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Hometown: New Delhi, India Undergraduate Institution: SRM University, Tamil Nadu, India
One teacher can change your life. For me, it was my Biology teacher in High School. She recognized my passion in Biology and encouraged me to dream big. And dream BIG I did! After four years of Biotechnology, I decided to pursue graduate studies in Biology. I was flooded with information. There were so many schools and courses. Everyone I asked gave me different advice. However, when I went through the Molecular and Developmental Biology website of the University of Cincinnati, I was awestruck by the sheer number of faculty and the diverse fields in which research is being conducted.
It was the most important decision I had made in a long, long time.
Choosing a Graduate School is tough enough. I am an International Student and that made it even tougher because I had to choose a program without visiting the institution or talking to the faculty and students.
From the moment I submitted my application, the Graduate Admission’s Office kept in regular touch with me. Their emails were prompt, personalized, informative and pleasant. I went through telephonic and Skype interviews, and both times I was struck by how friendly, humane and warm the faculty is. The interviews I gave for the Molecular and Developmental Biology Program at Cincinnati outshone the others by watts.
The Molecular and Developmental Biology Program here integrates cutting-edge research in collaboration with the third best hospital for children in the United States --- The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
Despite being leaders in their fields, the faculty is gracious and helpful. I was told that for my lab rotations, I could try out different fields and see which one I warmed up to the most. That shows they are thorough and confident and they want you to be sure. The environment in the program is most conducive to research. I find the faculty continuously collaborating among themselves as well as with scientists from other Universities.
I know most international students are unaware of how research is funded in the United States. I’ve known many students to join programs that were not properly funded and they faced a lot of difficulties. Not only does the Molecular and Developmental Biology Program boast numerous grants for funding research, but it also gives all its graduate students a very competitive stipend. I’m currently in my fourth year of Graduate School in Kathryn Wikenheiser’s lab. The focus of our lab is lung cancer. I study the Rb/p16 tumor suppressor pathway in lung cancer and lung injury. The last four years of graduate school have presented numerous training opportunities to strengthen our research skills as well as presentation skills, key requirements for a successful career in science. I would recommend the MDB program to anyone in a heartbeat!
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