Immunology PhD graduate makes history

Kristyn before her graduation, as she became UofG's first Black PhD graduate in Immunology

Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation student Dr Kristyn Carter recently made University of Glasgow history as the first Black graduate of our PhD in Immunology.

Kristyn has previously explained how she moved to Glasgow from the United States of America to study because she was inspired by the story of Dr James McCune Smith.

McCune Smith, in whose honour the £90.6 million UofG learning and teaching hub was named, was the first African-American to achieve a medical degree, graduating from the University of Glasgow in 1837. 

A proud Dr Carter, a PhD student with Professor Neal Millar and currently a postdoc at Yale University, took time to thank her village and then express hope that her achievement can inspire others in the same way Dr McCune Smith did for her.

Dr Kristyn Carter graduation interview

She said: "In 1837, Dr James McCune Smith graduated from the University of Glasgow, making history as the first African American to earn a University medical degree.

"Today, I made history as the first Black graduate of the University of Glasgow PhD of Immunology. Being the first black student, of all genders, to graduate with this PhD is a huge honour, and I owe it all to Dr McCune Smith.

'I'm the first, and I won't be the last, and I can only hope my story inspires more people to attend."

First published: 11 July 2022