In the summer of 2020, a total of 13 local high school students participated in the “Summer Laboratory Work Experience Programme 2020”. They went to different research teams of the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS), University of Macau (UM) and pursued sophisticated research projects by conducting various research work in the laboratories. This programme stimulated the students’ interests in biomedical science by offering them valuable chances of conducting hands-on experiments.

Kary CHOI, one of the students admitted to this programme, has learned the basic theories of single-cell RNA-seq analysis under the supervision of Professor Douglas ZHANG and his team members. She utilized the knowledge to assist in processing the single-cell RNA-seq data for downstream analysis. Kary mentioned that this programme has met her interest in biomedical science, and enabled her to obtain a profound research experience from which she realized that teamwork was key in accomplishing the research work, and individual member’s capability in working independently, perseverance and self-motivation were also crucial particularly when experiencing a massive setback.

Ruby NG expressed appreciation to Prof. Vivien Ya-Fan WANG and her PhD student for their earnest guidance during her participation in this programme. She has learned how to transfect mammalian cells, analyze protein expression using Western blotting, construct recombinant plasmid, and obtain purified protein sample. Ruby expressed her excitement about her operation of the state-of-the-art equipments in conducting the hands-on experiments, which broadened her vision as she has never run such studies in her high school.

Both Kary and Ruby spontaneously acknowledged the value of the programme in which they have spent a very meaningful summer break.  Not only the programme boosted their interests in biomedical science, but it also helped them identify their passions for their upcoming graduate studies.

Students under the “Summer Laboratory Work Experience Programme” can take part in the research work in wide research fields, such as big data science, genetics, microbiology, molecular biology, neuroscience, and structural biology, etc. The flexible timetable allows the students to participate in different research projects to obtain first-hand experimental experience according to their own schedule. Furthermore, each participant has well managed his/her personal health by following strictly the epidemic prevention measures to secure a safe and fruitful learning experience.

Kary CHOI (left) learns the basic theories of single-cell RNA-seq analysis

Ruby NG (left) is guided by the researcher to conduct the hand-on experiments