MURRAY, Ky. — Rose Miller, a senior in Murray State University’s pre-veterinary medicine program and McNair Research Scholar, was selected to give an oral presentation at this year’s American Chemical Society’s spring symposium. The presentation, which was held on April 21, focused on her project in organic polymer chemistry. This study is her second project and was published last semester in the American Chemical Society Applied Polymer Materials Journal.
Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, Miller explained that it was hard to gain hands-on experience in the field of veterinary medicine. She expressed how Murray State has been vital in her growth as a student pursuing a veterinary career. From interning at the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis, to studying abroad in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where she worked with local residents to rehabilitate abused elephants and bring them to safety at the elephant sanctuary, Miller has used every opportunity to grow in her field.
“Rose is an exceptionally well balanced young woman,” said Carole Inman, student development counselor for the university’s Honors College. “She has taken initiative throughout her college career to gain the knowledge and experience in her field of study, but also and not less important, in her personal life.”
Miller began as an Honors student at Murray State in fall 2017 and was determined to gain knowledge and experience in her field of study out of the gate.
“Halfway through my freshman year, I began to think about what topic I was interested in pursuing for my Honors senior thesis,” said Miller. “I was spending time with my friend, Kristin Anderson, when she asked me the question, ‘Why don’t you study why people with dog allergies only react to specific dogs?’ Ironically, she is a Spanish/non-profit major, and her idea led me to study something that brought me to where I am today!”
Miller spent the next year reading articles and attempting to understand more about this topic. She learned more about a specific allergen, the Can f 1 allergen, that is primarily responsible for provoking allergic responses in humans who have dog-specific allergies.
During her sophomore year, Miller was accepted into the McNair Scholars program. The program helped further her research and paved the way for her to conduct all of the testings she needed. The study was later presented at an American Chemical Society Conference.
Speaking on her journey, Miller expressed her profound gratitude to her professors that helped at various stages of her research.
“In regards to my first projects, Dr. Kevin Miller of the chemistry department helped me tremendously with taking my numerical data and helping me understand how to form a conclusion, and Dr. Laura Hoffman, my pre-vet mentor, was vital in the clinical aspect of the study. Dr. Chris Trzepacz of the biology department also taught me all I needed to know about the lab techniques,” said Miller. “I am thankful to have had such supportive mentors.”
Miller has been accepted into the University of Georgia’s Integrated Life Sciences Program, where she will work to receive her PhD in Infectious Diseases.
“I could not be more thankful that the Honors College and the McNair Scholars program pushed me to begin my first project, the Can f 1 project, that was merely a requirement I was attempting to fulfill; it changed my view of veterinary research, and now my whole career path has changed!” said Miller. “It just goes to show how incredible the opportunities at Murray State are for students with the drive and passion in making the most out of their educational career.”
To learn more about Murray State’s Honors College, visit murraystate.edu/honors.