The Loras Experience: Dr. Andy Kehr and Brianna Arreguin (’22)

Through the Loras Experience, you gain an insight into the interests and expertise of Loras faculty. Discover what makes the learning experience at Loras special as different faculty share their knowledge with you.

Dr. Andy Kehr, assistant professor or biochemistry

This summer, I was able to expand my research background and create a new collaboration in science with Dr. Sheila Baker at the University of Iowa, studying the field of retinal degeneration. This opportunity came about through a fellowship in the Fostering Undergraduate Talent – Uniting Research and Education (FUTURE) in Biomedicine Program in the Carver College of Medicine at UI.

Taking part in FUTUREs allowed me to study a new research field I would not have otherwise had the time or resources to pursue. I also brought my own background of structural biology to the Baker lab to assist in a project designed to communicate with a patient the molecular mechanism for their disease. Additionally, I enjoyed the opportunity to present my research at Loras as well as learn from other Iowa faculty about the resources they find most useful in their teaching and research. Through this fellowship, I have gained a host of experiences and materials I can use to teach students in my classes and laboratory here at Loras.

You can view Dr. Kehr’s presentation below or by clicking here.

I was not the only person at Loras to benefit from this program.  Brianna Arreguin (’22), a junior Biochemistry major, received a scholarship to participate from the Loras College Chemistry and Biochemistry Program in the form of the Ken Kraus Chemistry and Biochemistry Summer Research Fund. As an undergraduate fellow, Brianna performed research in the Baker lab exploring the physiologic mechanism for retinal degeneration.

You can view Brianna’s presentation below or by clicking here.

The FUTURE in Biomedicine program develops research and learning partnerships with professors from Iowa colleges that do not offer doctoral programs. Through a competitive application process, Iowa college professors are invited to conduct a research project in the laboratory of a faculty member of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine during the summer. The selected FUTURE fellows receive a stipend. In addition, the program supports a talented undergraduate from the college professor’s home institution to participate in the research project.

About Loras College
Founded in 1839, Loras College leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan colleges to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. In 2020, Loras was ranked the 16th Best Regional College in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report and one of America’s Top 200 Most Loved Colleges/Universities by Forbes Magazine for the fourth consecutive year. Loras students ranked No. 2 in the world as part of the global Peeptrade Investment Challenge while a second group ranked No. 4. For the 12th consecutive year, Loras Media Studies student-led television station (LCTV) was named the TV Station of the Year by the Iowa College Media Association (ICMA).