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University of North Dakota - School of Medicine & Health Sciences
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March 9, 2010

Dickinson State University (DSU) students win Society of Toxicology Undergraduate Toxicology Education Program Award

March 9, 2010 - Jessica Meier, Paul Jilek and Jennifer Murray, undergraduates in Dr. Lynn Burgess' lab, won competitive travel awards to accompany Dr. Burgess to the Society of Toxicology (SOT) Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City. They will attend a special program March 6-8, 2010. This award recognizes promising undergraduate science majors and informs them about the discipline of toxicology, opportunities in toxicology, and the preparation necessary for a research career. Other benefits of the program include participation in a scientific meeting and interaction with SOT member mentors and peers.

It is noteworthy that all of Dr. Burgess' undergraduates received this award, a fact acknowledged by SOT headquarters. Following are the students' statements about their interest in research and attending the SOT meeting.

Jennifer Murray (sophomore): Working in the lab here at DSU has raised my interest in research. I began this biology program with aspirations of becoming a physician, but as a single mother I believe that research would be the better career choice. I hope that by attending the SOT annual meeting I will be able to network with other toxicologists and students that share the same interests.

Jessica Meier (junior): I will be graduating in May 2011 with a biology degree. I began working for Dr. Burgess, a member of the SOT, as a part of his research team in January 2009, and we are currently studying the effects of heavy metals on the expression of Gap Junction connexins. I have a particular interest in toxicology as a cancer survivor of 6 years. I would like to see a cure for cancer found, or even methods of treatment with less intense side-effects, as my treatment left me with three total joint replacements and a possibility of three, or even more, to come in the future.

Paul Jilek (junior): I began in Biology because of my aspirations to become a pharmacist. I was given the opportunity to work in the only research lab at our University for Dr. Lynn Burgess, a toxicologist and a SOT member. Working in our lab has given me opportunity to learn more about toxicology, and given me an interest in it. Going to the Society of Toxicology's annual meeting will allow me to meet other toxicologists, graduate students in the area, and learn more about the field of toxicology.

Left to right in the front row: Jessica Meier & Paul Jilek
Front row: Jennifer Murray & Dr. Lynn Burgess

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