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Alumna’s Science Research Continues to Help LMU Students


Morgan Henry may have graduated from Loyola Marymount University in May 2007, but her contributions to the university’s health researchers will flourish for years. Henry helped revise the Rapid Assessment Method, a questionnaire used to measure calcium intake in college students.

“Information obtained from RAM is crucial to research on bone health as it allows researchers to accurately, reliably, and quickly assess dietary intake of nutrients important for bone health,” Henry said.

During her junior year, Henry teamed up with Hawley Almstedt, assistant professor of natural science, who was revising the RAM design. Almstedt noticed that the questionnaire lacked a complete assessment of dietary supplements use, which can contain a large amount of calcium intake. Henry helped revise the questionnaire to include the necessary information to provide more precise research.

Henry graduated with a double major in biology and natural science and a double-emphasis in pre-med and pre-physical therapy. Upon graduation, she assisted in various research projects with Almstedt, and also with Dr. Michael Joseph and Dr. Calvin Lowe from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, as well as working for an internist in Century City. In the fall 2008, she started the Primary Care Physician Assistant Program at USC’s Keck School of Medicine.

“One of the many benefits of being a physician assistant is that I have the opportunity to specialize in multiple areas of medicine, as opposed to an M.D. program or a nurse practitioner program where a residency dictates your chosen field of practice,” Henry said. “I also want to have the opportunity to continue conducting clinical research because it plays a vital role in the development and prosperity of the science  fields.”

Henry hopes to volunteer for Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, for an organization that helps repair cleft lip and palate in children, and for Doctors without Borders.

Posted Aug. 24, 2009