Celebrate research

Alexis and Courtney McKeever have an easy time talking about a new drug that could treat parasitic worms. It’s been their undergraduate research topic this academic year.

“This is really important because parasitic worms are infecting people all over the world and causing horrible diseases,” says Courtney. “We’re really just trying to find a drug to treat these worms because they’re becoming resistant to the drugs we currently use to treat them.”

The physician assistant-aspiring twin sisters, like several other students, proudly presented their findings at UWL’s annual Celebration of Creativity and Research, April 26. Like many of their peers, the McKeevers received an undergraduate research grant to help fund the study.

“We wouldn’t have been able to grow and test our worms without the funding,” notes Alexis.

Thanks to the generosity of Yvonne Datta, ‘82, her husband Milt and several other donors, undergraduate research will continue to grow at UWL. The Dattas offered a $20,000 challenge grant for undergraduate research. The challenge started in July 2015 and was met earlier this year.

When they kicked off the challenge, Yvonne shared that she has fond memories of her time in college. “I want to give back to a place that helped me so much to grow as a person and in my overall life and career,” she explains. “I want young people to have the chance to have a similar experience I had with research.”