PhD candidate receives predoctoral fellowship

Cassandra Suther, PhD student

Grad student wins award for food allergy research.

Food science Ph.D. candidate Cassandra Suther has received a prestigious predoctoral fellowship of $180,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) to study the effect of norovirus on the development and severity of food allergies. 

Suther was doing an experiment, focusing on a well plate containing multiple small cavities, when she received the news about her fellowship over email. “I was so excited I dropped my 96-well plate in the sink,” she recalls. “Luckily, it was fine. It is such an honor to receive the award and I look forward to conducting the research.”

Suther is set to complete her doctorate next year and plans to continue allergy research at UMass Amherst. “After that, I want to work in a government laboratory and pursue academic editing,” she says.