Nicole Waters, Jackson, MO.
By the time Nicole Waters’ mother had turned 40, the osteoarthritis in her hips was so advanced that she often could not walk without excruciating pain.
Witnessing that pain spurred Waters, of Jackson, Mo., to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biological engineering at Mizzou. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in pathobiology.
Waters is able to pay for her education and gain invaluable experience by working as a researcher for Cook at the MU Comparative Orthopaedics Laboratory. The salary she receives is paid for by an endowment established by Jane Gordon Cook and her family in support of arthritis research.
“I wanted to continue my education at Mizzou because of this incredible research community,” says Waters, “but I wouldn’t have been able to stay here without the fellowship.”
In the lab, Waters analyzes how joints from canine cadavers react to trauma. This may aid discovery of what types of medicines may prevent the disease that has caused her mom — and nearly 60 million other Americans — so much suffering.
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