Hi, I'm Alma, from Sydney, Australia! I'm starting my third year of a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Molecular Biology & Genetics and Biochemistry at the University of Sydney.
I applied to VISRA because I was very interested to see how research labs in other countries worked. I have always wanted to do a PhD overseas, since science is such an international field, and VISRA has been invaluable in allowing me to gain a little taste of this. I've also been able to learn new skills and techniques I would have never had the opportunity to learn to back home.
I'm working in James Patton's lab, studying microRNA regulation of retina regeneration using the model organism zebrafish. Unlike humans, zebrafish are able to recover their eyesight even after the loss of most of their rods and cones, leading to implications in the treatment of loss of sight.
Besides the academic side, VISRA has also been an interesting cultural experience. Living in the US has been like living in a movie, and Nashville especially is unlike any city I've been to before. I'm most interested to see the Predators game, since I've never seen ice hockey before