This week, many of the MHIRT students reported completing their research studies, analyzing results, and having final cultural experiences. Most students express sadness at leaving Thailand and Cameroon, but excitement about coming home. I’ll let the students write the Newsletter this week.
Kriszel wrote, “This week I extracted DNA of positive samples from gels and performed transformation using RHO3 competent cells. I had to come in Saturday evening to do the transfection protocol, and Ken came along with me so I didn’t have to walk alone to the university at night. Since Ken was there in the lab with me, Chung taught him how to spread plates and inoculate agar plates.” “Ohh, another lab assistant helped me select the white colonies for plasmid extraction. I finished my very last protocol today – our last day working at Mahidol University. New we are preparing for our presentations on Friday. Looking back on our first day, I can’t believe how fast time has gone. We’ve enjoyed our time here and will always cherish the opportunity in having international research experience in Thailand. With that being said, we’re ready to come home!” It is great you are sharing your results to colleagues before leaving.
Kendrick reported, “This week was a very mixed bag of productivity. I tried working on my paper but the comments and suggestions from Dr. Nittaya required a lot of reading and keeping track of which papers would answer which questions. However, putting it all together in paragraphs was just not happening. However, all of the loose ends at SEARCH have been tied, especially since I haven’t heard anything that wasn’t addressed from Dr. Shiramizu and Eleanore.”
“When renowned researcher Joep Lange among others met their untimely death aboard flight MH 17, I felt extremely saddened especially since the doctor in the cubicle next to me is from the Netherlands and although I barely scratched the surface of research in HIV, I do feel part of the HIV research community because of my experience in Thailand. I feel even more motivated to do more research and do what Dr. Shiramizu and other medical doctors are doing- research, medical practice, and mentoring students (like myself). Although I will miss Thailand, I am ready to come home.”
An Aloha from Michellei, “I just wanted let you know that we received the sequencing results for the positive mosquito abdomens and confirmed the Pool 5 and Pool 29 sequences from last week. P5S1, P5S3, and P5S6 came back as Ae. Aegypti A20 sequence containing region similar to NS5 gene of Kamiti River Virus and P29S2 came back as Quang Binh virus isolate VN80, complete genome. P5S3 and P5S7 were not amplified, perhaps due to low DNA concentration. Attached is the sequencing report for each of the samples and our positive control, DEN 2.” So, now it is real. Two new viruses identified in Thailand.
“We're all looking forward to coming home and seeing everyone soon!”
Final days in Thailand: Cultural Experience
July 22: “Today Kriszel and Michellei went to a Thai cooking class after work where we learned to make several dishes, including Thai spring rolls, red curry, green curry, pad thai, and tom yum goon (a popular sweet/sour shrimp soup). Everything turned out absolutely delicious and Ken joined us later to help us eat all the food! We left with certificates, recipes, and tons of leftovers. It was a truly wonderful experience and we can't wait to try these recipes at home.” YUM! We can hardly wait to taste them, too!
Sorry, no new photos from Thailand this week.
Chris reported that “On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, Kenji and I ran the remainder of Luminex: the last plate of multiplex, and the three plates of TGF-beta. The TGF beta took some time to dilute and prepare for the assay itself, but we got through it nonetheless. On Thursday (today), we updated our lab notebooks and the database, and discussed ways to move forward with a new potential research project.”
This week, Domenick had a change of pace from mosquito biology. “On Monday I had the fortunate experience to spend a night at the maternity ward of central hospital with Livo. I got to see five deliveries. We got some great samples that night, two placental malaria positive and one negative. Much of the night was a lot to take in as the sheer experience of obstetrics alone is overwhelming, the management of care was another level. I saw in the newsletter Chris’ comment and well, we look forward to sharing those stories when the time comes to talk about women’s health disparities. The problem is quite multifaceted: political, economic, cultural, and medical.” No one will be surprised that women’s health disparities is on the post-workshop syllabus.