Point Scholar 2009 – 2013
Raised in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, Lauren struggled to find individuals who were accepting of her bisexual identity. To help combat the bi-phobia she experienced, Lauren became an active student leader. At Michigan State University, she educated student and faculty members not only about bisexuality, but also about diversity in general. Her diversity advocacy efforts provided a real-life experience that complemented the theoretical teachings in her academic studies. With assistance from Point Foundation, Lauren received her B.S. in microbiology and her B.A. in social relations and policy from Michigan State in May 2007.
Lauren is a graduate and law student in the University of Minnesota’s Joint Degree Program in Law, Health, and the Life Sciences. Lauren is simultaneously pursuing a Ph.D. in molecular, cellular and developmental biology & genetics, with a focus on retrovirology and a J.D., with a concentration in health law. In February 2008, she joined Dr. Louis Mansky’s lab as a Ph.D student. The Mansky lab investigates HIV drug development, HIV drug resistance, and the molecular evolution of retroviruses. For her dissertation research, Lauren studies how interactions between the human immune system and various HIV proteins impact the development of HIV drug resistance. In addition to attending Law classes and working in the Mansky lab, Lauren also is an active director on the board of four HIV or LGBTQ-related nonprofit organizations in the Twin Cities.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Lauren aspires to work in the Food and Drug Administration’s upper administration. While at the FDA, she hopes to help develop socially conscious, science-based regulatory policies for drugs, food safety, and medical devices.