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Clarkson Student Wins Prestigious Research Scholarship

Clarkson University senior Amanda Heitzke of Shrewsbury, Vt., has won a winter term research fellowship in the molecular biology and biological chemistry program at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. The prestigious fellowship is the latest research opportunity for Heitzke, whose interest in scientific investigation was sparked while studying biology at Clarkson.

“Here at Clarkson, I have had the wonderful opportunity to participate in many programs and research activities,” said Heitzke. “The small size of the school as well the direct attention and encouragement I have received from the professors have enriched my education.”

Last summer, Heitzke received a Howard Hughes Medical Internship at the world-renowned Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center at the University of Washington in Seattle. While there, Heitzke worked with medical researchers studying the effects of alcohol and other environmental toxins on the susceptibility of liver cells to become malignant.

For the past year, Heitzke has worked in Clarkson Biology Professor Craig Woodworth’s laboratory assisting in research on the human papilloma viruses (HPV) and their role in cervical cancers. Participating directly in medical research at Clarkson has had important implications for Heitzke’s development as a scientist and her professional future.

“Her independent research experience at Clarkson has stimulated her excitement for biomedical research and provided a clearer picture of what research is all about,” said Woodworth. “She has learned to plan experiments, set reasonable goals, and to be persistent until she succeeds.”

“I plan to begin a doctorate program next September, and I am in the process of applying to schools right now,” said Heitzke. “However, before I begin an intensive graduate school program, I might take a cross-country trip and relax and enjoy myself a little!”

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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