Snider Desir was a member of the 9th PREP Cohort from 2011-2012. He chose to attend VT because it was the most exciting college environment he had ever seen.

He felt so much joy being here. The faculty had outstanding

personalities and seemed eager to have him
in their labs. Snider had an outstanding PREP experience while he was here, but he jokingly advised Dr. Ed Smith to put a little less pressure on the students.

He would have not gotten through the first year of graduate school without the preparation from VT PREP. PREP completely changed his outlook on how science is performed. The program also provided him with intellectual tools to fight his way through the initial years of his PhD program.

Snider is now working as a Cell Biologist at GSK, a British pharmaceutical company headquarted in London. Previously Dr. Desir worked as a Cell Biologist at University of Minnesota Medical School. 

During his visit to Virginia Tech, he was impressed by the success and size increase of the PREP/IMSD program since his departure 3 years ago. He thinks the leaders of the program are very dedicated to the students and provide them with the tools necessary for both short and long term achievements. The current students seem to have aspirations beyond his Cohort’s outlook. He stated, “It’s easy to see now why the VT PREP/IMSD is the best in the country.”



VT-PREP Alumnus Brittany Taylor, PhD

Brittany Taylor was a member of the 8th PREP Cohort from 2010-2011 as a post-bac student. She is currently a PhD vice Provost Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Her 10-year goal is to become a full professor at an R1 institution. To new undergrads interested in graduate school, she suggests that they get involved in research early whether that is through programs at their schools or through NIH REU experiences.

Her advice to PREP/IMSD leadership is to continue to listen to the needs of the PREP/ IMSD students and create a liaison between the scholars and the coordinators.

Dr.Brittany Taylor was invited to BEAM Seminar Serier at VT. She presented her research "Cell Free Approaches for Muscoskeletal Tissue Regeneration" to faculty and students. 
During her visit to Virginia Tech, Brittany was enthused by the number of new buildings on campus. She thought it was great to see the growth of the campus and all the renovations. She stated, “It is still a beautiful campus, and the food is still delicious! As always, I am impressed with the IMSD/PREP program and the caliber of training and students.”


Mr. James Dulaney (PREP Alum) graduated with a masters from Georgia State University. He has been invited to interview with University of Minnesota's Plant and Microbial Biology PhD program. 









Dr. Alexa Hendricks (PREP Alum) received her PhD in Neuroscience from Wake Forest University. 
Congratulations to Dr. Hendricks! 





Kevin Hughes, a PhD candidate at Yale School of Medicine,now an iCURE scholar. The picture on the left shows Kevin Hughes with Dr. Smtih at NIH Campus for Kevin's induction ceremony as part of the first cohort of NCI's Intramural Cure (iCURE) trainees.





Dr. Shavon Whiten recently started a position as a Postdoc Research Scientist at Texas A & M University. She visited Virginia Tech at part of Future Faculty Development Program Speaker. She presented her research: "From the bench to the broader public: Identification and characterization of novel targets for mosquito and mosquito - borne disease control." At the end of her presentation she met with Dr. Randy Grayson (Carver)