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Communications and Marketing

Experience reaps research job—before graduation

With a job lined up as a research assistant at a major university before he graduated, James Haney ’17 will spend his summer backpacking West Coast trails and considering his next move—medical school or becoming a college professor.

“Right now I’m leaning toward medical school and maybe becoming a pediatrician,” the biology and chemistry double-major said. “But that’s what I’ll take the next year or two to figure out.”

Haney will begin working as a research assistant at University of Illinois at Chicago on August 1 studying the same potassium channel he has researched at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) through a partnership with Lake Forest College

“The channel, called SLO-1, is the same channel I did my senior thesis on,” Haney said. He first began studying at RFUMS the summer after his sophomore year. Haney continued as an RFUMS-LFC Summer Research Fellow after his junior year and worked in the medical school lab during his senior year. He even co-authored a paper on the research, which was recently published in eLIFE.

Having hands-on lab experience and publishing research in respected publications are key to building a future in science. “The position I have at UIC I got because of my research experience at Lake Forest College,” Haney said.  

As a high school senior at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, Haney chose Lake Forest College because of its strong science program, liberal arts setting, and men’s swimming program. Just one year into his studies—as a Richter Scholar the summer after his freshman year—Haney conducted experiments on body proportion, malnutrition, and growth with Associate Professor of Biology Alex Shingleton.

His experiences at Lake Forest College helped Haney pinpoint his future. “While doing my research at Lake Forest College, I realized I have a passion for science,” he said.