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Research is Important, Fleming Scholars Explain

Wednesday, August 1, 2007  
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The Sir Alexander Fleming Scholars at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation have spent the summer explaining things to their families and friends that only a few people but a doctorate-holding scientist can comprehend — and that's the point.

"It's above my understanding," said Rocky Giles of Broken Arrow, whose son, Cory, worked on a computer program to search the millions of Web-indexed medical journals for information about previously unknown relationships between molecules, chemicals and processes.

The field is called bioinformatics.

Cory Giles will return to Oklahoma Christian University in the fall to continue his biochemical and English studies.

"It just came out of the blue," Rocky Giles said of his son's interests, shaking his head.

"He's just really interested in trying to do good (for others)."

Friday, the 12 Fleming Scholars and a foundation Presidential Scholar gave 15-minute presentations of their research.

What they studied
Northern Oklahoma College sophomore Kryston Griffin of Newkirk examined how certain proteins are involved in the development and proliferation of disease-fighting white blood cells.

"I decided to try this program out ... just to see what research science was about," she said. "Research is very demanding. You never know how long an experiment is going to last."

Many Fleming Scholars end up as physicians.

Griffin still planned to attend medical school but wouldn't rule out a research career.

"The effect of your research is helping thousands of people," she said of the fulfillment lab work can bring.

Others studied lupus and lymphatic vessel development. Kevin Winters, a University of Oklahoma sophomore, looked at vitamin E types, supplementation and their effects on inflammation.

He suggested those interested in participating in next year's program should go for it.

"Try to show you're thoroughly interested in this, that you're not just trying to build your record," he said.

"The effect of your research is helping thousands of people."

Kryston Griffin, Northern Oklahoma College sophomore

The article was taken from and was written by Jeff Raymond.

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