Spring 2015 Newsletter | Biology | Marquette University




Marquette University, Honors B.S. 2008


Mitch Klement

Mitch Klement: MU 2008, Georgetown SOM 2012, pictured at Duke Orthopedic Surgery Resident Library

Choosing a college was the easy part.  I had just watched Dwayne Wade lead Marquette University to a Final Four the year before I started, and both my parents are MU alumni.  What I didn’t realize was how my experience in a Biological Sciences major would shape my career.


As a young boy growing up in rural, central Wisconsin, I learned the value of hard work and persistence.  I watched my father grow his dental practice and began to understand some of the practical applications of science along the way.  Upon arrival to Marquette, I was determined to pursue a career in the health sciences.


The popular “pre-med” major among my classmates was Biomedical Sciences in the College of Health Sciences. However, for me, the prospect of learning the study of life in a hands-on, lab-based environment by pursuing an experimental physiology degree in the Department of Biological Sciences was even more appealing.  This major would later give me a real understanding of translational and clinical research.


As a result of the close interaction with the faculty in my major, I was given the opportunity to become a research laboratory assistant under Dr. Dale Noel. Together, we studied the symbiosis between rhizobia bacteria and leguminous plants to carry out biologic nitrogen fixation.  This unique position and research topic often prompted people to ask me how the study of bacteria and plants would assist with a career in medicine. It was not the topic that contributed most to my learning, but the process of the research.  Under Dr. Noel’s guidance, I learned how to ask specific scientific questions, design targeted experiments to achieve my answers, and effectively and efficiently conduct those experiments on a self-directed schedule.  These same skills were further strengthened through my laboratory based classes. Furthermore, during my senior year we had the opportunity to collaborate with researchers from the University of Switzerland. We worked to identify the genes responsible for production of the flavanoid-induced rhamnam O-antigen portion of Rhizobium strain NGR234, which eventually led to publication in the peer-reviewed Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions Journal.


Mitch Klement

Photo from my sister’s Marquette Graduation outside of Bradley Center: Left to right: Ryan Klement (MU’ 2010), Mary Ellen Klement (MU’ 1980 ), Robert Klement (MU Dental 1981) Karli Klement (MU’ 2013), Adrienne Klement (wife), Mitch Klement (MU’ 2008)

I graduated from Marquette University in 2008 magna cum laude with an Honors Bachelor of Science degree and an emphasis in experimental physiology. I was lucky enough to continue my training under the Jesuit philosophy at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. It was here I met my future wife and best friend, Adrienne Belasco. We both graduated in the top of our class and were inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha medical Honors Society.

After medical school, we moved to Durham, North Carolina were I currently work and study as an orthopedic surgery resident physician at Duke University Hospital. My current research interests include the study of osteosarcoma, outcomes after total knee replacement, and complications of spine surgery. My current aspirations are to pursue a career in joint replacement surgery back home in the Midwest, where I can continue to cheer on Golden Eagles with family (i.e. fellow alumni).







Biological Sciences Department

Marquette University, Wehr Life Sciences
(Directions/campus map)
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
(414) 288-7355