Since the summer of 2009, biochemistry major Jeffrey Bolstridge ’11 (Southborough, Mass.) has been working on research that can help combat diseases caused by parasites.
Last month, he presented his work with Bernard Fried, Larkin Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, and Joseph Sherma, Kreider Professor Emeritus of Biology, at a student award symposium at the 2010 Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society.
“Being chosen as one of the awardees is a special honor for Jeff,” says Sherma. “Almost all of the winners in past years have been graduating seniors and graduate students from Delaware Valley and Lehigh Valley universities rather than strictly undergraduate colleges like Lafayette.”
Bolstridge’s paper will also be published in the 2010 Journal of Liquid Chromatography & Related Technologies.
The research, part of more than 20 years of collaboration between Fried and Sherma, involves quantifying the lipid content of snails cultured in extreme temperatures to learn about the metabolic strategy they use to survive.
Bolstridge says the work helps scientists and physicians better understand the spread of diseases caused by helminthic parasites. For example, he says, the disease schistosomiasis, affects 200 million people worldwide, and may become even more prevalent due to global climate changes.
Bolstridge, who also serves as a resident assistant and general chemistry teaching assistant, plans to attend medical school.
“At Lafayette, I have learned to balance my academics, my research, and my other commitments,” he says. “I think this is a valuable skill that I hope will translate into success as a physician.”