Nareh Sahakian is spending this co-op term living in Paris and working in Orsay, France. The behavioral neuroscience major is a research assistant at Retina France CERTO, which stands for Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Thérapeutiques en Ophtalmologie. (In English it’s The Center for Studies and Research in Ophthalmology Therapeutics.)
The lab in which she is working is researching retinal degeneration in humans. “We use the mouse as a model to characterize diseases that lead to vision loss, and try to find ways of intervening that will slow down the degeneration that eventually leads to blindness,” she writes from France.
Sahakian lives in Paris’ Chinatown, which is the largest in Europe. While there she’s enjoyed the Chinese New Years’ celebrations right outside her apartment!
She says she’s also enjoyed exploring the parks of Paris.
She’s also been able to travel throughout Europe, including a trip to Vienna, Austria for Easter and going hiking with her friends on the Skaftafell Glacier in Iceland.
Back in the lab she’s used the nanodrop to quantify RNA concentrations, and used an axiozoom microscope to observe retinas that have been stained with fluroescent antibodies.