Student Profile:
Sydney Sayler, Applied Biological Sciences

As a transfer student, the decision to come to SD Mines was easy. Moving from a large school where research opportunities weren’t available until junior year and she was just another number in classes topping 400, Sydney found an entirely different experience at Mines.

“I’ve been able to conduct research right away and interact with professors in rigorous classes that are 20-25 students at the most. My medical school interviewers were very excited I was a Mines student, saying we are taught at a higher level than most universities.”

Working alongside professors, Sydney has worked to find a therapeutic agent that could draw back the effects of Friedreich’s ataxia, a disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system similar to the effects of muscular dystrophy, and fingerprinted genes in waterways throughout South Dakota to find out where pathogenic bacteria and toxins are coming from.

“I’m doing extensive lab work and gaining incredible research experience. When you’re working with a human disease, this is the path people take in order to find out if someone has a genomic anomaly. These are the very tactics used in research in the medical field.”

That real-world experience extends to her clinical observation opportunities, as well. During her time at Mines, Sydney has shadowed a dermatologist, doctor of osteopathic medicine, an orthopedic surgeon and other medical professionals who have allowed her in the operating room to witness surgeries ranging from a double mastectomy to orthoscopic knee repairs.

With a passion for pediatrics, cardiology, and neurology, Sydney applied to medical schools last summer and is hoping to begin in the fall of 2016.