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Many students and graduates of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, have been working to help victims or frontline helpers in the fight against the coronavirus.
Payton Murphy will be fighting the virus itself.
A biology major from Kearney, Neb., who graduates this May, Murphy will be working for CoreMedica in Lees Summit, Mo., in the Kansas City area starting in June.
“At CoreMedica I will be screening blood samples sent in looking for exposure to the virus. Running an antibody test on these samples will be useful for the detection of individuals who may have developed immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” Payton said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control “SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was isolated in the laboratory and is available for research by the scientific and medical community.”
Murphy’s commencement ceremony would have been on Saturday, May 16, but was canceled due to the coronavirus. That day she joined a group of students praying a national rosary led by Benedictine President Stephen D. Minnis at Mary’s Grotto on campus, instead. See the Rosary, hosted by Ascension Press, here.
President Minnis said Murphy is an exceptional student. “I told her I give her two weeks to find the bathrooms and invent a cure,” he joked.
Murphy’s goals are more modest.
“This antibody test is also especially helpful for tracking the spread of the virus as it identifies asymptomatic carriers,” she said
At Benedictine College, Murphy was immersed in every aspect of the college mission of community, faith and scholarship. She participated in intramural athletics, a Bible study with FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students which was founded at Benedictine), worked on undergraduate research, and was a member of the Pre-Med and Biology clubs. Murphy is grateful for the help she received from Benedictine College biology professor Martha Carletti for the CoreMedica opportunity.
“Dr. Carletti has always been extremely helpful in sending job postings to the biology and pre-med students,” Murphy said. “She sent a link to the application out one day while we were doing virtual learning and I applied for it and heard back immediately about doing an interview and coming in to see the lab.”
CoreMedica was founded in 2010 with locations in Lee’s Summit, Mo., and Geneva, Switzerland. The companys centralized lab operations has helped it become an industry leader in quick and accurate testing.
“My time at Benedictine and especially my time in the biology department has encouraged me to pursue not only a career in the science field but to pursue a career that will benefit the greater good,” Murphy said.
Lab image courtesy CoreMedica, Facebook.