W&J Junior Embarks on Research Project to Improve Diabetes Treatment

Created: January 29, 2016  |  Last Updated: August 6, 2020  |  Category:   |  Tagged:

WASHINGTON, PA (Jan. 29, 2016) — A Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) student’s research is contributing to improved treatment of Type I Diabetes.

Joseph Goltz ‘17, a cellular and molecular biology major from Sewickley, Pa. spent the summer of 2015 in Rochester, Minn. in an internship at the Mayo Clinic’s Endocrinology Research Unit, using his experience to study diabetes and insulin pump therapy.

Goltz and his team worked on multiple projects, including a study that helped determine the safety and efficiency of the DiAs closed-loop system in the outpatient setting. This helped to improve the closed-loop therapy treatment for Type 1 diabetes by using an algorithm to help design a pump that can better monitor the amount of insulin needed in a diabetic person’s body.

This is one of the first closed-loop studies that allows participants to use the system in their normal home environment because the algorithm used to control the pump can be stored on a cell phone called the Google Nexus phone. While this research is at the beginning stages, Goltz is very excited to see where it goes in the future.

“It’s just so inspiring because I have met patients before and seen how they struggled with their diabetes,” Goltz said. “To know that one day this is going to benefit them, there is nothing greater than that.”

Goltz’s participation in this research project was made possible by the J. Robert Maxwell ’43 Student Internship Endowment, an award Goltz received earlier this year.

The J. Robert Maxwell’43 Student Internship Endowment is a prestigious scholarship opportunity annually awarded to W&J sophomore and junior students who can demonstrate financial need in completing off-campus internship experiences. Goltz is one of 10 W&J students to receive the award in 2015.

Tyler Tenney, Coordinator of Co-curricular Innovation at W&J, explained how it is opportunities like these that set W&J students apart.

“Being a President does not end after one receives their diploma from W&J College, and this is a quality of character and dedication on which the College prides itself,” said Tenney. “Mr. Maxwell’s spirit and memory lives on through this endowment by financially supporting Maxwell Scholars in their academic and professional endeavors.”

On campus, Goltz is a member of the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS), the Pre-Health Professions Society, and the Newman Club. After graduation, he plans to attend medical school and become an endocrinologist.

“I would like to thank the Maxwell family, Dr. Yogish Kudva, my mentor at the Mayo Clinic; Dr. Deborah Polvani, who wrote my letter of recommendation; Dr. Candy DeBerry, W&J’s off-campus science research coordinator; Dr. Kelly Weixel, my advisor; Tyler Tenney, and of course my parents,” said Goltz.


About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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