CLS Students Place First at Posters Competition

Sept. 7, 2006

OGDEN, Utah – Two Weber State University clinical laboratory sciences students placed first at the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science's student posters competition during the organization's annual meetings in Chicago.

Natasha McRae and Linda Sethongkang spent the 2005-06 school year comparing a new method for testing for the anti-K antibody in blood samples to two traditional methods. Of their 35 test samples, four cases tested by the new method failed to detect the presence of the anti-K antibody.

According to McRae, failure to detect the anti-K antibody could result in blood transfusion complications in a patient, including serious illness or potentially death.

McRae, who graduated in May with Sethongkang and now works at Ogden Regional Medical Center as a clinical laboratory technician, was surprised by the first-place honor. "I couldn’t believe it," she said. "I didn’t think people at the conference would be that interested, but they were."

There was so much interest that representatives of the new method asked the students' faculty mentor, Bill Zundel, to expand their research with students this year to include more blood samples. Zundel's group also will be including a fourth testing method this year.

By placing first in the competition, both students received a one-year membership in ASCLS.

According to Zundel, who is also an associate CLS professor, undergraduate research opportunities are essential to a student's education. "All of our students are required to do research during their senior year," he said, "Most of our graduates will be working in labs or at clinics, but some will be doing research, and this gives them the first-hand experience they’ll need to be successful."

Contact:

Natasha McRae, WSU CLS graduate
(801) 389-2170 • natashamcrae@mail.weber.edu

Linda Sethongkang, WSU CLS graduate
(801) 529-7679 • lindasethongkang@mail.weber.edu

Bill Zundel, associate CLS professor
(801) 626-8133 • bzundel@weber.edu

Author:
Travis Clemens, assistant director of Media Relations
(801) 626-7948 • travisclemens@weber.edu