Markaisa Black.Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Undergraduate Institution: Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia

Choosing which graduate program to attend is a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be a hard one. I knew after my interview that I wanted to join the MDB program. MDB was my first interview and I did not want to make a hasty decision. I wanted to go into each interview with a clear head, but I found myself comparing every other graduate program to MDB. I was waiting to have “that feeling” at my other interviews, but it just did not happen. So I followed my intuition and joined the MDB program.

I was first drawn to the MDB program at Cincinnati Children’s because of the distinguished faculty members and diverse research laboratories. Now as a third year student, I also see how invested the faculty is in the MDB students. Each faculty member I have had the opportunity to work with is genuinely interested in my personal success as a PhD student. Another great thing about the MDB program at Cincinnati Children’s is the incredible environment of collaboration and collegiality. Everyone (technicians, graduate students, post-docs, administration, or PIs) is always willing and wanting to help. It is also amazing to see the research concept “from bench to bedside” here at Cincinnati Children’s. It is rewarding to know that research conducted in the laboratory is impacting the lives of others. I believe that the MDB program was the best choice for me to pursue my PhD and I look forward to the next few years to come. I am a student in Dr. Tanya Kalin’s lab where I study the role of Forkhead box (FOX) transcription factors in lung fibrosis and mitochondrial respiration.