Keiser University Port St. Lucie campus students Margaret Mellons and Dimaurio Stovall recently studied the efficacy of Bergamot and Frankincense oils on Henrietta Lacks (HeLa) cancer cells.
The Biomedical Science learners then presented their findings to an audience of faculty, staff, and students with Mellons sharing that her experiment revealed that a 0.05% concentration of the Bergamot oil was able to strongly suppress the cancer cells while not appearing to hamper the kidney cells. Stovall then reported that 0.5% concentration of the Frankincense oil killed the kidney cells, and it also suppressed the cancer cells.
Led under the supervision of Biomedical Sciences Program Director Dr. Michael Weir and supervised by Biology Professors Dr. Bill Persons and Dr. Troy Scott, the experiment was conducted as an undergraduate research lesson.
Titled to honor the memory of Henrietta Lacks who had a sample of cells tested while undergoing cervical cancer treatment, the HeLa cell line serves as a valuable tool to study the effects of toxins, drugs, hormones, and viruses on the growth of cancer cells without experimenting on humans. They have been used to test the effects of radiation and poisons, to study the human genome, to learn more about how viruses work and they have played a crucial role in the development of the polio vaccine.
The Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences program prepares students for entry into health sciences and analytical/research laboratories. Graduates possess the skills to perform in a variety of science-related positions in health departments, zoos, clinical and environmental chemistry, pharmaceutics, and laboratories. Graduates of the program will have completed the prerequisites necessary to be successful in graduate programs in the sciences as well as a multitude of professional programs such as occupational and physical therapy, dentistry, pharmacy, physician, and physician assistant programs. However, a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences can also be a program for individuals who wish to work in laboratory settings and other occupations.
Keiser University is a private, independent, non-profit university serving nearly 20,000 students at 21 Florida campuses, online, and two international sites. Co-founded in 1977 by Chancellor Arthur Keiser, Ph.D., and Evelyn Keiser, Keiser University currently offers more than 100 degrees from associates to the doctoral level. Keiser University is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and was ranked No. 11 in the U.S. in Social Mobility by U.S. News and World Reports in 2021. Keiser University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.