Summer research

October 19, 2010 —

Our students work both in and out of the classroom to become the best doctors they can be. Kyra Hammonds, a second-year doctor of podiatric medicine student, shares her experience doing research at Des Moines University:

The DMU Summer Research Program is an excellent opportunity for students to explore their talents in the research world. Not only do you learn a ton, but you also either get paid, or a select few receive scholarships!

This summer, Dave Rettedal D.P.M. ’13 and I began the Lisfranc Project, that had originally been started by Dr. Vardaxis and Nathan Graves D.P.M. ’12. During my participation with the project, I worked hand in hand with the Kay Cortade the director of sponsored programs in getting two grants submitted and ultimately accepted! I have never done anything like this before, so learning the process involved with writing a grant was most beneficial. I also learned the importance of an institutional review board (IRB); no IRB, no project.

During our project, I received hands-on experience using an ultrasound machine. During our lab meetings every Friday we would take turns giving presentations on our specific topics. This was very nerve racking, but was priceless in preparing us for speaking in front of people regarding our research, which some of us would ultimately have to do.

The summer flew by, and towards the end of summer DMU hosted a closing event for the program. Here, all students participating in the program displayed posters of what they had accomplished during the summer. The students who received scholarships gave oral presentations.

If you have any interest in research and think it might be for you, start thinking about what kind of research you would like to do. Don’t be afraid to go and talk to those professors or faculty who you may have an interest in doing research with. I suggest doing research that you are genuinely interested in. If you prefer the microbiology aspect of podiatric medicine, talk to your favorite microbiology professor! They are always thrilled to see that students are interested in the same subject that they are and will be quite helpful in obtaining a spot in the program. Dr. Vassilios Vardaxis is the director of research for CPMS and is a valuable resource for any questions you may have regarding summer research.

Learn more about the research going on at DMU and opportunities for students in high school, undergrad and grad school to get involved.


Andrea Cooley gets paid to post on Facebook and Twitter (among other things) to promote Des Moines University to prospective students. She is a Midwest girl at heart, but loves to travel around the country visiting friends and family. If Des Moines had mountains or an ocean she’d never leave. Before joining the DMU marketing team, she was an editor for Country Home magazine. She’s still a little obsessed with magazines, so if you want to talk about decorating, remodeling or gardening projects she’s your go-to girl.