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National Competitive Fellowships

Students are encouraged to apply for nationally competitive fellowships, such as NSF, NIH, and NDSEG. For information about these national fellowships, and DBBS requirements, click here.​​

PhD Application Instructions
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No
  
Interviews
DBBS conducts interviews by invitation only after the completed application and materials have been submitted, received and evaluated. Interviews are not conducted prior to submission and evaluation of an application. 
 
The interview allows the applicant an opportunity to gauge the quality of the program, the interest of the faculty, speak with current students, and determine how well his or her research interests might be supported. Interviews are typically conducted from mid-January to the end of February. Applicants being interviewed on campus will arrive on Thursday afternoon and leave either Saturday afternoon or Sunday.
PhD Application Instructions
14
Yes
  
Criteria for Review

There are many applicants for each available position in the graduate program. DBBS typically receives around 1000 applications for a total of 80 positions in our entering class. Several factors are used to assess an applicant's potential for success. Letters of recommendation from faculty members are very important. The applicant's responses to essay questions on the application form are also heavily weighted in assessing an applicant's potential for graduate study. In addition, each applicant's academic background and test scores are closely reviewed. Most successful applicants to the Division score at or above the 80th percentile in the Graduate Record Examination general test and have grade point averages ranging from 3.3 to 4.0.

PhD Application Instructions
13
Yes
  
Transcripts
  • Prior to submitting your application, you are required to upload one copy of your scanned transcript from each institution you have attended.  Please include the transcript key (that is typically located on the back page of the official transcript).
  • The transcript must be issued by the Registrar’s Office (a copy issued to the student is fine).  The uploaded transcript should not be printed from the University’s web site. 
  • The process of uploading transcripts is intended to eliminate the need for you to mail your transcripts, as DBBS will review your application based on your uploaded transcripts.
  • Scan the transcript at high resolution and verify each page can be read before uploading it.  Upload the transcript from each institution as a single document. Each individual university transcript must be uploaded as one file and not page by page.
  • Official transcripts are not required for the review process. If you are offered admission and accept the offer you are then required to submit an official sealed transcript from each university you have attended. We ask that you not send us any material in the mail unless asked to do so.
  • Transcripts must be in English, or be accompanied by notarized translations.
  • All matriculating students will be requested to send an official final transcript to DBBS before matriculation to:
    Washington University
    Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences
    Attn: Ph.D. Admissions
    Campus Box 8226
    660 S. Euclid Ave.
    St. Louis, MO 63110
  • DBBS reserves the right to rescind any offer of admission if discrepancies are found between your uploaded transcript and the official transcript.
PhD Application Instructions
6
Yes
  
Essays
Applicants are encouraged to give considerable time and thought to writing the two essays. (Some schools ask for a general “personal statement”, however DBBS requires that the applicant answer the specific essay questions listed.) The Admissions Committee evaluates a number of characteristics in order to assess a candidate’s ability to benefit from and contribute to their selected program. These include academic ability, research experience, leadership, teamwork, communication skills and other personal qualities. The essays are an opportunity to help the Committee relate to the applicant’s distinctive values, motivation, and perspectives and obtain as much information as possible about their previous research experience.
 
For essay 1 you will provide information on your research experiences.  For up to your 3 most substantive research experiences provide mentor name, Institution, length of project in months, and the approximate hours per week of effort, up to Dec. 1 of this year. (A grid will be provided to capture this information). You will also write an essay for one or more of these experiences providing your specific contributions to the work.  Please also describe your motivations for graduate study and a fundamental biological question that most intrigues you, highlighting potential Washington University faculty mentors. Drawing on your past and planned experiences, please conclude with a statement articulating why you will be an outstanding graduate student. 
 
For essay 2 you will describe an experience that demonstrates your resilience, perseverance, and/or leadership skills in response to a challenge in any area of your life.
 
Applicants are requested to upload each essay as either a PDF or Word document. Applicants will be allotted approximately two (2) pages per essay (or approximately 8000 characters including spaces). Please address each essay question separately. Do not insert a personal statement in lieu of the two essay questions.
PhD Application Instructions
4
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Prerequisites
DBBS welcomes applicants with outstanding baccalaureate training in natural, physical or engineering sciences that are committed to a career in research. The strongest applicants will have had significant research experience and have a strong undergraduate record not only in their area of concentration, but also in related disciplines. For example, some of our programs will give preference to applicants who have strong training not only in biology, but also 4 to 6 semesters of chemistry (including biochemistry) as well as appropriate course work in calculus and physics (1 to 2 semesters each). Other programs, depending on their emphasis, will consider individuals with less extensive backgrounds in chemistry, physics, psychology or mathematics but with related training in biology. For example, Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology gives preference to applicants that have completed one semester of physical chemistry or an equivalent course.

Minimum Requirements:
  • All applicants must have a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution.
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General test is required by some DBBS Programs. Scores must be from tests taken in the last five years. The Subject test is not required.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to schedule the exam early so the official scores will reach DBBS before the December 1 deadlineSee “Test Scores” below for additional information.
  • Applicants, whose native language is not English, must demonstrate English proficiency and are required to provide an official score report from ETS for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants who have earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution where the language of instruction is English, are exempt from submitting a TOEFL score report.
 
