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STAR Student: Andrea Dobbs

This summer, Clearwater Christian College senior and pre-med major, Andrea Dobbs, completed a prestigious internship in genetic research of the causes and effects of Parkinsonís disease in conjunction with the Medical College of Georgia summer Student Training and Research (STAR) Program. The Summer STAR Program is designed to help undergraduate students interested in the fields of biomedicine and medical science to experience the rigors of a field study under direct supervision of some of the foremost authorities on medical research. Program participants attend a variety of demonstrations, workshops, and groups that broaden their understanding of the scientific community and also aid them in their future pursuit of a Ph.D. or M.D. in biomedical sciences.

Entrance into the program is difficult to attain, as only a select few undergraduate students out of a number of applicants are chosen for each STAR program. Andrea worked with approximately a dozen students, most of whom were from universities and colleges within the state of Georgia; the fact that she was from a college out of state attests to her competitiveness, diligence, and intelligence.

Over the course of her internship, Andrea worked with her professor and advisor, Dr. Jonathan Henry, to use her research with the STAR program as her senior research project that is required for graduation at CCC. She kept him actively apprised of the status of her research and lab results. Dr. Henry said, ďAndrea is an intensely hard worker who wants to do what the Lord wants her to do. She has a bright future in front of her.Ē

During the program Andrea learned how to perform specialized research using sophisticated instrumentation over a long period of time in a singular project. While the research into the causes and effects of Parkinsonís disease continues, Andreaís work during the STAR summer program may contribute to the eventual discovery of a cure for the disease. Even though no one can accurately predict the direction in which Parkinsonís research will go, Andrea is confident in knowing that her summerís work will be a part of the puzzle resulting in an eventual cure.

After graduation, Andrea plans to enter Medical School with ultimate dreams of earning her Ph.D.