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Biochemistry Student from Reading, Pa. Receives Fulbright Fellowship to Austria

(Posted April 8, 2013)

Erin McClure, shown here at her internship at Harvard University, will study at the University of Vienna in Austria.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Erin McClure, a senior studying biochemistry at Juniata College from Reading, Pa., has been granted a Fulbright Fellowship to join a research team at the University of Vienna in Vienna, Austria for the 2013-2014 academic year by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

McClure, the daughter of Glenn and Lori McClure, of Reading, will work in the laboratory of Alexander Loy, a researcher at the University of Vienna working on inflammatory bowel disease and studying how bacteria interact in the small intestine.

She is a 2009 graduate of Exeter Township Senior High School.

The Fulbright Fellowship follows on the heels of McClure's previous study-abroad experience. In 2011, she received the DAAD Undergraduate Scholarship for study abroad in Germany and spent the 2011-2012 academic year studying at Philipps University in Marburg, Germany. The DAAD scholarship is for qualified undergraduate students to fund research, internships, and study in Germany. DAAD is a German national agency aiming to bring together U.S., Canadian and German Universities, professors and students, to provide fellowships and programs for students from the United States and Canada and to promote Germany's academic, scientific and cultural accomplishments. She also took part in a summer program at Kapito Sprachschule in Muenster, Germany in 2010.

After completing her Fulbright Fellowship, McClure will enter the doctoral program in microbiology and immunology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

"Juniata has been integral in developing my capacity to think critically and the professors all instilled in me a mindset that made me believe that research is a goal I could accomplish."
Erin McClure, senior, Reading, Pa.

McClure has gained extensive research experience while attending Juniata. In summer 2011, she was a biomedical research intern at Brigham & Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass., working in the laboratory of Dr. Gregory Stahl, a 1984 Juniata graduate. She received an Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship from the American Physiological Society to help fund her internship with Dr. Stahl.

This year, McClure worked on a research project, also focused on microbial communities in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, in the lab of Regina Lamendella, assistant professor of biology at Juniata. In addition, she also traveled to two conferences to present her research. In April 2012, she presented the research she completed at Harvard at the Experimental Biology Conference in San Diego, Calif. In Nov. 2012, she presented a poster explaining the Juniata research project at a meeting of the Allegheny Branch of the American Society for Microbiology.

"Juniata has been integral in developing my capacity to think critically and the professors all instilled in me a mindset that made me believe that research is a goal I could accomplish," she says. "I've also been able to combine my interest in science with languages. I've received mentoring from my professors that has been instrumental in my success."

She is active on campus as well, serving as president of the German Club and is a member of the Juniata chapter of the American Society for Microbiology and Tri-Beta, the national biology honor society. She also is a violinist the Juniata College Orchestra.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program equips future American leaders with the skills they need to thrive in increasingly global environment by providing funding for one academic year of study or research abroad, to be conducted after graduation from an accredited university.

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Financial support is provided by an annual appropriation from Congress to the Department of State, with significant contributions from participating governments and host institutions in the United States and abroad. The presidentially appointed J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board formulates policy guidelines and makes the final selection of all grantees.

The Institute of International Education administers and coordinates the activities relevant to the U.S. Student Program, including an annual competition for the scholarships. The Fulbright Program also awards grants to American teachers and faculty to do research, lecture and teach overseas. In addition, some 2,200 foreign Fulbright students and scholars come to the United States annually to study, carry out research and lecture at U.S. universities, colleges and secondary schools.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.