Molecular and Developmental Biology Graduate Program

  • Elizabeth Mushaben

    Elizabeth Mushaben.Undergraduate institution: College of Mount St. Joseph, Cincinnati, Ohio

    What I love most about being a graduate student in the Molecular and Developmental Biology program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Research Foundation is the collaborative atmosphere between researchers in all fields. It can be difficult to decide on what graduate program is right for you, but I recognized a sense of community and collaboration from the moment I interviewed for this program and I knew it was right for me. The faculty and graduate students are extremely helpful, creating a friendly and supportive learning environment. The faculty are committed to helping the students grow and develop their research and critical thinking skills in shaping us to become experienced scientists. Our program hosts weekly social gatherings where students and faculty can interact in a more relaxed environment further highlighting a sense of community and collaboration.

    The Molecular and Developmental Biology graduate program offers students a wide variety of research opportunities that I found helpful as a new student. It can be challenging to make a decision about the type of research that interests you. Our program helps you make this difficult decision by giving students the opportunity to explore many areas of research by rotating in different labs before choosing an area of research to study.  All of my rotations were enjoyable and rewarding experiences and I discovered that my research interests were in pulmonary biology. I am currently studying the role of different pathways thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of asthma using the mouse as an experimental model for my studies. I hope to gain a better understanding of the pathways and mechanisms involved in the development of this disease.

    With state of the art technologies and equipment, students have the opportunity to explore questions of great magnitude to further advance their research and expertise. Our program also offers a great stipend in a very affordable city, thus making it easy for students to find places to live near the research foundation. I enjoy living in Cincinnati as it offers a wide variety of entertainment for people of all ages and interests.

    A unique feature of our program is the close association of the research foundation with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. On a daily basis, students have the opportunity to interact with physician scientists who translate the work done at the bench top to a clinical setting. Being able to observe the research being applied to patients is a unique and rewarding experience and increases the students desire to better understand the genes and their biological functions in an effort to advance science and medicine.

    My research experience in this program has been extremely rewarding. This program challenges me to go beyond my comfort zone. Not only have I received an excellent education, I have developed intellectually and learned skills that I will use throughout the rest of my life. I am proud to be a graduate student in the Molecular and Developmental Biology program.


    KramerEL, Hardie WD, Mushaben EM, Acciani T, Pastura P, Korfhagen T, Khurana Hershey G, Whitsett JA, Le Cras TD. Rapamycin Decreases Airway Remodeling and Hyperreactivity in a Transgenic Model of Noninflammatory Lung Disease.J. Appl. Physiol. 2011 In press

    Mushaben EM, Kramer EL, Brandt EB, Khurana Hershey G, Le Cras TD. Rapamycin Attenuates Airway Hyperreactivity, IgE, T cells and Mediators of Allergic Asthma.J. Immunology. 2011 In press

    Le Cras TD, Acciani TH, Mushaben EM, Kramer EL, Pastura PA, Hardie WD, Korfhagen TR, Sivaprasad U, Ericksen M, Gibson AM, Holtzman MJ, Whitsett JA, Hershey GK. Epithelial EGF receptor signaling mediates airway hyperreactivity and remodeling in a mouse model of chronic asthma.Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2011;300(3):L414-21. PMCID: 3064289.

    Kramer EL, Mushaben EM, Pastura PA, Acciani TH, Deutsch GH, Khurana Hershey GK, Korfhagen TR, Hardie WD, Whitsett JA, Le Cras TD. Early growth response-1 suppresses epidermal growth factor receptor-mediated airway hyperresponsiveness and lung remodeling in mice.Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2009;41(4):415-25. PMCID: 2746988.