Ozarks students to assist with medical research

Release Date: 4/11/2006

Science majors will spend summer at labs and hospital in Little Rock

CLARKSVILLE, ARK. (April 11, 2006) -- Two University of the Ozarks students will spend the summer in Little Rock working in medical research after winning fellowships for outstanding science students.

Students Erin Bailey and Heather Hartlerode will spend ten weeks each this summer in paid positions at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, working with principal investigators on their current research.

"It's like a regular job," said Ozarks Biology Professor Sean Coleman, who helped oversee the students' applications for their fellowships. Bailey will be studying some of the possible nutritional effects on cancer, while Hartlerode will assist doctors from the UAMS Department of Pediatrics witha medical study on chlamydia at Arkansas Children's Hospital.

"We want to find how many women have (chlamydia) recur after they are treated with antibiotics," Hartlerode said. A widespread sexually transmitted disease, chlamydia can lead to miscarriages, ectopic pregnancy and infertility. Females ages 15-19 had the highest chlamydia rate in 2004, followed by females ages 20-24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Both students are junior biology majors. In addition to working on the chlamydia study, Hartlerode, who plans to attend medical school, will accompany doctors on their rounds through the infectious disease unit of the hospital.

Coleman said experiences like Hartlerode's and Bailey's can help students decide if they want to pursue medical school or graduate study in the sciences.