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Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

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Shackelton awarded Rhodes Scholarship

Laura Shackelton, a senior majoring in molecular biology, has been awarded a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship , which provides funding for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England.

Shackelton, who is from Reno, Nev., has done research in neurovirology and plans to pursue a master's degree in genetics and virology at Oxford. In addition to her biology degree, she is a certificate candidate in Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

"Believing that someday I might have the opportunity to share my knowledge -- to help others understand the dynamic microbial world -- is my inspiration," Shackelton said.

Shackelton also won a Marshall Scholarship, but turned it down to accept the Rhodes.

"Laura's senior thesis project focuses on uncovering the function of a highly conserved, but poorly characterized herpesvirus gene. This project would challenge most graduate students, but Laura has not been intimidated," said Lynn Enquist, professor of molecular biology and Shackelton's thesis advisor. "Recently, she presented her preliminary findings at our weekly laboratory meeting and handled the probing questions from my graduate students and postdoctoral fellows like a veteran."

Shackelton is a two-time winner of Princeton's Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence. She is a captain of Princeton's varsity cross country team and was a 2001 delegate at the Washington Institute for Health Policy. Shackelton also writes science articles for various publications. She has served as a volunteer in a hospital.

Shackelton is one of 32 American students chosen as 2003 Rhodes Scholars from 981 applicants in a nationwide competition. Recipients were chosen on the basis of high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and physical vigor. The awards were created in 1902 by British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes.

Contact: Lauren Robinson-Brown (609) 258-3601

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