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Sarah Linn, '14

Sarah Linn, '14Sarah Linn was originally featured in Minute with a Muskie on January 13, 2014. Update published July 20, 2015.

Sarah Linn, a 2014 graduate, recently completed her first year of veterinary school at The Ohio State University. This summer, she is participating in the Summer Research Program at OSU, working with a professor who conducts virology research – a new field of study for Linn.

Linn explains her summer research: “A research group in Denmark observed in a large scale study that children vaccinated with measles virus were less likely to be hospitalized with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. RSV is one of the most common causes of lower respiratory tract infections in infants with 3.4 million cases leading to hospitalization in children under 5 annually. There is no vaccine developed for RSV currently. This group approached Dr. Niewiesk [the lead researcher in this study, and Linn’s supervisor] to see if this hypothesis can be proven using an animal model. My project for this summer is to use cotton rats to model if measles vaccination is protective against RSV infection with the overall hope that vaccinating for one disease can potentially protect you from other diseases (especially those that don't have vaccines available).”

Her coursework and experiences on campus prepared her well for the rigors of veterinary school. “As far as curriculum, Muskingum definitely helped prepare me for vet school classes. Although I am studying almost continuously for vet school, I took a loaded schedule while at Muskingum to help me learn how to time manage my studying and extracurricular activities. I was able to learn how to study while at Muskingum rather than having to learn how to seriously study while in vet school. Also, I think it’s great I can use classes from Muskingum to help me facilitate my learning while in vet school. I took a histology class…with Dr. Santas and I ended up using her notes during my histology class for vet school alongside our class notes.”

It was a summer internship at the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species in New Orleans that piqued Linn’s interest in research. It was a formative summer for her, as it helped her determine what she wants to pursue for a career. She “performed animal husbandry duties on a daily basis for exotic cats like clouded leopards and servals.” She also interacted with a number of other species.

“The most important experience I had while I was there was when I assisted in a Type II dolphin necropsy. A necropsy is like an autopsy but for animals and the different types refer to the level of decomposition of the animals. I learned so much about the anatomy of a dolphin and tried to determine its cause of death. This experience really piqued my interest in veterinary pathology, which is the study of disease diagnosis in animals. This led me to pursue a research internship for the Summer of 2013 in pathology. I worked at the Ohio State University in the Division of Neuropathology at the College of Medicine. “

Linn was the president of her sorority and the Greek Honorary. She was one of two students that served on Student Senate for four years, and she was the Senior Class President. Linn was also a member of several academic honoraries.