Enter: Research

Hello Desmarie again,

Of all the lessons I’ve learned during my time as an experimenter, the idea that research is constant, vigil editing proves to be the most important.  It is nit-picking and at many times frustrating.  But I cannot complain much since I willingly selected myself to pursue further endeavors in the field.   And in my time so far I have attained numerous skills propelling my hopes of becoming a proficient researcher therefore the nit-picking and the obsessing and the frustration pays off.

For instance, the weeks following my last post was spent trying to apply basic processes of research to a specific functionality of our dye derivative.  Having already tested previous dye derivatives, my Professor wanted to try a different attachment to our dye.  As is well known, entering new territory brings it own challenges.  The synthesis/work-up/purification/collection/analyze-ing phase was repeated at least three times, never mind the need to synthesize the initial ingredients to this new attachment before the dye derivative compound was even manufactured.  It is here, the first time I felt truly responsible for what happened during the process.  While I worked with a now graduated lab mate during my sophomore year, the project ,I didn’t think, was really mine until this point.  I was always an assistant  and all the big decisions would be made by my Prof. and her full time lab-ling, not me.  Everything I had done until then had been done before and my predecessor was the expert, not me.

The most trying area of this research stemmed from something I learned to perform quite well as a novice.  Purification.  I will never underestimate you(purification) again.  Eliminating unwanted products from this dye derivative was very time consuming, tiring and tedious since I didn’t know where to look for what I wanted.  With each purification process I improved but….no cigar quite yet.  I know I need accurate and reproducible results until that happens I’ll be in lab.

 

Thanks again for the support,

Desmarie