Student Spotlight: Kiefer Starks, OMS-I

Kiefer Starks, OMS-I

Kiefer Starks, OMS-I

First-year ICOM student, Kiefer Starks, contributed to recently-published research on the influence of sex on the development of high-fat diet-induced metabolic syndrome.

The study, published in the Cell & Tissue Research Journal, is available to read at the following link: 

Q: What does this research entail?

A: Essentially what the article is looking at are the effects that high-fat diet-induced type two diabetes has on the nervous system of the gut, and whether or not those effects can be reversible; whether or not they’re different between male and female mice; and how long it takes for those effects to occur between the sexes.

Q: How does it feel to be published?

A: It feels so good. For the team to come together and discover something that is going to contribute to the medical knowledge of the world — it’ll hopefully be applicable to humans — that’s really awesome.

Q: Do you plan on pursuing research projects at ICOM?

A: I’m looking forward to applying the principles I learned during my undergraduate neuroscience research to my research projects at ICOM. I’ll be working with Dr. Andrea Belovich in looking at the opiate receptor. At an osteopathic medical school, our primary purpose is to look for ways to heal the body without using medications, including opiates; so I’m looking forward to applying the knowledge I gained at the University of Idaho and building on it as I become an osteopathic physician.