Recent News from Matignon High School

AP Biology Class Works with Novartis on Sickle Cell Lab

November 27, 2017

by Van Nguyen, '19

Dr. Tartaglini’s AP Biology class had the opportunity to partner with Novartis research labs this past month. On October 26, two scientists from Novartis, Megan and Russet came Matignon to talk about sickle cells and provide an overview of the lab the class would be participating in the following week on-site at Novartis. Novartis is a pharmaceutical research company in Cambridge currently researching how to cure Sickle Cell Disease.

In the initial meeting, Megan and Russet explained that we would be performing PCR, which is synthesizing DNA duplication. We would be able to determine what DNA samples had the Sickle Cell Gene and which did not. When we first walked into the building on October 31, we were greeted by Megan and Russet and they immediately informed us of the safety precautions. We were then split into groups and given lab coats and safety glasses. Russet explained how to use a pipet, which was more difficult than I thought it would be. We prepared our samples for PCR, and returned on November 2, to analyze our results by gel electrophoresis.

Novartis was incredible. I would have never thought I would be able to work in a real lab before graduating high school. This experience was eye-opening for my classmates and me. Personally, it affirmed my life goal of becoming a doctor. Whether this lab made us want to pursue a career in biology or take a different path, this experiment was an informative and valuable experience for our class. It deepened our understanding of the course and allowed us to apply our knowledge to real life. I am grateful to have this opportunity and I hope this partnership will continue in the future. 


Back to list