Logo for University of Iowa Health Care This logo represents the University of Iowa Health Care

Meet Laura Stephens

Laura Stephens, photo
Date: Monday, March 2, 2020

Name of graduate program: Interdisciplinary graduate program (Immunology)

Undergraduate institution: Oregon State University

Hometown: Portland, OR

Why did you choose the University of Iowa to pursue your graduate degree?

I chose the University of Iowa because of the people and the collaborations that go on all the time around campus. There were so many amazing PI’s that I met during my interview weekend and I was excited to learn that I could work with many of them throughout my graduate work. I am excited that many of my projects focus on these collaborations.

What type of research are you performing?

I am researching respiratory syncytial virus and the interactions between the virus and T cells. My project focuses on testing a novel nanoparticle vaccine platform to prevent respiratory syncytial virus infection.

What do you hope to do after you earn your degree?

After I complete my degree, I hope to continue performing research in an industry setting, working for a pharmaceutical or biotech company.

What is something that surprised you about the University of Iowa or your graduate program?

I was surprised by how many activities and festivals are put on by the University of Iowa and Iowa City. During the summer there is some kind of festival/sponsored activity happening almost every weekend and they are so fun!

What is your favorite part about being a graduate student?

My favorite part about being a graduate student is the people in my program. Everyone is friendly and we love to do things outside of work together, whether it’s a murder mystery dinner party or renting a pontoon boat on lake coralville. I have gained so many amazing friends from this experience.