Lyon students research new medicines

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 6:52 PM CDT
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BATESVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - Several students at Lyon College are conducting research well beyond their years, having their work internationally recognized before some even hit their twenties.

When you think of the people who are creating the newest versions of medicine in our world, you probably aren’t thinking of a freshman in college.

“I haven’t even taken organic chemistry and I just joined an organic chemistry lab without having any organic chemistry experience.” Lola Beeser, a sophomore Biology major said.

But Lyon students are encouraged to work hands-on in labs as early undergrads, experimenting on how to make the newest evolution for drugs treating cancer and tuberculosis.

“I take a molecule that is naturally found to fight against TB, and I’m able to add things onto that molecule that will be later tested against Lewis lung cancer cells to see how effective they are at killing those cells,” said Nikkolette Perkins, a junior Chemistry and Mathematics major.

In fact, many of the students who are working on these drugs didn’t even plan on going this route with their education, but the experience has converted students like Colin Gopaul from going into dental school to researching the drugs of tomorrow.

“When I came in I started working and I really liked what I was doing,” Gopaul said. “So it makes me think that I want to get a Ph.D. in Chemistry so I can continue drug research.”

And the students are quickly receiving recognition by already having their work published.

“I think this is just the Kickstarter that’s made me so passionate about it and made me sure that I want to go into that type of field,” Beeser said. “Pursing making new drugs that are better like we’re doing now, or being able to help people and advise them on what they should take.”

The students will travel to Puerto Rico next month to present their findings at a scientific conference.

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