PhD Application Instructions
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Yes
  
Deadlines

The application deadline for Fall 2019 enrollment is December 1, 2018. All applicants are encouraged to submit ealry.  Submission of the application prior to November 1, 2018 will allow for a discountrd application fee.

PhD Application Instructions
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Yes
  
Test Scores

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General test is required by some DBBS Programs. Please refer to the individual program web page (http://www.dbbs.wustl.edu/divprograms/Pages/Division-Programs.aspx) to see if you need to submit GRE scores.  If so, scores must be from tests taken in the last five years. The Subject test is not required. Applicants who need to submit scores are strongly encouraged to schedule the exam early so the official scores will reach DBBS before the December 1st deadline.

Institution Code - 6929

When the official scores have been received from ETS, enter the scores into the application. However, if the application has already been submitted, email the scores to the contact person or to DBBSPhDAdmissions@email.wustl.edu and the scores will be added to the application.  If the application is complete except for the official GRE scores, submit the application and e-mail the scores when received.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of non-native speakers of English if the applicant has not earned a bachelor's or master's degree at an English-speaking institution. Scores must be from tests taken within the last two years.

Non-native speakers who earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a school where all instruction is in English are exempt from the TOEFL.

Institution Code - 6929

PhD Application Instructions
8
Yes
  
Application
The application consists of:
 
  • Demographics
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Academic history
  • Test Scores 
    •  GRE (if applicable)
    • TOEFL (if applicable)
  • Two essays and a 10 word research description
  • Listing of Major coursework
  • Work history
  • Awards/Honors
  • Publication list (if any)

Applicants who have applied in the previous year must submit a new application with the application type marked as “Re-Apply”.

All application materials (transcripts, GRE/TOEFL score reports, letters of recommendation, and additional materials sent to us by the applicant) become the property of the Division of Biology and Biological Sciences at Washington University and cannot be returned to the applicant or forwarded to another school/department.

PhD Application Instructions
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BioEntrepreneurship Core (BEC)

The BEC is open to all WashU affiliates (students, postdocs, staff, faculty) who share an interest in the interface between biomedical research and entrepreneurship. We organize events intended to educate the community about entrepreneurial principles, forge connections between researchers and local entrepreneurs/businesses, and raise awareness about resources available to startups. Many BEC-sponsored activities also provide information for those considering alternative career paths outside of academia. Above all, the BEC seeks to foster a spirit of innovation at the university that inspires researchers to pursue opportunities for their discoveries beyond the lab. If you've ever wondered what it takes to bring biomedical research from the bench to the bedside or what kinds of opportunities are available to you in the dynamic biotechnology landscape, we would love to see you at one of our events. For more information please visit https://sites.wustl.edu/wubec/ or contact bec@wustl.edu.

Organizations & Campus Groups- Open to All
3
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Section I - High Risk Pregnancy

Section Leader:  TBA

Schedule TBA

Pathobiology of Human Disease States Course
1
Yes
  
Section III - Cardiovascular Disease
Section Leaders: TBA

Schedule TBA
Pathobiology of Human Disease States Course
3
Yes
  
Section II - Pain Management
Section Leaders: TBA

Schedule TBA
Pathobiology of Human Disease States Course
2
Yes
  
Past Course Modules
Year
Modules
1992
1. Sickle Cell Anemia
2. Malaria​
3. Diabetes
1993
1. Cystic Fibrosis
2. Coronary Artery Disease
3. AIDS
1994
1. Sickle Cell Anemia
2. Emphysema
3. Acute Leukemia 
1995
1. Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia
2. Undue Susceptibility to Infection
3. Alzheimer’s Disease
1996
1. Sickle Cell Disease
2. Multiple Sclerosis
3. Epstein Barr Virus
1997
1. Osteoporosis
2. Thrombophilia
3. Congenital Malformations
1998
1. Sickle Cell Disease
2. Hepatitis C
3. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
1999
1. Rheumatoid Arthritis
2. AIDS
3. Prostate Cancer
2000
1. Sickle Cell Disease
2. Epstein Barr Virus
3. Heart Failure
2001
1. Alzheimer’s Disease
2. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
3. SLE (Lupus)
2002
1. Heart Failure
2. Diabetes Mellitus
3. Preeclampsia
2003
1. SLE/Rheumatoid Arthritis
2. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
3. Asthma
2004
1. AIDS
2. Heart Failure
3. Preeclampsia
2005
1. Alzheimer’s Disease
2. Breast Cancer
3. Rheumatoid Arthritis
2006
1. Sickle Cell Anemia
2. Congestion Heart Failure
3. High Risk Pregnancy
2007
1. Rheumatoid Arthritis
2. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
3. Alzheimer’s Disease
2008
1. Cardio Disease/Heart Failure
2. Diabetes & Metabolism
3. Osteoporosis/Other Bone Disorders
2009
1. Sickle Cell Anemia
2. AIDS
3. Major Depressive Disorders
2010
1. Alzheimer’s Disease
2. Cardio Disease/Heart Failure
3. Diabetes
2011
1. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
2. Cystic Fibrosis
3. High Risk Pregnancy
2012
1. Rheumatoid Arthritis
2. Cardiovascular Disease
3. Malaria
2013
1. Diabetes
2. High Risk Pregnancy
3. Depression
2014
1. Translating Global Health
2. Cardiovascular Disease
3. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
2015
1. Immunotherapy
2. High Risk Pregnancy
3. Alzheimer’s Disease
2016
1. Evidence Based Medicine/Sickle Cell Disease
2. Diabetes
3. Cardiovascular Disease
​2017 ​​1. Immunotherapy
2. Alzheimer's Disease
3. Cardiovascular Disease
Pathobiology of Human Disease States Course
4
Yes
  
