Lab Experience Personal reflection – Elisa Maria Ragaini

Lab Experience Personal reflection

Elisa Maria Ragaini, 4° Cohort, Humanitas University

Lab Experience at Stanford University, USA

During August and September of 2022, I had the opportunity to attend the Research Labs and the Nuclear Medicine Clinic at Stanford University. I worked in the Radiology and Molecular Imaging Program in Dr. Beinat Lab, which focuses on developing novel imaging and treatment strategies to detect and better manage cancer. During my internship I was able to train and learn different lab techniques thanks to the teachings of researchers working at Stanford, so that I could apply these skills on the current experiments of the lab.

One of the projects I worked on investigates the imaging of brain tumor metabolism and studies how different cells in the brain tumor microenvironment utilize glucose. I actively contributed to another project that focuses on the type I transmembrane protein B7H3 (CD276). Working on these projects, I got to learn and master many experimental techniques including mammalian cell culture, protein quantification, western blotting, tissue extraction and digestion, cell staining, and analysis of cells using flow cytometry.

During my time at Stanford, I was also given the opportunity to shadow Doctors in the Nuclear Medicine Clinic and witness how state-of-the-art technology is incorporated into the daily practice of medicine. I was allowed in the reading room where I learned how to efficiently analyze imaging studies, and in the radio-pharmacy where I observed the techniques employed for the formulation of radiotracers.
Being in close contact with such brilliant minds has truly inspired me and has given me the motivation to keep learning and train in a broad and cross-disciplinary manner to set the path to become a successful physician-scientist.

Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have worked here; these past two months have been truly life changing. I will forever be thankful for the relationships established with all the people I’ve met here.

EDITORIAL: Stanford University from across the Atlantic Ocean: an Italian Medical Student research experience