Lauren Anderson

Lauren Anderson

I really appreciate everyone who has donated or participated in Targeting Excellence. I have been so grateful for the support. The last few years have been a particularly difficult time to be a student, and the financial support and recognition from Targeting Excellence is so valuable. Thank you!

Awards Received

2022 Graduate Award (North Carolina)
2021 Graduate Award (North Carolina)
2020 Graduate Award (North Carolina)

Hometown:

Hometown:

Raleigh, NC

School:

School:

North Carolina State University

Major:

Major:

Animal Science and Microbiology

Career Goals:

Career Goals:

I did not have livestock exposure before going to college, where I did several, varied research projects in undergrad at the University of Missouri in both plant and animal molecular biology. I held two career track jobs after undergrad, but I developed the most as a person and a professional at a small agricultural plant biotech startup called Benson Hill. I got an immersive experience there in both bench science and some agricultural business development. I absolutely loved the variety and intense pace of startup Ag. However, I ended up missing my animal roots and decided that I needed to start applying for grad schools to further my education. I am currently a PhD student at NC State. It was here at State where I was first introduced to working with agricultural animals, and I have never looked back! My former lab focused on swine health and well-being. My MS projects revolved around measuring behavioral and molecular markers for local and systemic inflammation during low-intensity heat stress. That research evaluated the differences between first-time and repeated exposure to heat stress to broaden our understanding to stress adaptability in pigs. I am changing gears in my PhD to study probiotic supplementation in chickens and its impact on GI and immune energy homeostasis. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with two of the most important agricultural elements in NC, the swine and poultry industries. I originally wanted to go to NC State because of its extensive network of industry partners, which I felt was an important lens through which I wanted to receive my education. I fully intend to return to industry when I finish my PhD Program. I get the best of nitty gritty basic science with my feet on the ground of real-world practicality, and I hope to return to industry as a scientist in a research and development role after graduate school. I am also fortunate to be a part of a PhD fellowship with the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), whose funding originally spun out of the 2014 Farm Bill. Through this fellowship, I am sponsored by AgBiome, a company in the pursuit of microbial, biological products for the improvement of agricultural production. I have already learned so much from them and appreciate their continued support. I am lucky to have a company like AgBiome nearby and NCSU and FFAR programs that have helped me build connections with them. I am excited to continue to immerse myself in the University learning environment and focus on developing myself in order to be an asset to the animal agriculture industry. I hope to be an ambassador for agriculture in the fight to keep up with global population demands. I aspire to absorb as much information as I possibly can in my short graduate career, and I relish every chance I get to do so. I can’t thank the donors and committee of Targeting Excellence enough for their continued support throughout my education.