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The blood thinner heparin is used in dozens of medical procedures including kidney dialysis bypass surgery stent implantation knee and hip replacements and more. It is commonly produced from the intestines of foreign livestock and this leaves the supply chain open to safety issues like a 2008 tragedy in which more than 80 people died from contaminated batches of the drug. Robert Linhardt the Ann and John H. Broadbent Jr. 59 Senior Constellation Professor of Biocatalysis and Metabolic Engineering was on the international team that identified the contaminant in adulterated heparin. When we rely on animals we open ourselves up for spreading viruses and prion diseases like mad cow disease through the use of these heparins said Linhardt who made the pursuit of safer alternatives a driving force in his labs. From creating synthetic heparin to sequencing the first complete complex carbohydrate biopolymer Linhardts lab is pushing a broad swath of research on bioactive carbohydrates. In the bustle of dozens of visiting scholars post-doctoral fellows graduate students and undergraduates Katie Linkens 14 found herself welcomed and put to good use. RPI makes research so accessible for undergrads. Most chemistry professors will find a place for you in their lab if they have the room and most of the chemistry majors in my class are currently active in a lab said Linkens. She helped develop a new technique for using ion exchange chromatography to separate heparin produced by cells into its three component derivatives pure heparin heparin sulfate and heparosin. The procedure could be used to purify naturally occurring heparin. Linkens is a co-author of the research which appeared in Analytical Biochemistry an exceptional achievement for an undergraduate. Life-Saving Solutions KATIE LINKENS 14 a driving force in his labs.a driving force in his labs.a driving force in his labs.a driving force in his labs. From creating syntheticFrom creating syntheticFrom creating syntheticFrom creating synthetic heparin to sequencing theheparin to sequencing theheparin to sequencing theheparin to sequencing the first complete complexfirst complete complexfirst complete complexfirst complete complex will find a place for you inwill find a place for you in their lab if they have thetheir lab if they have thetheir lab if they have thetheir lab if they have the room and most of theroom and most of the chemistry majorschemistry majors in my class arein my class are inin Analytical BiochemistryAnalytical BiochemistryAnalytical BiochemistryAnalytical BiochemistryAnalytical BiochemistryAnalytical Biochemistry an exceptional achievementan exceptional achievementan exceptional achievementan exceptional achievement for an undergraduate.for an undergraduate. inventing solutions 33