The MU Health System showcased hundreds of students’ year-long research Thursday at its annual Health Sciences Research Day.
Associate Dean for the MU School of Medicine Dr. Jerry C. Parker said the research day is one of his favorite days of the year because it showcases and honors medical students’ hard work.
“It takes a lot of energy and work and dedication to produce research findings, and just to see the creativity and excellent thought process that has gone into some of these student research projects is really exciting,” Parker said.
One of the students being honored was Lexi Ragsdale. Ragsdale is a senior at MU and is receiving the Dean’s Award from the School of Medicine for her research about the effects of a drug that has been shown to improve fluency and memory on individuals affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Ragsdale worked with two other graduate students and was assisted by a physician in the Department of Radiology. She said she hopes to spread the word to the community about autism through her research.
“I think autism is a disorder that is so common, and it allows the community to see that there are ways to improve the symptoms of autism,” Ragsdale said.
The event allowed roughly 125 students the ability to display their research. Dr. Parker estimates that nearly 1 in 88 children are now affected by some form of autism spectrum disorder.