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  • Dixie Regional and DSU offer two students rare internship opportunity
    by kcsg.com news
    Published - 04/19/14 - 08:31 AM | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Ashton Basile and Brian Caldwell are the first Dixie State University students selected to participate in a unique summer internship doing cancer genomics at Stanford University.
    Ashton Basile and Brian Caldwell are the first Dixie State University students selected to participate in a unique summer internship doing cancer genomics at Stanford University.
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    (ST. GEORGE, Utah) - Dixie Regional Medical Center and Dixie State University are combining forces to offer biology students, Ashton Basile and Brian Caldwell, a singular opportunity. Basile and Caldwell were selected from a highly competitive field of DSU students for a summer internship at Stanford University, specifically doing cancer genomics research.

    The once-in-lifetime opportunity was facilitated by Dr. Lincoln Nadauld, a leading cancer researcher with ties to Stanford as an instructor and researcher, who currently practices with Dixie Regional. He also is the son of DSU president, Dr. Stephen Nadauld. “This opportunity was the result of personal relationships and collaboration from every side,” said Dr. Lincoln Nadauld. “I think all parties involved quickly recognized the value of what this opportunity would afford these two deserving students. There are very few people in the country or world who get to participate in leading cancer research, let alone as an undergraduate student.”

    Dr. Carole Grady, DSU Dean of Health Sciences, said the hands-on aspect of the internship will stretch these students in ways that will shape the rest of their academic and professional careers. “These students will be immersed in research with scientist who have worldwide reputations,” she explained. “More then just learning the material in their text books, they will develop the skills to read and analyze scientific literature far beyond their normal course of studies.”

    She stressed that this internship redefines higher learning by affording opportunities not found anywhere else. “It gives them a sense of possibility for their futures and for the future of medicine. They build relationships and establish inroads with leaders in their field. Who knows where this potential can lead?”

    President Stephen Nadauld said, “It elevates the opportunities available at Dixie -- both the university and the hospital. Dixie Regional has partnered with us for many years and across many programs. This is just another example of that cooperation for the betterment of this community.”

    For Dixie Regional promoting health occupations education locally is a long-term investment that will pay dividends when highly skilled and specialized professionals stay in southern Utah or return after further education to the place where their success originated.

    “Having a physician like Dr. Nadauld and these types of high science cancer treatment services in a community our size is highly unusual,” said Gary Stone, Region Operations Officer for Intermountain Healthcare’s Southwest Region. In fact, Dixie is the first hospital nationwide to offer an in-house cancer genomics treatment. “We want to support the brightest students and prepare them to become acquainted with these high-tech medical fields. Our hope is that they return to our community, but regardless, it will have major implications for healthcare and advancing treatment as a whole.”

    For both Basile and Caldwell, the idea of pursuing their MD, Phd and then returning to southern Utah to practice their craft is the ideal scenario. “I graduated from the Success Academy on Dixie’s campus and didn’t consider applying anywhere else to finish my undergraduate degree,” said Basile. “I like the idea of furthering Dixie and having a university in my hometown. Let’s keep the smart kids here. This community has been really good to me, and eventually it’s my goal to return to live and practice here.”

    Among some of the first outsiders among the 241 students who have previously been awarded a spot in the research program, Basile said he feels a “certain pressure to make sure we leave a good impression” and represent well. “Personally, this is right up my alley. It gives me the first real-life taste of what I want to pursue.”

    Like his classmate, Caldwell had high praise for his experience and preparation at Dixie. He also shared feelings of excitement and a determination to succeed. “I’ve worked hard in all my courses, and I feel very prepared. I’m looking forward to trying things out at the next level.”

    Caldwell acknowledged that it’s going to be challenging, but the thrill of being exposed to top-of-the-line technology at a remarkable school, far outweighs the nervous butterflies. “I love everything about research. I love everything about being in a lab. I look forward to seeing what I’m made of.”

    Dr. Nadauld concluded that the team from Dixie Regional and DSU anticipate this internship becoming an annual event. “This experience will alter the course of these young men’s own research, and career paths, and it will ripple back into this community. I have every confidence that they will make the most of this opportunity.”

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