UHS alum chosen as Knight-Hennessy scholar

A Unionville High graduate and senior chemistry major at Stanford University was one of 69 students from 20 countries chosen as a 2019 Knight-Hennessy Scholar.

Courtney Smith
Photo courtesy of Knight-Hennessy Scholars

Courtney Smith of West Chester is a senior majoring in chemistry. She will pursue a doctorate in genetics at the Stanford School of Medicine.The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program aims to develop an interdisciplinary community of future global leaders to address the world’s most complex challenges through collaboration and innovation.

At Stanford, Smith serves as a researcher in the Relman Lab in the School of Medicine, where she is leading a research project on lactose intolerance and the microbiome. In summer 2018, she received a Stanford Major Grant for the project, and spent several months organizing the study, getting the necessary supplies, recruiting participants, conducting informed consent meetings and training participants.

In 2018, Smith received a pilot grant from the Translational Research and Applied Medicine Center(TRAM) of Stanford School of Medicine for the lactose intolerance project. The grant program helps to support diverse translational research projects that use innovative approaches for prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of various human diseases. Under the program, Smith attends a weekly seminar and gives presentations on how the research project is progressing to the other TRAM grant recipients.

She volunteers for Planting for the Second Hundred Years, a public service project that is restoring storing stable oak populations on the Dish Hill and along Deer Creek in the campus foothills.

Smith, who attended Harvard before transferring to Stanford, was a two-time All-America distance runner at Harvard and competed for the Stanford Women’s Cross Country team and Track and Field team during the 2017-18 season. She was a standout runner at Unionville.

Smith aspires to develop precision medicine diagnostics, treatments and medical technology to make medicine more effective and affordable for all people.

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