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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
October 18, 2004
Volume 40, Number 3

Student Research
Outside the Box > > Chris Engdahl

Is appendicitis history? Senior seeks answer
By Karen Wentworth

Prof. Jake Spidle and Chris Engdahl, right.

Chris Engdahl, a senior majoring in history and biology, is among an increasing number of undergraduates who are combining their interests to cut their own research path.

Engdahl is working with Associate Professor of History Jake Spidle on an Honors’ undergraduate research paper. He has spent the past two semesters digging through historic medical records of countries across the globe, searching for answers as to whether appendicitis is on the decline internationally.

Engdahl got interested in the question when Spidle, an active researcher in the history of medicine, posed it as a possible topic for student research. Since Engdahl is interested in applying for medical school, the topic ignited his imagination.

He is writing furiously these days, and will present his paper at UNM’s first annual Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium in November.

Engdahl thinks there are several possible reasons that the number of reported cases of appendicitis steadily declined since the 1930s, and he will spell out his theories at the symposium.

As for his paper, it will be completed this semester, and with any luck he and his professor will have it published in a medical journal.