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Sattler Capstones: Biology

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Sattler Capstones: Biology

Most of the students who decide to major in biology at Sattler do it because it provides a rigorous, high-quality education in biology, while also giving them vision for how to live out the Christian mission. Some biology majors desire to serve in the medical field and choose to prepare for certain medical specialties. Others will pursue different options, such as teaching or further research. All of them, however, want their capstone project to be not only a launching pad for their future but something that in itself benefits others.

Through many of their capstones, Sattler’s graduating class of biology majors contributed to impressive research projects being conducted by academics or at laboratories in the Boston area. Some of those project details cannot be disclosed due to the laboratories’ intellectual property concerns; they are advancing scientific knowledge toward possible cures for diseases and developing valuable new technologies for health care. There are many possibilities for biology capstones at Sattler, such as student teaching or “wet lab” and “dry lab” research. But to provide one example of what one can do with a biology capstone, Joy Weiler presents how she used her capstone to make a difference in limited-resource settings.


Joy Weiler, Medicine in Resource-Limited Settings


The What

For my senior biology capstone, I did a project for healthcare workers in resource-limited settings. I partnered with Bethanie Burkholder, NP who is at the Salt Health Clinic in Bangladesh. In the clinic setting in Bangladesh, resources are limited for treating some of the patients that they see. Because of this, there can be difficulty in knowing how to properly treat patients with what the clinic has available according to the current research and standard of practice. For my project, I chose three cases where the clinic has limited resources for treatment: burn care, neonatal nutrition, and goiter care. Then, using current research and data published in peer-reviewed journals, I developed a suggested protocol, specific to the clinic and the resources they have.


The Why

I have spent some time working in healthcare in limited-resource settings, and I know how difficult that can be. I wanted to use my capstone project as an opportunity to help providers who are working in those settings.


The How

Using what I learned in various classes from my years at Sattler, I combed through peer-reviewed journals, searching for anything that had been published that related to my topics. I then narrowed down my focus to only the resources available to the clinic and then developed protocols and best practices for the clinic to use. Dr. Sara White and Dr. Beth Bennett assisted in the project by reviewing material and giving feedback.

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