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Falconite on to med school

During Joshua Bowers’ senior year of high school at Evangelical Christian Academy in Colorado Springs, the Falcon native witnessed a major car accident. People involved had severe injuries.”Everyone pulled over because you couldn’t go anywhere. As soon as I got on the accident scene, there was a military medic who was helping until the paramedics came,” Bowers said.The medic pointed at Bowers and asked him to assist. “I worked right along with him,” he said. “That whole experience solidified that I wanted to take care of people and help them. From that point on I was 100 percent sure I wanted to go into medicine.”Bowers is now in his senior year at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, and is on his way to medical school this fall. He is working on his senior project and will graduate this spring with a degree in biology.As part of his undergraduate work, Bowers completed an internship with InnoVac, a Sioux Center biotechnology company.Bowers said he worked at the InnoVac lab 10 hours per week throughout the fall semester.”It was a great group of people to work with. I learned firsthand how research and development goes,” Bowers said.After years learning from textbooks, Bowers said he didn’t fully grasp the reality of science. “Working there gave me hands on experience with everything I’ve been learning about,” he said.”They allowed me to help with the idea process; they incorporated me right into the team. If I had any ideas, they’d listen.”Bowers worked with canine parvovirus, developing methods for creating antigens without the danger of mutation.Returning to the classroom, Bowers said the time he spent at InnoVac has helped put his education in perspective. “More than learning scientific facts and memorizing tables, I look at information now and incorporate the big picture,” he said. “I’m more creative in my learning and it has made learning more fun and more interesting.”Although the internship is over, Bowers said he is continuing the research he worked on at InnoVac.The canine parvovirus is extremely susceptible to mutation, he said. For his senior research project, Bowers said he is developing a protocol to detect any mutations during the creation of the vaccine to ensure its effectiveness.In addition to the research experience, Bowers said he had the opportunity to learn about the operations of a biotech company. “They are a new company, just getting their feet on the ground,” he said. “I was able to work not just with the research manager but also with the business manager and learn the business behind the company and more about developing your own biotech company.”Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Bowers is interested in business and working for himself. The medical school program at Kansas City University of Medicine and Bio Science, where Bowers will attend in the fall, offers an MBA alongside the medical degree.It’s an intense program but the MBA would help him manage a practice, he said. And keep the door open if he decides to go into hospital administration.In between his studies and preparation for med school, Bowers said he finds stress release playing baseball. He said he played infield for Dordt College while working on his biology degree.He follows the Colorado Rockies and enjoys watching the games when he comes home to Falcon in the summers. “I’m a huge fan of Clint Bar and Troy Tulinski,” he said.He also relies on friends to keep the balance between hard work and fun. “I’ve got a great group of friends that make it easy to relax and enjoy myself when I do have time off,” Bowers said.

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