Alumni awarded competitive international scholarships for immunology studies

Taylor Farley graduated with a degree in microbiology in 2015
Taylor Farley

Two graduates from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences were among nine students selected for the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program (OxCam) award in 2018.

Taylor Farley, who graduated with a degree in microbiology in 2015, and John Shannon, who graduated with honors in biomedical sciences in 2016, will now be able to complete an individualized and accelerated research-based doctorate program as National Institutes of Health (NIH) Oxford Scholars.

Now in its 15th year, the OxCam program seeks students of the highest academic caliber. Today, over 100 promising young scientists are in the program working on cutting-edge biomedical research. Students spend half of the intensive program at NIH and the other half at either the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge.

John Shannon graduated with honors in biomedical sciences in 2016.
John Shannon

“This award is a dream come true,” said John Shannon. His goal for the OxCam program is to better understand how the immune system clears viral infections in order to help improve vaccines. Shannon then hopes to attend medical school and to pursue a career as a pediatric infectious disease physician. “Ultimately, I want an academic career focused on viral immunology where I can translate findings from the lab to impact patients.”

Farley was inspired to pursue a research career while volunteering at a veterinary hospital in high school, where she quickly realized that she was more interested in conducting diagnostic tests than in being a veterinarian. Farley is now fascinated by the field of microbiome research and plans to use the scholarship to study various immune responses to the microbiome.

“The college is very proud that two of the nine 2018 NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars are graduates of our undergraduate programs,” said Sandra Quackenbush, associate dean of academic and student affairs for the college and a professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology. “This speaks very highly of our educational programs, research environment and the faculty mentors who were instrumental in Taylor and John’s success.”

Students interested in applying for the OxCam scholarship may contact Mary Swanson, CSU’s associate director for the Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry and the Office for Scholarship and Fellowship Advising