in classes related to genetics. The final year project in IMU also further developed my interest in the wet lab. That’s when I realised where my interest lies. So, I decided to try GIS since it is a research institute based on genomics and furthermore it is an institution located overseas which means I get to leave my comfort zone and work on my independence. I underwent my 3-month internship in Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) located in Biopolis, Singapore under the supervision of Assistant Prof Foo Jia Nee, her postdoctoral researcher Dr Chew Guo Yan, research fellows Moses Tandiono and Lian Mulan as well as her PhD student Miss Heng Yue Jing. During my training at GIS, the main activities that I was involved in included detection of Single Nucleotide Polymorphism in different patient genome provided by Assistant Prof Foo’s collaborator. I also helped Dr Chew in one of her projects of detecting the presence of viral DNA in the substansia nigra of the post-mortem Parkinson diseased patient. At this internship, I was quite puzzled and worried when I heard that I had to design primers on my own for the projects. As the colleagues there explained to me the process, I was glad that IMU had taught me some basics in bioinformatics and made me to understand better and faster what was explained to me.

Overall, I would say that IMU had prepared me well for my internship in GIS in term of laboratory skills. I was able to learn a lot in the practical classes from various modules since each of it taught me different techniques and skills. The final year project also gave me a glimpse of a researcher’s workload and provided me with the foundation in my internship. Both the final year project and internship further strengthened my will to pursue a masters in the near future.

I think my passion lie within the laboratory for now. It is because of the joy and thrill that I get when the methodology worked, and satisfaction of getting a result during research. If things do not work out, it sparked my curiosity and made me more determined to search for the factors behind it. Not only that, I also wish that what I have done would have an impact or bring benefits to the society.

Written and photo by Lim Kai Shen (MB1/16)

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