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Undergraduate Institution: Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio
Throughout my undergraduate career at Xavier University, I was fortunate in that I was able to partake in different areas of research at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital on several occasions under the guidance of Molecular and Developmental Biology faculty members. Although I had my mind made up to pursue a program that was—geographically speaking—everything Cincinnati was not, I found myself strangely disappointed during my interviews with these other programs. I realized quickly that I was holding these other institutions to the standards set by CCHMC and the MDB Program—standards that I found were unparalleled. The MDB Program offers the perfect fusion of friendliness, genuine dedication to the success of students, and innovative research, which is why I knew it was the perfect program for me.
The primary foci of the first year include coursework and selecting a lab in which one will complete their thesis work. From my experience, faculty and senior students play a critical role in both areas, as they tend to give very insightful advice based on their knowledge (in the case of faculty) or experience (in the case of students) with respect to classes and lab rotations as well as general questions regarding the program. Initially, I was concerned with finding a lab that corresponded with my research interests, but found that the MDB Program is quite multifaceted, allowing students to dabble in a wide range of research areas. The issue then became narrowing down my interests to a single lab, which I accomplished with the strong network of support provided by the MDB Program.
Ultimately, the MDB Program offers its students the opportunity to be a part of something great—to work alongside esteemed scientists in a collaborative effort to not only improve the standard of care for patients suffering from a wide range of diseases but to contribute to the world’s scientific knowledge-base, as well.
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