Hutchinson: — Kayla St. Laurent, ’17, a Biology and Biomedical Chemistry double major from Hutchinson, KS, was accepted to a summer REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates, a program funded by the National Science Foundation) at the Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS.
She will be working alongside KWU alumna and now K-State graduate student Chelsea Hanks (’13) in synthesizing a molecule that can be used to selectively target cancer cells. St. Laurent will be responsible for the “backbone,” the piece on which the molecule will be built.
“It will be synthesized using a number of reactions I will learn on-site and will involve techniques I learned in organic chemistry lab this past year,” she said.
St. Laurent heard about the REU program through one of her friends who participated last summer. Because of her involvement in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), she recognizes what a significant opportunity this is for her.
“Funny enough,” she said, “Chelsea was the KWU student ambassador who originally gave me a campus tour at Kansas Wesleyan when I first visited the university. We were both involved in choir and chemistry club. I am very excited to be working with her again.”