Elon alum accepted into premier research program

Geoffrey Lynn, a chemistry major who graduated in 2007, has been accepted into the National Institutes of Health Oxford/Cambridge Scholars Program, a doctoral training program for outstanding science students committed to biomedical research.

Geoffrey Lynn
Lynn, 23, was recently notified of his selection. He begins a program this fall that will earn him a dual medical and PhD degree with training from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health and Oxford University in England. It will take him an estimated eight years to complete.

The NIH/Oxford/Cambridge program was launched in 2001. About 100 students in the United States have enrolled since its inception. Scholarship recipients receive a living stipend, health insurance coverage, travel expenses and full tuition at either Oxford or Cambridge universities.

The NIH is a federally funded office in the Department of Health and Human Services whose purpose is to help support and fund medical research.

“The program provides an unparalleled opportunity for training in a highly multi-disciplinary and collaborative research environment,” Lynn said. “In the traditional model, students seeking a PhD degree often complete all of their work in one laboratory within a single department at a university. 

“However, the NIH-OxCam fosters and encourages student projects and collaborations that span disciplines between two of the world’s most prominent biomedical research institutes: either between the NIH and Oxford, or between the NIH and Cambridge.”

Lynn currently works at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Md. Originally from Deland, Fla., he graduated from Deland High School in 2003. Lynn’s research interests lie in the field of targeted medical technologies that promise to greatly improve the efficacy of vaccines, imaging probes, therapeutics and more.

“The most impressive thing about Geoff was his ability to solve problems at the graduate level, both on paper and in the research laboratory,” said Joel Karty, an associate professor of chemistry at Elon and Lynn’s research mentor and adviser. “Much of this was an outcome of his intelligence and natural abilities.  Perhaps more so, however, it was an outcome of his inherent curiosity in science, and his passion for finding answers.”

While at Elon, Lynn served as vice president of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, took part in the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and joined the American Chemical Society as a student affiliate.

He was also the recipient of a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Lynn attributes his awards to the guidance and support from many faculty members at Elon and believes the undergraduate research program at the university was key in providing opportunities as a student.

“At most major universities, really, you’re doing grunt work as an undergraduate. You’re doing stuff that graduates and post docs don’t want to do,” Lynn said. “Here you have many unique opportunities.”

Lynn is the son of Arthur J. Lynn of Atlanta and Evelyn P. Lynn of Deland, Fla.