The first month in India

Isn’t the view incredible? This is the view from the colonnade at the front of the building where the lab is. The architecture is very open concept like in other warm and tropical countries. This lets in lots of natural light, a nice cool breeze and obviously the heat! It is 34C here (and it isn’t even summer yet)!

Lab work
I’ve been here 24 days and I haven’t really started any of my own experiments yet. I have helped and supervised other students’ experiments. I have also made up all the solutions that I need. There are so many things that need setting up when you move to a new place. It gives me newfound appreciation for our technician in Edinburgh who makes up all of our solutions and aliquots out reagents for us so we can focus on our experiments. The good news is that now everything is ready to go for my experiments and I should be able to jump on the microscope here in a few weeks! This may be the longest I will have been away from a microscope since starting my MSc. I think I am starting to experience symptoms of withdrawal!

A lab is a lab is a lab (maybe not)
So it turns out this lab is different from the ones I’ve worked in in Montreal and Edinburgh. Sure there are pipettes, beakers and nitrile gloves, but the way the lab is run is different. The lab is open concept and there are people doing electrophysiology on one side and on the other side are student benches. The lab is huge! There are 50 people! I’m sure I haven’t even met half of them yet! It is a multidisciplinary lab with different members doing electrophysiology, imaging and molecular biology. I think that the fact that there are so many people doing so many different things is what is so different.

Out and about
The campus is at the North of Bangalore and there is not much around. I have ventured into the city centre a few times (a 30-minute drive away). My second supervisor was here with his family last weekend and I joined them on a visit to the modern art gallery. I have also been to Commercial Street which is a street lined with shops and vendors and thousands of people both locals and tourists. You can find saree shops, traditional craft shops, shoe shops, pharmacies, jewellery shops…

Now, I’m off to take advantage of the sun! (I’ll try to send some of the sun Edinburgh’s way as the weather there is quite rainy currently.)