John Downey Jr.
Point Scholar 2004 – 2009
John grew up in a small town in rural Connecticut where he faced significant pressure from the conservative environment. The suicide of a gay high school administrator was indicative of the homophobic climate in which John survived. Having graduated as student body president in the top ten percent of his class, John went on to Amherst College where he revitalized the defunct LGBTQ student group and supported recruitment of queer high school students. He is also a gifted research biologist, earning research fellowships at Princeton University and the University of Connecticut in stem-cell molecular genetics and immunotherapy. John earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and music summa cum laude in 2003.
Following graduation he served as assistant director of the Amherst College Orchestra and teaching associate. In his spare time, John continues his involvement in music as a collaborator in an original opera project at Amherst. At Stanford, John worked with the LGBT-Meds group and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association to increase queer content in the medical curriculum taught to all students. John completed his master’s degree in public health in 2008 at the University of California, Berkeley where his thesis focused on preventable medical errors. He returned to Stanford for his final year of medical school in 2008, and is interested in specializing in diagnostic imaging.
John is also a member of Point's Board of Trustees.