Karen Reynolds DC Trip

Reynolds presents research results in Washington for scientific community

By Sara Taylor

Oklahoma Christian University senior Karen Reynolds ventured to Washington last week to present research to the scientific community. Reynolds met with Oklahoma representatives, other students and their advisors. "It is my hope that Karen will come away from this experience with a feeling that her educational experience is just as good as anybody's in the country," Biology Professor Molly Hill said. "I want her to see she can compete with any student in the country."

Hill and Reynolds hope the research presentation in Washington will help put Oklahoma Christian on the map within the scientific community. "Outside of Oklahoma City, nobody has heard of Oklahoma Christian. If we can get our name out there in the scientific community, it will help us," Hill said. Hill and Reynolds hope Oklahoma Christian will be recognized for exceptional undergraduate research and as a result receive better funding. "The whole purpose of this is for us to present our research and gain recognition," Reynolds said.

The research involves using two new commonly prescribed drugs. One is a drug taken to lower cholesterol levels, the other is an oral anti-diabetic drug. Reynolds and Hill believe these two drugs influence the outcome of a septic event or an acute bacterial infection. By challenging mice with an acute bacterial infection and administering the drugs, Reynolds is looking at different parameters to determine if these drugs are influencing the response of the animals to the bacterial challenge. Reynolds became involved with the research after taking Hill's cell biology class and being invited to work in her research program.

The invitation to go to Washington came last summer when Reynolds was one of 20 students nationwide to receive a summer research fellowship from the Council of Undergraduate Research after she won a $3,000 scholarship in October of last year. Reynolds will graduate in December of 2000. Each spring this organization sponsors a meeting in Washington, D.C. to show off the research of undergraduate students. "It is my hope that Karen walks away from the experience with the confidence that she belongs in the scientific community," Hill said.