Jonathon "JJ" Stone, V22

School: Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine 

Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine  

Home: Oregon, Wisconsin  

What has been the focus of your study?  

Coming in as a DVM/Ph.D. student, I already had a focused area of interest in infectious disease, but I also realized the broad range of my interests. Students are exposed to so much at Cummings School it’s hard not to be swept up in it sometimes.  

I’m flabbergasted that four years of veterinary school have gone by, and I’m excited to switch gears from the DVM program and put on my researcher hat for my PhD program with Jonathan Runstadler, chair of the Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health. I’ll get to play a different role in the Tufts community, which is both comfortable and familiar but also new and exciting.  

My research focuses on genetics and zoonotic disease, which feels timely and relevant given the pandemic, but also fits in nicely with clinical practice. Long-term, my research will combine wet lab and computational methods to predict things like species susceptibility to a pathogen or disease severity. 

What’s the best advice you have for people heading into veterinary school? 

I would tell students to ignore unsolicited advice or information. When you’re a first-year student, you’re eager and you may need some guidance on how to get through the next four years. And then advice starts pouring in, some of it useful and some of it not, and if you try and take all the advice, you end up drowning.  

Also, pursue your passions. One of the great things about being at Tufts is that the community here is willing to embrace you as long as you’re willing to pursue your passions. It doesn't necessarily matter what those passions are, you’re going to find somebody who will join you.  

Complete the following sentence: “In 10 years, I...” 

… hope to have a small cow herd. 

This profile originally appeared as part of the series “Profiles in Inspiration: Commencement 2022 Spotlights."

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