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St. Lawrence News


Jillian Reich '11

Jillian Reich '11, of Mendon, VT, is an intern with the Department of Homeland Security this summer, participating in bioterrorism research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

Reich, a biology major with a minor in education, reports that the goal of the research team is development of "a rapid, noninvasive medical diagnostic technique that can be performed using human breath samples." Working with an infectious pathogen, classified as a Class A agent of bioterrorism by the Centers for Disease Control, Reich says that bacteria of this type if "of particular interest," because is has previously been employed as a biological weapon. She says the research team is working on "identifying signature compounds emitted during an immunological response that can then be used for characterization and detection. We are optimistic that this procedure can be used not only as a general diagnostic tool, but to identify disease status in an individual so that medical professionals will be able to administer an appropriate and effective course of treatment."

About 100 students from throughout the nation are selected as Department of Homeland Security summer researchers, and Reich says that she is one of "just a handful" of women in the program. "I am wrapping up my summer with a research poster symposium, and then my work will be submitted to the DHS review committee, where I will have the chance to travel to Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago to present at the national conference," she says.

During the summer of 2009, Reich participated in a 10-week internship with the U.S. Department of Energy at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN.

Posted: August 12, 2010

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