Past Course Modules
Year
Modules
1992
1. Sickle Cell Anemia
2. Malaria​
3. Diabetes
1993
1. Cystic Fibrosis
2. Coronary Artery Disease
3. AIDS
1994
1. Sickle Cell Anemia
2. Emphysema
3. Acute Leukemia 
1995
1. Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia
2. Undue Susceptibility to Infection
3. Alzheimer’s Disease
1996
1. Sickle Cell Disease
2. Multiple Sclerosis
3. Epstein Barr Virus
1997
1. Osteoporosis
2. Thrombophilia
3. Congenital Malformations
1998
1. Sickle Cell Disease
2. Hepatitis C
3. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
1999
1. Rheumatoid Arthritis
2. AIDS
3. Prostate Cancer
2000
1. Sickle Cell Disease
2. Epstein Barr Virus
3. Heart Failure
2001
1. Alzheimer’s Disease
2. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
3. SLE (Lupus)
2002
1. Heart Failure
2. Diabetes Mellitus
3. Preeclampsia
2003
1. SLE/Rheumatoid Arthritis
2. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
3. Asthma
2004
1. AIDS
2. Heart Failure
3. Preeclampsia
2005
1. Alzheimer’s Disease
2. Breast Cancer
3. Rheumatoid Arthritis
2006
1. Sickle Cell Anemia
2. Congestion Heart Failure
3. High Risk Pregnancy
2007
1. Rheumatoid Arthritis
2. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
3. Alzheimer’s Disease
2008
1. Cardio Disease/Heart Failure
2. Diabetes & Metabolism
3. Osteoporosis/Other Bone Disorders
2009
1. Sickle Cell Anemia
2. AIDS
3. Major Depressive Disorders
2010
1. Alzheimer’s Disease
2. Cardio Disease/Heart Failure
3. Diabetes
2011
1. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
2. Cystic Fibrosis
3. High Risk Pregnancy
2012
1. Rheumatoid Arthritis
2. Cardiovascular Disease
3. Malaria
2013
1. Diabetes
2. High Risk Pregnancy
3. Depression
2014
1. Translating Global Health
2. Cardiovascular Disease
3. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
2015
1. Immunotherapy
2. High Risk Pregnancy
3. Alzheimer’s Disease
2016
1. Evidence Based Medicine/Sickle Cell Disease
2. Diabetes
3. Cardiovascular Disease
​2017 ​​1. Immunotherapy
2. Alzheimer's Disease
3. Cariovascular Disease
Markey
4
Yes
  
Molly Gibson

Molly Gibson alumni spotlight.jpg

Molly Gibson

Computational & Systems Biology, 2015; lab of Gautam Dantas
Associate at Flagship Pioneering 

What was your career path like after graduating from Washington University?

Throughout my time at WashU, I had always been drawn to entrepreneurship and the idea of building innovative communities of people around a unique and bold mission. Following grad school, I had the opportunity to join a new venture that was just being formed out of Flagship Pioneering, which is now known as Kaleido Biosciences. Kaleido was taking a unique approach to microbiome therapeutics. While most companies at this time were focused on either microbial “bugs-as-drugs” approaches or full microbiome transplants, Kaleido was developing novel chemistries to target and modulate the metabolic output of the microbiome, initially focused on oligosaccharides. At Kaleido, I built out and lead their computational and data science efforts for microbiome drug discovery. In addition, as one of the first scientists at Kaleido, I was also able to contribute to the overall growth of the company, including team building, intellectual property, fund raising, indication selection, and anything else that was needed. Through that experience I began to train as both a data scientist and an entrepreneur - which just fit. I eventually moved to Flagship Pioneering, a venture creation firm, to continue to develop and grow in these areas and to help conceive, create, and develop the next wave of innovative life science companies.

Why did you choose Washington University DBBS for your PhD training?
The community. The research at WashU and its reputation speaks for itself, but the real differentiator is the training environment. Hands down some of the most innovative, thoughtful, and inspiring faculty and students. The faculty are truly invested in the students and their success and demonstrate that through action. Because of this, I built lasting mentors, colleagues, and friends that I will continue to maintain, support, and lean on throughout my career. 

How did your time at WashU prepare you for your current career?

