I have always wanted to be involved in the field of research and development in order to gain more experience working in an actual laboratory. A great opportunity to do this, explore the outside world and discover myself was during the internship training that IMU Medical Biotechnology provides. For this training, we were given the freedom to select a place for our industrial training as long as it is within the given parameters. I made my decision to carry out my industrial training at A*STAR, IMCB (Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology) because I found out that it is a renowned research institute that have successfully made many discoveries and breakthroughs in terms of research. It is also very resourceful with many advanced technologies and instruments which serves as the perfect platform for me to learn and in exchange, for me to contribute back to the laboratory. During this industrial training, I was an intern at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Dr Cheok Chit Fang’s IFOM-p53 research lab where I was assigned to various tasks under her close supervision. Briefly, I was responsible with cloning, sequencing and bacterial work. Besides that, I also assisted my colleagues on their experimental work which involved mainly the experimental work on immunofluorescence, western blot, DNA fiber labeling, qPCR. Also, towards the later stage, I was assigned to work on some tissue culture. Initially, I had trouble coping up with the assigned tasks and scientific terminologies in conversations. As time goes by, things improved, and I managed to adapt to how things work in the laboratory. I believe the hectic schedule in IMU has contributed to this.
Being exposed to a real working laboratory has helped me to translate knowledge that I have acquired during my undergraduate studies at IMU into real-life applications and these fundamental knowledge were significant in helping me to better understand the rationale behind the experimental works. The Bioinformatics module in the IMU Medical Biotechnology (MB) programme has also exposed me to many useful research-related websites such as PubMed, Expasy and BLAST which were very useful for me for my cloning and sequencing work.
On top of that, the core values and professionalism imposed in IMU and particularly within the MB programme have shaped me into a disciplined individual, in which I believe have supported me in practicing good working ethics in the outside world such as being punctual, well-groomed and maintaining professionalism. I believe that a positive attitude with a healthy personal development are accountable for success in the long run.
Written and photos by: Yan Chi Hin (MB1/16)