Jared Heller

W&J senior works with prominent pain medicine specialist on spinal research 

Created: February 24, 2021  |  Last Updated: October 4, 2021  |  Category:   |  Tagged: , , , ,

WASHINGTON, PA (Feb. 24, 2021)—You could say Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) is in Jared Heller’s DNA.  

The senior neuroscience major is the son of two W&J alumniand the brother of 2018 grad Ethan. The W&J experience has been a part of Jared’s life from the very beginning, but it’s the relationships he’s formed here with faculty and through W&J’s unique out-of-classroom programs that have allowed him to curate a custom educational experience to prepare him for his next steps. 

Throughout his time as a W&J student, Jared has traveled around the world completing Magellan Projects with a non-profit medical clinic in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and studying how cultural diet norms affected the health of citizens in countries across Europe—including Iceland, France, England, Croatia and the Czech Republic.  

During summer 2020 with funding from the Maxwell Internship Award, Jared worked alongside pain medicine specialist Dr. David Provenzano to study how spinal cord stimulation could be used in treating intractable lower back pain. Together, Jared and Dr. Provenzano wrote multiple articles on their findings that they’ve submitted for publication. Most recently, their work was published in the Journal of Pain Research. 

“Dr. P is a leader in his field, and I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor during this past summer as I began writing my manuscript,” Jared said. “Along the way, Dr. P and I decided to take on a couple of other projects as well. We wrote a case report on a novel spondylodiscitis case (infection of the spinal disc) and submitted it for publication. We also submitted an abstract of this case report manuscript for presentation at the 2020 ASRA Pain Medicine Conference in which we were selected to present a poster.” 

The experience helped Jared hone his researching and writing skills, which he will carry with him as he continues his work in the field of clinical research, taking some time before his next educational step to medical school to work with Dr. Provenzano to conduct research to find more efficacious treatment options for people who are suffering from chronic pain.  

“The liberal arts education at W&J has given me a worldly view, taught me how to write in a clear and concise manner, and taught me the basics of scientific thinking,” Jared said. “In combination these skills can be used to excel in the field of medicine and clinical research. 

  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.