At

WashU, I was never without opportunity. My current career requires the ability to rapidly learn new areas of science and embrace the uncomfortable, inspire and lead others, and effectively communicate science to any audience. I had an amazing thesis lab and program that truly valued each of these facets of development and growth. For example, I remember for thesis updates and other important talks, colleagues from my lab and others across the CGS (Center for Genome Sciences), would come together for up to 4 hours at a time providing feedback and instructive critique on how to improve the story and make the science and results more clear. Looking back, this culture was so important and really helped shape how I think about scientific communication. Gautam was also the king of opportunity. We used to joke in the lab to watch out for when he would come to you with an “opportunity,” as it was usually code for more work — however, it also demonstrated an extreme amount of trust on his part and professional development for us. For example, I co-wrote and served as representative on several large grants, including multi-center grants that required meeting and coordination among several prominent labs at WashU and externally. Through this, I learned to embrace feeling uncomfortable (I'd often find myself the only student in a room of tenured faculty), learn quickly, and ultimately write about science in new and novel ways — I guess it was trial by fire, but ultimately one of the best ways I have found to learn. Finally, through my role as co-director of the Young Scientist Program, I was responsible for leading an organization of 100+ volunteer scientists, which came with the responsibility of ensuring there was sustained funding and support for the outreach that had become a staple at the university and St Louis public schools. Through this, I developed skills necessary to represent YSP to university leadership and potential funders, organize and convene board meetings with community leaders, as well as lead and engage volunteers in the mission. It was a transformative experience. 

What are some of your favorite memories from your time at WashU? What was your favorite part about living in St. Louis?

The DBBS retreats — especially the Genetics/Comp Bio retreat. It's hard to describe these events if you haven't had the opportunity to attend, but they are definitely a highlight. I hope they haven't changed at all! Much of my love for the greater St. Louis experience came from the Ultimate Frisbee community. These people are amazing — it was so fun to come together multiple times a week and compete with them, but also to learn more about their diverse experiences and backgrounds. One of my closest friends came from this group and has taught me so much about education and social justice — perspectives that I wouldn't have gotten had I not expanded outside of the research and science communities. 

What hobbies do you enjoy?

Ultimate frisbee, hiking, running, cocktails, exploring, traveling, and really any opportunity for a little competition! 

What is your favorite quote?
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
That's a hard one. I guess I'm always wishing I had more time or could be in two places at once  so either the ability to time travel, move lightning fast, or split myself so I could be, for example, simultaneously sleeping and reading a paper. Oh, maybe it is just the ability to get 8 hours of sleep in 10 minutes?! You get the goal. 

Who is your biggest role model?

That's a great question — I've been incredibly lucky to have had many mentors and role models throughout my career, so it's hard to say just one. If I think about my time at WashU, Gautam Dantas is at the top of the list. He is brilliant, but there are a lot of smart people out there, what really stands out is his dedication to the people in his lab, including his openness and unique ability to make everyone feel welcome and valued, which created a culture where everyone felt ownership in the success of the lab as whole. It's this people-centric view, combined with extreme creativity, fearlessness, and ambition — all with a healthy dose of fun — that I hope to emulate. 

What advice would you give to both prospective and current graduate students?
Don't get caught up in plans —  embrace the unknown and just continue to take the most interesting opportunity in front of you at any moment. If you fixate too much on one path, you are likely to miss the unexpected, which I have found to be the most challenging and transformative experiences. The most exciting version of the future to me is one where my future career doesn't currently exist. Also, build community! I can't say this enough, but the people around you are brilliant, kind, and fun —  you should take every opportunity you can to get to know them as individuals and learn from them.​​

Past Alumni Spotlights
6
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Marcie Glicksman

Marcie Glicksman


Neural Sciences, 1986; lab of Mark B. Willard
Chief Scientific Officer at Orig3n

What was your career path like after graduating from Washington University?
I did two parts for my postdoctoral fellowship. I first went to the University of Arizona to work with Danny Brower on the role of homeotic genes in fruit flies, then transferred my NIH postdoctoral fellowship to the University of Washington in Seattle to work with Jim Truman on the role of homeotic genes in the nervous system of flies. It wasn’t until I started to look for my first research job that I decided I wanted to go into industry because I liked the intersection between science and medicine.

I took my first job at Cephalon in Pennsylvania working on developing therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases. I then worked at 3 other pharmaceutical companies for a total of 13 years. I then got recruited back into academics and was a professor at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. I ran a drug discovery center for 10 years working with others in academics at Harvard and associated hospitals as well other universities around the country. I worked with other scientists who were interested in developing new therapeutics. As part of this effort 8 start-up companies were formed. I also co-founded the Academic Drug Discovery Consortium to facilitate interactions between the multiple academic drug discovery centers and also to promote opportunities with biopharmaceutical companies looking for academic partnerships.

After 10 years in academics, I moved back into industry through an introduction from a colleague of mine to the co-founders of Orig3n.

Why did you choose Washington University DBBS for your PhD training?
After undergraduate education at Brown University, I worked in research settings for 2 years. When I was applying to PhD programs, I asked professors and other neuroscientists the question (in 1980): if you were to apply to graduate school now, where would you go? I got lists of schools to apply to, but one person said Washington University because they said that WashU had a large critical mass of neuroscientists. Neuroscience was a new field at the time and there were not many programs that your degree was in neuroscience. Washington University had one of the first programs and was building a strong faculty across multiple departments. I was certain of the area of my thesis and so had identified a faculty member who I wanted to do my PhD work. In the end, I switched to a different faculty member and different area. This is probably not uncommon.

How did your time at WashU prepare you for your current career?
I learned the critical elements of scientific method and thought as a graduate student and grew as a scientist. It was a great environment with a lot of collaboration and openness across labs and departments. This collaborative nature of science stuck with me throughout my career. I also established strong relationships with a number of professors and fellow students/post-docs that I have kept up over the years.

