Twenty-one years ago Josh Lukas (’12) almost lost his life, but thanks to a neonatologist at the Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, Lukas is now a healthy and active junior balancing studies in biology, chemistry and piano at Bethel College.

During a visit to Stanford Hospital last summer Lukas got to meet the doctor who saved his life and was able to participate in the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP). NRP is offered through the Center for Advanced Pediatric and Perinatal Education (CAPE), which is a simulation-based training facility for neonatal, pediatric, and obstetric health care professionals.  NRP trains individuals on newborn pathophysiology, technical skills like intubation and umbilical vessel catheterization, and behavioral skills like teamwork and effective communication.

“I was absolutely fascinated by the whole process,” says Lucas.

That’s why he’s dedicating next summer to medical research at Stanford University where he will be a part of a research team studying the catabolism of bilirubin in developing neonates. He also plans to intern with CAPE.

Although the medical field plays a large role in Lukas’ life, music has been a lifelong interest as well. He has played piano for more than 17 years and is pursuing a minor in Piano Performance. Lukas is also a part of the Concert Choir and The Collegians at Bethel.

“It is my goal to be multifaceted and to expand my many interests ranging from chemistry and biology to literature, choir and piano.”

It takes a disciplined student to balance these studies and that is what many of Lukas’ professors have seen in him. Assistant Professor of Biochemistry Lynne Carey, Ph.D. is one of those professors. Last summer Lukas, along with other Bethel students and Dr. Carey, participated in the Undergraduate Research Program, where they worked on breast cancer research. The team is preparing to publish the work and will be presenting  a poster on the research for the Butler University Undergraduate Research Conference in April.

“The professors in all departments know and understand my primary goal of going to medical school and continually encourage me, specifically tailoring their explanations and advice to help me so that I might achieve my goals,” says Lucas.

And this is part of the reason Lukas is glad he chose Bethel rather than the two other schools that recruited him. He says it had something to do with the small but mighty heart of the campus.

“The fact that Bethel is a small Christian school allows for a very strong community of students and professors. That is what I love most about Bethel.”

Want to know about Lukas’ near-death experience as an infant? Watch as he meets the doctor who saved him 21 years ago.