Friday, March 27, 2009

I Started a Blog

I never thought I would start a blog, but here it is! The purpose of this blog is to keep people updated on what is going on in my life and to discuss things I've been reading or thinking about lately. I'm planning to update at least a couple times a week, but it might be more or less depending on how busy I am.

For those who don't know, I'm a 24-year-old living in Saint Paul, MN. I have an interest in food and nutrition but for now I work in two research labs in the University of Minnesota medical school: one with group B streptococcus and the other with streptococcus pneumoniae.

In the group B strep lab, we do serotyping (testing to see which sugars and proteins are on the surface of the bacteria), DNA fingerprinting (separation of DNA fragments to see which strains are related), and opsonophagocytic assays (to see how well different components of the human immune system destroy the bacteria). Early this week I submitted my first manuscript to the "European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases" and am waiting to hear back from them. If it gets accepted, this will be my first publication!

I am still training in the streptococcus pneumoniae (a.k.a. pneumococcus) lab, where I will be testing patient serum samples for pneumococcal antibody levels.

I will be working in these labs until the end of August, when I plan to go back to school for nutrition. I applied both to the master's program and as a transfer undergraduate in case I don't get into the master's program right away. On Wednesday I got an email saying I "meet the requirements for admission to the master's program" but now they need to pass my file around to different faculty members to see if anyone has an opening in their lab and is willing to advise me. If I don't get in this year, I will start taking the courses needed for a certification in dietetics, which can be taken as undergraduate courses.

I've also been trying to exercise more, but with the weather being cold again, it's hard to get motivated to do anything. I've got to be more diligent though, because I'm planning to run the Mpls 5K at the end of May, and would like to improve upon the time I got at the TC 5K back in October.

So it looks like I'll be doing a lot of waiting in the next month or two - to hear about the master's program, the undergraduate program, and the manuscript. I'm done with all the hard work and now it's out of my hands. This is one of the few periods of time where I have nothing important to do when I get home from work. I'm used to always having something - like homework, studying or filling out applications - that could be done. I try to read and study on my own but it's different knowing there's no deadline. It's nice having the extra time, but I do feel a bit lazy.

Ok, I think that's enough for one post! I'll try to write again this weekend.


  1. Michelle, What a neat idea. You are one busy gal!
    Love, Aunt MJ

  2. Good idea, I think that I'll start one too.


  3. I can identify with the "waiting" feeling. It sounds like no matter what, you have a plan though, so that is good. Just realize that you have been doing research and have proven yourself in that regard. Therefore, I'm sure you will look desirable to the faculty looking at your app. Good luck getting everything figured out for next fall!'

  4. It's cool to hear from you Michelle! Good luck with school :) It's hard!

    ~Nate T.