Millikin students gaining hands-on cancer research experience
博士。珍妮弗·施罗德, associate professor of biology and director of academic effectiveness, is incorporating the Performance Learning mission with her teachings at Millikin, both in the classroom and in the lab where her students are working on cancer research.
502 Bad Gateway
"Stephen has been working with me for the last year. We're doing a project where's he's studying the effects of the way we use herbicides in agriculture and how they affect oxidative stress levels in the cells," Schroeder said in an interview with the Herald & Review. "That's the way cells are able to cope with different stressors. Cancer cells have a different way of approaching it and essentially try to fight off the stressor and survive longer than a regular cell."
The goal of the research is to figure out how exposure to certain chemicals could increase the risk of cancer. Schroeder says there's a tie-in particularly with high incidence rates of reproductive cancers in rural areas.
DeMartini aspires to become a surgeon and he knows he will encounter cancer patients often in his career.
"I know everyone's had cancer in their life in some manner," he said. "Moving into medicine, it's a major component of that and I know that's going to be a part of medicine for the long run. It's important to have experience with it now."
Madeline Batek, a senior biology major from Chillicothe, Ill., is researching whether essential oils that are often topically applied to the skin may affect breast cancer growth rates.
"These can often be caustic in high concentrations, and we are finding very interesting results due to the volatility of some of these oils," said Schroeder. "Those that have a stronger scent seem to cause more cell death, even when not directly applied to the cells."
Batek will be continuing her work throughout the rest of the 2019-20 academic year, and will be trying to identify the specific chemicals within the oils that are causing this result.
Although she's in the early stages of her research, Alyssa White, a senior biology major from Mokena, Ill., is using breast cancer cells as a model cell type to look at how estrogens affect the expression of proteins that are indicated in different forms of arthritis.
502 Bad Gateway