What are some of your favorite memories from your time at WashU? What was your favorite part about living in St. Louis?
I have been wondering whether the 9am Saturday morning seminar series with donuts and coffee was still a regular event. It was pretty much required for graduate students to attend. I also used to attend the lab meetings of Marcus Reichle to learn about the new imaging technology. I also really enjoyed attending regular group meetings around research on topics in developmental neuroscience that Viktor Hamburger regularly attended. I was in Mark Willard’s lab for my PhD and we had a very active lab with 10-12 people at the time. For St. Louis memories, favorites were Delmar Avenue handouts, Ted Drewes in the summertime, and I had a strong affinity to the Arch. I used to regularly go contra-dancing.

What hobbies do you enjoy?
Hiking, running and working out with a trainer, making jewelry.

Who is your biggest role model?
My biggest role model was Jean Buttner-Ennever who was one of the scientists I worked with before I went to graduate school, when I worked at the Brain Research Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. She had an active research career and one child, and a second child on the way at the time I worked there. This confirmed to me that as a woman, I could be a scientist and have a family.

What advice would you give to both prospective and current graduate students?
One of the hardest questions facing graduate students and postdocs, is whether they want to stay in an academic setting or go into some industry setting. I like to tell young scientists that they don’t have to decide what they want to do for the rest of their professional lives. There are many types of positions a scientist can do. And It is possible to move between different types of jobs throughout their career. I feel like I am a “poster child” that demonstrates this is true. Look for three things in a job 1) a position that they feel will be challenging, 2) a position that they can bring something special to, and 3) that they like the people they will be working with.

Honors and awards:
Multiple invited speaking engagements all over the world, on the board of directors, and chairman of the board of the Society for Biomolecular Screening (now Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening), science advisory board for the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation.​

Past Alumni Spotlights
7
Yes
  
Jennifer Lodge

Jennifer Lodge.jpgJennifer Lodge
Vice Chancellor for Research

Plant Biology, Ph.D. Received 1988
Thesis Advisor: Douglas E. Burg, PhD 

 

Jennifer K. Lodge, PhD (’88), associate dean for research and professor of molecular microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been appointed vice chancellor for research for the university. Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton; Larry J. Shapiro, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine; and H. Holden Thorp, PhD, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, made the announcement.
Lodge, whose appointment is effective July 1, succeeds Evan Kharasch, MD, PhD, the Russell D. and Mary B. Shelden Professor of Anesthesiology and professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics. He is stepping down after serving in the role since 2009.
“We are extremely pleased that Professor Lodge has agreed to lend her considerable talents to this important role, and very grateful to Evan Kharasch for his years of distinguished service,” Wrighton said. “Our research enterprise is an integral part of the university’s mission, and I am confident that, under Jenny’s leadership, our ambitious goals in this critical area will be met and exceeded.”
Lodge will assume a dual role and continue as associate dean for research at the School of Medicine, a position to which she was appointed in 2009. Since then, she has coordinated efforts to advance research at the School of Medicine, with a particular focus on interdisciplinary projects involving multiple departments and core facilities that serve a wide variety of researchers. She has assisted faculty in identifying potential funding opportunities and maximizing the benefits of school-wide investments in research.
“Professor Lodge’s demonstrated success in leading sponsored research administration makes her exceptionally well-qualified for this position,” Thorp said. “Her passion and determination will be tremendous assets as we push to grow our research enterprise and translate the results of these efforts into benefits for society.”
“We are committed to pursuing research that will lead to innovative solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges,” Shapiro said. “Jenny Lodge has the vision, expertise and enthusiasm to help researchers at the university achieve these efforts.”
In her new role, Lodge will serve as an officer of Washington University and a member of the University Council. She will be the chief officer responsible for the university’s research mission, overseeing more than $600 million in annual sponsored research and managing the development of research policies, grants and contracts, and the continuing education of faculty and staff regarding research regulations.
Lodge previously served as associate dean for research and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine; had postdoctoral fellowships at Monsanto Co. and Washington University; and served as a research assistant at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and at Harvard University. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, and her doctorate in biomedical sciences from Washington University in 1988.
Lodge was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011 and a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2010. She has published more than 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals and holds a U.S. patent for virus-resistant potato plants. She continues to pursue NIH-funded research on mechanisms of fungal pathogenesis, anti-fungal drug discovery and vaccine development.
Past Alumni Spotlights
10
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Aparna Deora

​​Aparna Deora.jpgAparna Deora
(Molecular Genetics, 2000)
Lab of Dr. Lee Ratner
Senior Director leading Quality Control, Stability and Microbiology in BioTherapeutics Pharmaceutical Sciences at Pfizer

Honors and awards: Pfizer Individual Achievement Award (2005) 
 
What was your career path like after graduating from Washington University? After leaving Washington University, I moved to an industry position at Pharmacia. I worked in a discovery group that looked at Cox-2 inhibitors and cancer. The work included academic collaboration and was not totally unlike work I had in academia. I then shifted into drug development as Pfizer. I had the unique opportunity to be at the start, as Pfizer embarked on building a biological portfolio that has transitioned from a small molecule company to a company with biologics in development.  
My roles have changed over the past 15 years at Pfizer, and I have had the amazing opportunity to work on developing a range of therapeutic modalities from mAbs, vaccines, cell based therapies and gene therapy from early toxicology studies, through clinical development and even achieving a few successful commercial products.
 
