Molecular and Developmental Biology Graduate Program

  • Emily Wayman

    Emily Wayman.Undergraduate Institution:  University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

    I recently graduated from the University of Alabama with a B.S. in chemistry and minors in biology and the Computer-Based Honors Program.  Through coursework, undergraduate research, and summer internships, I discovered a passion for translational research. Translational, or “bench-to-bedside”, research is medically relevant research aimed at translating basic science discoveries into drug development and advances inpatient care.

    When choosing a graduate school, I wanted to be involved in research with a clear purpose of improving human health. Some schools I looked at offered coursework on translational research approaches; others talked about specific translational initiatives. But when I visited MDB, I saw that they lived it every day. Because the program is located within the children’s hospital (both administratively and physically), even the basic science research being done is linked to medicine, and many labs are working on research that could lead to new clinical trials.

    As a first-year student, I am currently doing rotations in several labs in order to choose one for my thesis work. I am interested in genetics and genomics, which can be a component in the study of almost any organ system or disease. As a result, I’m rotating in labs with very different research areas, from syndromic deafness to cardiac development and early axis formation. One of the benefits of the MDB program is the wide range of research that is included under the umbrella of Molecular and Developmental Biology.

    Overall, the quality and diversity of research being done combined with the amount of student support make the Molecular and Developmental Biology program a great place to complete your graduate degree.