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Clinical Laboratory Science student chosen for Summer Lab Science internship at Mayo Clinic

BIG RAPIDS - Gene LaFleche of Alpena, a senior majoring in Medical Laboratory Science, was chosen to participate in the Summer Laboratory Science program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. This highly competitive program offers students who have completed their junior year in college the opportunity to gain experience in the clinical laboratory environment. LaFleche will work with laboratory scientists and professionals in the Renal Laboratory.

The Renal Laboratory performs renal function testing and urinalysis. This high-volume lab provides testing for two hospitals, Mayo Clinic outpatients, Mayo Medical Laboratories and Clinical Trial patients. The Renal Lab averages about 10,000 urinalyses and 5,000 gram stains per month. Other tests include capillary electrophoresis, HPLC and wet chemistries. The Renal Lab provides testing for research and is actively developing new tests for renal function assessment.

The Summer Laboratory Science program is an opportunity for students to gain insight and experience in the clinical laboratory, said Barbara Ross, assistant professor, Clinical Lab Science. A patient's diagnosis, treatment and health may be directly dependent upon the results of laboratory testing. Clinical laboratory scientists are part of an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals dedicated to diagnosing and treating disease. In the laboratory, scientists work with blood, tissue and body fluid specimens. They perform tests from the simple to the complex, using manual methods and state-of-the-art instrumentations, and are responsible for the accuracy of the results they generate.

LaFleche is the first Ferris student to apply for this highly competitive internship program. His responsibilities at the laboratory will include specimen extraction and preparation, test/assay/instrument validation and instrument preparation. Patient specimens include urine, blood, bone marrow and other tissues.

The Clinical Laboratory Science programs at Ferris State University include a certificate program in Phlebotomy, an A.A.S. degree in Medical Laboratory Technology and a B.S. degree in Medical Laboratory Science. Clinical laboratory scientists perform, assess and develop the laboratory testing on which physicians base about 70 percent of their diagnostic decisions. Because of the rapid growth of clinical laboratory testing, it is estimated that there will be about 14,000 job openings per year in the United States, with about 4,500 graduates per year. Ferris State University has one of the largest CLS programs in Michigan.