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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
December 7, 2016
Canadian Excellence

(Photo courtesy of Brett Tully)

Jon Krohn, Alumnus

Jon Krohn (B.Sc. '07) is intrigued by molecules and how small changes in DNA can have a huge impact on someone’s life. So it’s not surprising that Krohn himself has gone through a few changes since he first stepped onto the Waterloo campus of Wilfrid Laurier University – a path that would ultimately lead him to Oxford University.

Krohn went to Laurier in 2003 thinking about a career in medicine. He spoke to his department’s academic advisor in the first few weeks of his first year to talk about medical school. At that point, he wasn’t getting top grades, and quickly realized that he was going to have to work very hard. He did, and ended up graduating in 2007 with the highest grade point average in his class (a perfect 12.0).

In addition to excelling in academics, he founded the Science Faculty’s student mentorship program, was editor-in-chief of a science newspaper, an active member of the boxing club, executive producer of the musical theatre club, and a teaching and research assistant.

“Laurier was a great place to grow,” said Krohn. “In a close-knit community like Laurier, it was easy to be involved in so many activities.”

All of his efforts caught the attention of his dean, and some new mentors, including two Canada Research Chairs, who opened up a new opportunity to him – Oxford University.

With their help and direction, Krohn is now doing a PhD in neuroscience on a prestigious Wellcome Trust Doctoral Research Scholarship. His research focuses on the genetics of complex disorders, particularly anxiety and depression.

“It’s incredibly interesting to think about how extremely small changes in the DNA that you inherit can have this huge impact on how a person sees their whole life,” said Krohn. “How amazing that these molecules interact in a complex way to allow our beautiful conscious experience of the world.”

He was also a director of the Oxford Entrepreneurs society, which helps start-ups connect with investors and provides help to get them off the ground. The non-profit business incubator Krohn founded in 2009 has the distinction of helping facilitate Google’s first UK acquisition.

Krohn is starting to think about life after Oxford, and is considering a post-doctorate, and perhaps getting involved in a start-up company himself.  Either way, he knows the world is his oyster.

“Laurier inspired me to think beyond what was possible. My experience at Laurier really did change my life.”