Molecular Biology Major Justin Taft '13 is the most recent Kenyon graduate to receive a Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award (Postbac IRTA) from the National Institutes of Health. He will conduct research on the immune response to HIV in the lab of Dr. John Mascola in the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.
The Postbac IRTA provides recent college graduates who are planning to apply to graduate or professional (medical/dental/pharmacy) school an opportunity to spend one or two years performing full-time research at the NIH. Kenyon students are regularly admitted to this highly selective program, which typically accepts fewer than ten percent of all applicants.
At Kenyon, Justin worked in the Biology Department with Prof. Wade Powell. In March 2013, he won the Council for Undergraduate Research Biology Travel Award to attend the Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology in San Antonio, TX and present his poster entitled Co-exposure to Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor and Thyroid Receptor Agonists Enhances Induction of Responsive Genes in Cultured Frog Cells and Prometamorphic Frogs.