Kelly Hollenbeck, a first year honors student at Oregon State University, majoring in bioengineering and pre-medicine was awarded an Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and the Arts (URSA) Engage research award to work in the Dallas lab starting in January 2017. URSA Engage is designed to provide first and second year students the opportunity to pursue research under the guidance of an OSU mentor.
Kelly’s interest in gaining more experience with scientific research, especially research concerning human health and nutrition, led her to apply to the URSA Engage program with the Dallas lab. Since she is a current bioengineering student interested in a future career in healthcare, working in the Dallas lab allows her to apply scientific and problem-solving skills from engineering to research in a health-related field.
In the lab, Kelly is building a database comparing amniotic fluid and breast milk on a nutritional basis, including comparing the amounts of each component and how each component varies with time. The goal of this work is to better understand how nourishment of the fetus differs from that of the premature infant, which could lead to new insights into improving premature infant nourishment. Upon completion of her URSA project, Kelly will present her work at Celebrating Undergraduate Excellence (CUE) in Spring 2018. After graduation, Kelly hopes to continue to medical school to become a medical doctor.