Why did you choose Washington University DBBS for your PhD training?
In looking through the faculty profiles during the application process, I knew I would have an opportunity to choose to work in a great lab and have the opportunity to do some amazing research. I remember being very impressed by the faculty and students I met during the interview and that helped finalize the decision. 
 
How did your time at WashU prepare you for your current career?
WashU is wonderful training. I learned so much about how to do a "smart" experiment, think critically and perhaps most importantly how to communicate scientific research. It is also amazing to build a network of friends and scientists across the world. 
 
What are some of your favorite memories from your time at WashU? What was your favorite part about living in St. Louis?
The camaraderie in the lab and with my fellow students will never be forgotten. While not easy, it is a rare time when you can focus on science and be supported by all around you.
Amazingly, my classmates even have an annual "Wall Party" reunion held each year around the country. Great to catch up and see what is going on across with old friends.  
I still live in St. Louis and love it. It is a great city with a lot of cultural activities and good food. I love that there is so much free stuff to do like the zoo, Science Center, museums, concerts. etc. It was great to have so many options on the grad school stipend. 
 
What hobbies do you enjoy?
Travel, reading, cooking and yoga.
 
What is your favorite quote?
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” - Eleanor Roosevelt 
 
What movie would be greatly improved if it were made into a musical?
Princess Bride would be a fun musical. I would love to see a horror musical as well, maybe The Exorcist?
 
Who is your biggest role model?
My parents. 
 
What advice would you give to both prospective and current graduate students?
Grad school isn't easy but it really is worth it. You will do some great science but perhaps more importantly you will learn about yourself, and it is an accomplishment you can be proud of achieving.  
Most importantly, don't forget to have fun!
 
Past Alumni Spotlights
9
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Jeffrey Morton
JeffreyMortonSpotlight.jpg

Jeffrey Morton
Immunology, 2004; lab of Michael J. Holtzman

Attorney at Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.

What was your career path like after graduating from Washington University? 
Following my graduation from Washington University DBBS, I earned my law degree at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. After receiving my JD, I worked for two law firms in Vancouver where I began to focus my practice on biotechnology law. In 2014, I moved to Palo Alto to work for a large international law firm that focuses on biotechnology clients. In 2016, I joined Snell & Wilmer L.L.P., the largest law firm in the Southwest, where I work out of their Phoenix and Orange County offices. My practice at Snell & Wilmer is focused on patent counseling and licensing transactions for clients in the life sciences industry.

Why did you choose Washington University DBBS for your PhD training?
I chose Washington University DBBS because of their outstanding immunology program, world-class faculty and first-class facilities.

How did your time at WashU prepare you for your current career?
WashU has and continues to set the bar high in terms of what is expected from faculty and students. Working in that environment for ~5-6 years as a graduate student prepares you for working in other top-tier environments where there are high expectations to perform on complex scientific issues.

What are some of your favorite memories from your time at WashU? What was your favorite part about living in St. Louis?
Favorite memories include the usual cultural highlights of living in St. Louis: attending Cardinals games and spending time in the Central West End -- but at the end of the day, my favorite memories go back to the great people that I met during my 6 years in St. Louis, many of whom remain my closest friends.

What hobbies do you enjoy?
Traveling with my family, cycling and golfing.

Who is your biggest role model?
I do not have one main role model as I try to learn from everyone I interact with. That said, I feel extremely fortunate to have carried out my PhD work in the lab of Dr. Michael J. Holtzman. Michael is the Director of the Pulmonary Division at Washington University School of Medicine, and is not only a great scientist, physician, and administrator, but is also kind and patient which are important attributes to learn for any career, whether in academia or otherwise.

What advice would you give to both prospective and current graduate students?
I would advise prospective students to go to graduate school if they really have an interest in what they are researching. For current graduate students, I would not spend too much time worrying about the future as you will be just fine coming out of the Washington University DBBS program. I also think it is important to see that there are many extremely rewarding careers that can be pursued that do not require a post-doc. I would be happy to speak with any Washington University DBBS students who are considering a career in law after they complete their PhD.

Past Alumni Spotlights
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Tomás Lagunas Jr.
Tomás Lagunas Jr.​

Molecular Genetics and Genomics, incoming class 2016; 
lab of Dr. Joseph Dougherty

What is your educational/professional background?
I attended the University of California Riverside where I received a B.S. in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in Environmental Toxicology and a B.A. in Chemistry. As an undergraduate, I worked for three years in a lab studying defense peptides in Arabidopsis and one year in a lab studying enantioselective organocatalysis. Directly after undergrad, I worked in ag-biotech for four years at Cibus US LLC. Here, I worked with a group of scientists to optimize oligonucleotide-directed precision gene editing for trait development in plants.

