My time at TRIP has almost come to an end now. However, the lessons learned during this program will stay with me forever. Reflecting on the five weeks I spent at TRIP, I want to call out two learnings that have given me an entirely new perspective and a deeper appreciation of what research really is.
Second, what comes with iteration is the agility to go after a new direction that may suggest a bigger potential for success. For my project, I wanted to look into sleep deprivation and its impact on metabolism (leading to metabolic diseases such as obesity). What I learned quickly was that measuring metabolism in the flies required specific equipment and reagents that were in shortage at that moment. After some good brainstorms with my advisor, we were able to shift the research question to the impact of mental state by sleep deprivation, which I was able to explore with experiments. In my case, agility to change worked for my project but it may very well be a challenge in actual research, for example, if the researcher has invested so much thinking, time or other resources into the research concept. My learning is that one has to be quick to change the approach in research regardless of what was invested before (for example, I really liked my original idea and wanted to hang on to it).
TRIP was an amazing experience. Going to the lectures and running my experiments at the lab was something I really looked forward to every Tuesday and Thursday. I live in the suburbs and I took the train to Temple which worked perfectly for me. I am very grateful to many - I wanted to thank Dr. Leystra and Ms. Pellegrine for helping guide me throughout my project and coaching me for my poster and final presentation. I also wanted to give a shout-out to my TRIP peers for making this one of the best experiences for me!