Cali Calarco

I am a Senior Neuroscience and Behavior major at Vassar College, and I worked in the Lombroso Lab in the summer of 2009. This was my first experience working in a university scale lab. I spent much of my time genotyping mice from the colony, but I also helped design/implement a habituation protocol for a T-maze testing paradigm. I got to watch the other testing being done in the lab as well as other bench work, and thus I was exposed to many lab techniques besides the ones I was using daily. During the summer, I participated in a weekly journal club style meeting with Paul and the other undergrads working in the lab. This meeting was an invaluable addition to my summer work, as I learned about molecular biology to a degree I hadn’t yet reached in my coursework. I found everyone in the lab to be friendly and supportive, which fostered a helpful and collaborative atmosphere. One of my favorite things about the lab was that I was able to learn about molecular mechanisms and pathways, and also about behavioral work in an integrative way. I find this type of integrative work fascinating and I plan to continue to work on similar style projects in the future, as I look to graduate school. My time in the lab gave me access to a wide range of experiences that have helped me immensely, and I found this summer extremely rewarding.