Why did you choose to attend Washington University DBBS?
What is your favorite part about pursuing your PhD training here?
From all the schools I interviewed at, none surpassed Wash U DBBS with regard to the level of support that staff and faculty give the graduate students. Also, the genetics department and program at Wash U has built a strong reputation for creating successful scientists. My favorite part about pursuing a PhD here is the collaborative nature that Wash U has constructed. I feel this type of environment fuels innovation and makes for more efficient science.

What research are you currently working on?
My thesis advisor is Joseph Dougherty and the lab is broadly interested in studying the genetics of neurodevelopment disorders. Currently, I'm working on a collaboration with the lab of Rob Mitra using their Calling Cards technology to profile cell-type-specific enhancers in the brain. I've generated data from in vivo models looking at layer 5 pyramidal neurons and GABAergic interneurons. Recently, I've started a second project where we are using a Massively Parallel Reporter Assay to look for functional variants in the untranslated regions of autism relevant genes. Lots of exciting research going on!

Are you involved in any student groups, volunteer work or other ventures outside of the lab?
I've been involved in the Young Scientist Program since I started my graduate career doing tutoring, continued mentoring, teaching teams, and coordinating Summer Focus events. I'm also one of the core members for the Graduate Association of Latin American Students and coordinate/plan several of the Showcase events. Finally, I've completed and plan to continue consulting with the BALSA group. Needless to say, I'm a busy guy. 

What is your favorite part about living in St. Louis? 

I was born and raised in southern California, so it's nice to finally experience seasons — although, funny story (or maybe it isn't), I broke my arm my first winter in STL by slipping on some ice. Good times.

What hobbies do you enjoy?
I'm almost always discussing music with peers —  it's been one of the biggest influences in my life. My other hobbies are an unyielding dichotomy: I enjoy being outdoors hiking or camping, but I also like laying on my couch watching Netflix.

What is your favorite quote?
“Se dejó llevar por la convicción de que los seres humanos no nacen para siempre el día en que sus madres los alumbran, sino que la vida los obliga otra vez y muchas veces a parirse a sí mismos.” 

Is a hot dog a sandwich?
No?

Who is your biggest role model?
As far as a role model in life, I'd have to say my mom. This woman has made unimaginable sacrifices in her life and you would never know it, since she continues to be this strong-willed and resilient Latina. On the career side, I'd say my previous and current mentor since they have all demonstrated excellence in science and tackle scientific challenges with a fearless demeanor.

What career would you like to pursue after completing your PhD training?
As of now, I'd like to return to industry. I enjoyed and thrived with the structure, research impact, focus, and technical work that industry offers.

What advice would you give to prospective graduate students?
Here is some advice that I've found useful:

 - Graduate school is not easy. It's important to stay productive, but always pace yourself.
 - 
You will gain nothing from comparing yourself to your classmates/peers, since we come from all walks of life.
 - 
Your mental health is just as important, if not more, than your physical health.
 - 
Find a solid group of friends that can provide support in all forms.
 - Have fun. We're all here because we are passionate about research and discovery.​

Past Student Spotlights
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Samarth Hegde

Samarth Hegde
samarth hegde.jpgMolecular Cell Biology, incoming class 2014
Lab of Dr. David DeNardo

What is your educational/professional background?
I got my undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences in India, at BITS Pilani. I conducted post-baccalaureate research at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (inStem) in Bangalore, India. During this time, I worked in the lab of Dr. Srikala Raghavan on epithelial cell biology.

Why did you choose to attend Washington University DBBS?
What is your favorite part about pursuing your PhD training here?
I was attracted to WashU and DBBS specifically for its umbrella program and its close ties to Siteman Cancer Center. I knew my interests in translational oncology would need a graduate program that was wide in its breadth of cancer research but also extensive enough in each arm to allow for focused professional development. I was very impressed by the genuineness and candid nature of DBBS faculty and students. The environment doesn't feel cut-throat at all, but don't get me wrong -- the expectations from you as a graduate student at WashU are always very high.

Slightly off the beaten path, the favorite part of my PhD 'training' has been the weekly student-run seminars (SRS), which are not only a great way to learn how to present without the perceived pressure from faculty, but also a very important way to learn how to give or receive scientific feedback.

What research are you currently working on? What is a fun fact about your current research?
I am conducting research in the tumor immunology lab of Dr. David DeNardo. Our lab focuses on the immune microenvironment of pancreatic cancer, which is a dismal disease with very poor outcomes and high recalcitrance to treatment.

My research revolves around understanding the key physiological barriers to CD8 T cell surveillance in pancreatic cancer. I use a combination of genetic/orthotopic mouse models, tissue imaging and ex vivo T cell-tumor interaction studies to determine why these cytotoxic T cells are ineffective in controlling tumors despite the presence of sufficient cues (tumor antigens). We have a unique model that enables us to study the basic biology of antigen-specific T cell interactions in naturally progressing disease, and presents opportunity to develop combinational therapies that can reawaken the poor T cell response. Results from my research will better our current immunological understanding of pancreatic cancer progression.

Fun fact: As part of my dissertation research, I am slowly learning really cool techniques such as second-harmonic deep tissue imaging to visualize immune cell interactions in the tumor microenvironment.

Are you involved in any student groups, volunteer work or other ventures outside of the lab?
I am closely involved with the BioEntrepreneurship Core (BEC), a student educational group through which students and post-graduates can learn about entrepreneurial skills and opportunities in St. Louis or beyond. This experience has greatly enhanced my understanding of translating graduate research and the 'businessy' aspect of bringing an idea to fruition. 

