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Meet undergraduate Elizabeth Sklar

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Elizabeth campaigning for Hillary Clinton in Pittsburgh, PA with former Vice President Joe Biden

Coming from Napa Valley, California, Elizabeth Sklar took a semester off school to be part of the Hillary Clinton campaign. She worked on the advance team right up until November 8, Election Day. Now, she is back at UConn combining her love of public health and medicine by obtaining a degree in allied health sciences. Hear what Elizabeth has to say about her experiences both inside and outside of school.

What attracted you to UConn? I enjoy traveling, and UConn was an opportunity to travel somewhere different. It is one of best schools that I got into, and I liked it when I came to visit.

What is your major, and why did you choose it? I am an allied health sciences major. I am really into public health. When I applied to UConn, I didn’t notice any majors related to public health, and I came in as a physiology and neurobiology student. The day before classes started, I heard that there was an allied health major. I quickly switched to that. (more…)

Meet recent graduate Julia Werth

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Julia representing The Daily Campus at OOzeball 2016

Julia Werth combined her commitment to a healthy lifestyle with her love of writing into a dual degree in nutritional sciences and journalism. On top of obtaining two degrees, she was an honors student throughout her entire student career and took an average of 21 credits each semester. Julia will be pursuing a dietetic internship at the University of Maryland in August, which will prepare her for becoming a registered dietitian. Read about Julia’s undergraduate experience here at UConn.

What attracted you to UConn? I am from near Boston, which is obviously different from UConn. I had applied to fifteen different schools, but I narrowed it down to UConn and UMass. I wanted to go to a bigger school that had both a good nutrition program and a good journalism program. UConn had both, and I felt at home here. (more…)

Meet undergraduate Patrick Dzurilla

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Patrick preparing for a skydive

When an infection in Patrick Dzurilla’s leg sent him to the hospital, his observations of the diagnosis and treatment process helped him decide to become a medical laboratory scientist. When Patrick began to study and practice in the field, his fervor for the occupation became apparent. Although he already has a degree in biology, he explains that studying medical laboratory sciences (MLS) is different. This time, Patrick found his true calling, and his fascination with the work drives his eagerness to learn. Read about Patrick’s experience with the MLS program.

What attracted you to UConn? I wanted to go to a school that had a lot of different options and activities available. Originally, I had looked at other, smaller schools with the intention of entering as a pre-pharmacy major. However, I wasn’t married to pharmacy, and I wanted to make sure that I had options. If my interests changed, I wanted to be able to switch into another major easily. Although UConn is a bigger school, it still has the community of a smaller school. (more…)

Meet undergraduate Christian Caceres

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Christian doing research at UConn Health through the Health Career Opportunity Programs

Christian Caceres has an upbeat outlook on his experiences with UConn and a deep appreciation for the opportunities he has had here. With the help of his advisor, Dr. Hedley Freake, Christian was able to complete his honors, pre-med and degree requirements a semester early. He chose to spend his last semester studying abroad in Granada, Spain, where he completed a 240-hour medical internship. When Christian returns from Spain, he will be giving the student speech at the 2017 CAHNR commencement. Here is what Christian has to say.

What attracted you to UConn? I was attracted to UConn’s large size and student population. In my sophomore year of high school, I moved from San Diego, California to Essex, Connecticut, where my new school was a fraction of the size. Though it was a great high school, I found that the smaller population size produced social challenges, such as cliques. I knew that a word like “popular” wouldn’t exist at a larger school like UConn, so I had to go. (more…)

Researcher studies dietary bioactive compounds and their impact on chronic disease

IMG_2176Vitamins and minerals are well known for their essential role in maintaining health and wellness. Still, there are other, often less recognized, food components that can also make important contributions. These other components, known as dietary bioactive compounds, are present in food in small quantities, but may be making a big impact. Christopher Blesso, assistant professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, is studying the effects of these previously overlooked substances on low-grade inflammation in certain chronic diseases, such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

In his studies of lipid metabolism, Blesso examines the body’s processing of fats, cholesterol, phospholipids and other molecules. He is interested in the impact the compounds can have on lipid metabolism and the low-grade inflammation that is characteristic of these disease states. The hope is that, one day, these compounds could be used therapeutically to reduce inflammation and improve the quality of life in patients suffering from low-grade inflammatory states. Blesso focuses on high-density lipoprotein (HDL) metabolism and cholesterol, as well as dietary phospholipids, which are molecules that provide animal and plant cell membranes with structure. (more…)