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Prairie du Sac resident Paige Pistono will spend her summer investigating heart disease after receiving an undergraduate summer research award from the UW-Madison Department of Biochemistry.

Pistono, a 2015 graduate of Sauk Prairie High School, is pursuing a double-major in biochemistry and Spanish at UW-Madison.

The award will provide Pistono with a stipend to work in a faculty lab over the summer so she won’t have to work a second job to pay for living expenses. The funds awarded to recipients provide an opportunity for students to get full-time experience working in a lab setting conducting research.

“My project is confusing to explain, but essentially I am looking into the molecular mechanism behind heart disease,” Pistono said. “I’ll be working with a mentor to extract and separate heart proteins from tissue before analyzing them. I will compare healthy and diseased tissues to see what the differences are. It’s very interesting but it took a lot of reading to get a good grip on the subject.”

Pistono said while the project was assigned, her role is to come up with her own ideas to tweak the process and determine what the best way to get it done is.

Although the junior said her studies keep her busy, Pistono said she also enjoys being with friends, running and intermural volleyball.

“I like to stay busy,” Pistono said. “I know I want to go to grad school but I am still trying to figure things out. I’ve been looking into PhD programs but also pharmacy school. I’d like to do research full time and volunteer in a pharmacy.”

Pistono is the daughter of Scott and Mary Pistono of Prairie du Sac.

Follow Autumn Luedke on Twitter @Apwriter1 or contact at (608) 393-5777

Reporter, Sauk Prairie Eagle