Students chemically bond hard work with education into degree

Josh Dean

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Offered in only three schools throughout Louisiana, a Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) degree prepares students on how to perform the full range of laboratory tests from routine to the most complex. 

Students in MLS train to become professionals in the five major areas of the laboratory including immunohematology, chemistry, hematology, immunology and microbiology. 

A medical laboratory scientist has the skills to work in all five areas of the lab but can choose to specialize in a specific department.

Jessica Lasiter, assistant professor of school of health professions, said learning about the human body interests her. 

“What got me interested in the major was learning more about the body and the how illnesses affect us,” said Lasiter. “The major is one that appeals to those who are science loving, challenge seeking, and have a passion for solving riddles. It is for those who are interested in the study of the body.”

Beth Hughes, a junior MLS major, said MLS wasn’t her first choice.

“I knew I wanted to be in the medical field but I wasn’t sure what. After talking with the professors of the MLS program, I knew it was the right fit,” Hughes said.

Students spend two years in the pre-Medical Laboratory Science program (PMLS) to gain a solid understanding of the basic sciences before beginning with the professional program. 

In the PMLS program, students are introduced to courses in chemistry and biology to help them gain a better grasp on the structures within the body and their functions.