UALR Donaghey Scholar Ryne Ramaker of Bentonville, a biology and chemistry double major, was recognized with an Honorable Mention for his research on a treatment for a form of liver cancer.
“The therapy consists of a series of finely tuned, cancer-specific electromagnetic fields administered in an entirely non-toxic and non-invasive manner,” he said in his application for a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation award.
His work as an intern for Dr. Boris Pasche, director of cancer research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, involved uncovering the mechanism of action of this new treatment before Phase III clinical trials were conducted.
“I specifically worked with hepatocellular carcinoma, a form of liver cancer prevalent in areas of the world such as South America and Africa, which are in dire need of an inexpensive treatment which can be easily disseminated,” Raymaker said.
Currently, Ramaker is finishing his senior year and pursuing a Marshall Scholarship.
Last spring, he launched a research project aimed at developing an efficient method for determining antioxidant properties of tomato varieties.
His work with Dr. Stephen C. Grace, associate professor of biology — “Evaluation of antioxidant phytonutrient composition in tomato varieties of commercial importance to Arkansas” — was funded by a grant of the Arkansas Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship.
The goal of the project is to develop a rapid and efficient method for determining metabolite concentrations and antioxidant properties of important tomato varieties. He has also received funding from UALR’s Graduate School to support his research.
A 2008 graduate of Bentonville High School, Ramaker is a senior biology-chemistry double major. He is a member of the University Science Scholars Program as well as the Donaghey Scholars Program.