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Class of 2013 Grad Jake Ulrich: Making the World Healthier Through Chemistry

Class of 2013 Grad Jake Ulrich: Making the World Healthier Through Chemistry  thumbnail183217

Jake Ulrich, a West Islip High School alumnus from the Class of 2013 and co-founder of the district’s Relay for Life event, is currently a graduate student at Duke University in North Carolina, where he is pursuing a doctorate in the civil and environmental engineering department on the environmental health engineering track.

Ulrich utilizes analytical chemistry techniques to study organic contaminants in water systems, and is currently focused on the chemical contaminant profile of drinking water wells in rural Sri Lanka. His interest in the correlation between human health and chemistry research began when he was earning his undergraduate degree at Union College and learned about a possible link between kidney cancer rates in a town close to his campus and chemical contamination in the town’s water supply. Now Ulrich is conducting research for his dissertation on whether contaminated well water might be the cause for a mysterious kidney illness, chronic kidney disease or CKD, that has been affecting farmers in rural Sri Lanka for decades.