Apprenticeships in DMBEL started and were formalized in 2012. The pilot run proved successful in flattening the steep learning curve normally encountered by senior undergraduates during their thesis year. Students are now encouraged to join the lab as early as their junior year - thus providing them a head start to acquire and master a broad range of molecular and cell biology skills before they embark on their undergraduate thesis work.
Apprenticeships in DMBEL are very much sought after, and often oversubscribed. But we don't want that to discourage you from applying.
As things slowly go back to normal like in pre-pandemic times, the laboratory has resumed providing a structured program for DMBEL apprentices. This includes introductory lectures on research interests and ongoing projects of the lab as well as a list of techniques they are expected to learn: cloning and site-directed mutagenesis, PCR and RT-qPCR, mammalian cell culture and transfection, fluorescence microscopy, various cancer hallmark assays, immunocytochemistry,
flow cytometry, and high-content imaging, among others. Students initially shadow the more senior members of the lab, after which they are given hands-on training.
Mentorship and Soft Skills
A distinct advantage of the lab is the presence of some 20 research assistants, many of whom are highly skilled in some of the more advanced techniques in molecular and cell biology. Up to 2 RAs are assigned to teach and co-supervise the work of each apprentice. Once the students have gone through the list of techniques they are asked to learn, a thesis topic is assigned. Effectively, they are able to start their thesis during their junior year, enabling them to acquire more data. They are eventually included in the rota of speakers during lab meetings - which provides an opportunity for them to improve their presentation skills.
A home away from home
It's how most of our alumni and current members describe DMBEL. While we strive for a culture of excellence, the lab has also fostered lifelong friendships among its members. More importantly, we take interest in your career trajectory, and both the PI and alumni of the lab are always keen to give advice on how to navigate graduate school and scholarship applications as well as other career options available to you.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN APPLYING AS AN UNDERGRADUATE APPRENTICE, PLEASE SEND AN INFORMAIL INQUIRY IN THE FIRST INSTANCE TO: rlgarcia1@up. edu.ph
In the meantime, please explore our website to know more about what we do, and the fun culture we have.