Theodor Griggs // medical scientist in training // class of 2010

After a move “across the border,” as he puts it, Theodor Griggs (B.S. Microbiology and Biochemistry) is forging a science-focused career path. He is in his fourth year of the University of Wisconsin’s M.D.-Ph.D. Medical Scientist Training Program pursuing Rhinovirus research at the University of Wisconsin Hospital.

“I hope to determine what specific cell types in human respiratory epithelium are susceptible to infection by the Rhinovirus C species,” Griggs says. “I’m investigating the transcriptome of these cell populations to determine what makes them ideal targets for Rhinovirus, and assist in the discovery of the Rhinovirus C cellular receptor(s).”

His academic influences include Dr. Michael Murtaugh in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Dr. Stephen Russell at the Mayo Graduate School. “Dr. Murtaugh hired me when I started college, even though I knew nearly nothing about research and mammalian virology,” he says. But it was his experience in Russell’s lab that set him on his current path. “Dr. Russell, the members of his lab, and all the students involved in that Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship factored into my decision to pursue the combined M.D.-Ph.D. degree program,” he says.

Looking ahead to the future, Griggs says, “My goal is to become an academic physician who specializes in either infectious disease, pathology or immunology, and studies host-virus interactions.”