Alumna tackles women’s health issues

Grace Deitzler’s chosen field became clear when she took teacher Julie Ertmann’s advanced placement biology class her senior year at University City High School in the St. Louis suburbs.

That class led Deitzler, BSci’16, to where she is today, a research scientist in the Washington University in St. Louis Lewis Lab of Microbial Glycobiology and Women’s Health. And it is leading Deitzler to where she wants to be — a Ph.D. scientist and physician unlocking the secrets to treating infectious diseases.

She spent the summers in 2014–16 as an intern and research technician in the Lewis Lab tackling problems of urinary tract infections and bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women.

“I’ve always been interested in women’s health,” Deitzler says. “It’s fulfilling to me because we’re working on issues that can apply to women around the world.”

The team at Washington University pushes her to be her best, Deitzler says, but the work is rewarding.

“I think maybe she says we challenge her because we think she is a gifted young scientist, she works hard and we think she can make important contributions to women’s health,” says Amanda Lewis, the lab’s director.

Deitzler was the lead author for two papers published on the American Society for Microbiology’s Genome Announcements website. It is not typical, Lewis says, for undergraduates to be listed first on research papers.

Although Deitzler knows where she wants to go, she hasn’t pursued that goal with a single-minded focus that excludes all other pursuits. She was editor-in-chief of the Missouri Miner and she worked on-air at KMNR. The Helix Life Sciences Club, the Miner League Theatre Players/Alpha Psi Omega theater honors fraternity and the Phi Sigma biological sciences honors fraternity were other activities.

“One of her best qualities is curiosity,” wrote Ertmann in a college letter of recommendation for Deitzler.

Deitzler gives Ertmann perhaps the best recommendation a teacher can receive.

“Her passion about the subject opened my eyes that biology was more than just a class I was taking,” Deitzler says. “I want to be able to solve national and global problems of infectious diseases and other health epidemics.”

“It’s fulfilling to me because we’re working on issues that can apply to women around the world.”

Around the Puck

Google electromagnetic interference

A decade from now, your smartphone won’t look anything like it does today — at least on the inside.

[Read More...]

Lecture series brings chemistry grads full circle

James O. Stoffer wanted to give Missouri S&T students a chance to learn from eminent scholars and innovators in polymer chemistry and related areas. So last fall the Curators’ Distinguished Professor emeritus of chemistry established a lecture series to showcase his former students and inspire current ones.

[Read More...]

Fueling space flight

It started with a boyhood dream of becoming an astronaut fueled from watching the 1995 Hollywood portrayal of the ill‑fated Apollo 13 lunar mission.

[Read More...]

Record gift for EWB

From clean drinking water to flood control, Missouri S&T students participating in Engineers Without Borders (EWB) are changing lives in Central and South America.

[Read More...]

Million-dollar gift supports scholarships

Steve Wunning, ME’73, has established a $1 million scholarship endowment at Missouri S&T: the Steven H. and Lyneve C. Wunning Scholarship Fund.

[Read More...]