The Lab Notebook

How do I even get started? Lessons for setting up your experiments

Posted by Bindi M. Doshi, PhD on Apr 26, 2018 1:00:00 PM

Biology can be daunting.  Experiments can be daunting.  Setting up your own biological experiments can be terrifying!  But it doesn’t need to be. 

The first steps are to learn, research, and read.  Read as much as you can about the area where you have written up your hypothesis.  What has already been done?  What questions do you come up with to further strengthen the field and make a nice story for your project?  What experiments did other researchers do?  Learn what cell lines they used, and how they designed controls. 

Once you feel that you have a good understanding of the background and what questions you want to explore, you can then start designing your experiment!  Look to see what materials you already have in your lab and determine which ones you may need to order.  Keep in mind, if you need to make a purchase, some materials may have a long lead time for delivery. 

You may also want to get in touch with other researchers and see if they have any advice for you.  The more experiments you try, the more mistakes you might make, but the more you will learn.  And before you know it, you will have mastered various techniques and other researchers will come to you for advice!

MBLI understands how confusing setting up experiments can be.  To help researchers, we have compiled a useful list of topics ranging from antibody basics to protein measurement methods.  Learn more and if you have questions, reach out to us!  We’re here to help you!

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