What is your favorite part about living in St. Louis?
St. Louis never feels like a big city despite being one. I can decide the pace or energy for my day, and not have the city decide that for me. Best of all, the city always surprises me with its hidden treasures; whether it be interesting food places, new bars or fun events. Often it's free or ridiculously affordable, which is never a bad thing on a graduate stipend.

What hobbies do you enjoy?
I enjoy reading literary fiction and collecting graphic novels; I am also into street photography but have been slacking off recently. Having become a craft beer snob, I have picked up home-brewing with some of my graduate school friends and that's been great!

What is your favorite quote?
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes" - not from 'Satires', but from the graphic novel 'Watchmen'.

Is a hot dog a sandwich?
I would rather not wade into this trap...

Who is your biggest role model?
I really can't think of one person having that big of an influence, but one of the notable people I look up to is my previous mentor Dr. Srikala Raghavan. During my formative stage in science, I was deeply inspired by her collaborative achievements, unending enthusiasm for scientific discovery, and selfless interest in graduate training. I have seen these traits recurrent in so many successful academics including my current mentor Dr. DeNardo, and hope to follow in their footsteps.

What career would you like to pursue after completing your PhD training?
I plan to pursue academic research in my field of tumor immunology. I will apply for postdoctoral research opportunities in this field to prepare myself for eventual tenure-track research. The NCIF99 fellowship I have received will go a long way in enabling such a transition. I'm cognizant of the current dearth of academic careers, but feel I'm preparing myself well to be a competitive candidate for the research track.

What advice would you give to prospective graduate students?
I'll limit this to three: 

1) Don't join labs/graduate programs just because the Investigator is a big name or the lab's research is the buzzword of that year. It's your research interest foremost, followed by lab environment. You'll be a part of that lab for a large chunk of your life, pick a lab you would enjoy coming in on each day (or most days).

2) There will be a lot of times you will feel inadequate in comparison to peers or other people in lab. Imposter syndrome is very real and very draining. Don't feel ashamed to acknowledge it; having a strong peer support system (helpful mentors, friends inside and outside science) is key. Don't let go of that favorite hobby of yours too!

3) Pick up a valuable skill or technique in your graduate career that makes you marketable or competitive. The earlier you identify that and start working on it, the better.

Please list any grants, awards, publications, or other honors you have received during your time at DBBS.
I am the 2017 recipient of the NCI F99/K00 Predoctoral-to-Postdoctoral Fellow transition award for Washington University. The purpose of the award is to encourage students recognized for their potential and strong interest in pursuing careers as independent cancer researchers. The F99 phase supports 2 years of predoctoral research, and the K00 phase supports up to 4 years of mentored postdoc research. This award can facilitate my seamless transition into a successful postdoctoral appointment in cancer biology, while providing me with opportunities for career development relevant to my long-term academic goals.

I have contributed to two publications in the DeNardo lab:
-Jiang, H., Hegde, S., Knolhoff, B. L., Zhu, Y., Herndon, J. M., Meyer, M. A., et al. (2016). Targeting focal adhesion kinase renders pancreatic cancers responsive to checkpoint immunotherapy. Nature Medicine, 22(8), 851-860.-Jiang, H., Hegde, S., and DeNardo, D.G. (2017) Tumor-associated fibrosis as a regulator of tumor immunity and response toimmunotherapy. Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy, 1-12.

Please list any other information you would like to share for your spotlight.
For more information on the F99 funding mechanism, check out https://www.cancer.gov/grants-training/training/funding/f99

Past Student Spotlights
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Kiona Elliot
KionaElliotSpotlight.png

Kiona Elliot

Plant & Microbial Biosciences, incoming class 2017

What is your educational/professional background?
I received a B.S. degree at the Univer​sity of Florida in Horticultural Sciences with a specialization in Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology. During my undergraduate career, I worked as a student research assistant in Dr. Kevin Folta's lab studying a novel class of plant growth regulators. Prior to starting graduate school, I worked as a research assistant in Dr. Mark Settles’ lab also at the University of Florida studying Maize genetics.

Why did you choose to attend Washington University DBBS?
What is your favorite part about pursuing your PhD training here?
My decision to attend Washington University DBBS was largely based on the incredible legacy of the Plant and Microbial Biosciences program and the opportunities DBBS provides graduate students. I felt that the resources offered here, such as the Initiative to Maximize Student Development, the pathway program, the courses, seminars, etc., would provide the best training for me as a graduate student. I was especially attracted to how happy the graduate students at Washington University seemed during my interview weekend. During interviews, I found all the students I met to be happy with Washington University's training and support by faculty and fellow peers. I have found support offered by DBBS to be incredible and it is my favorite part of pursuing my PhD training here.

What research are you currently working on?
As a first year in the PMB program, I am currently rotating with different DBBS professors. First, I have rotated with Dr. Barbara Kunkel studying the role of Auxin in the parthenogenesis of Pseudomonas Syringae on Arabidopsis plants. Secondly, I rotated with Dr. Rebecca Bart analyzing pathogen infection of CRISPR-Cas9 edited Cassava mutants. I am currently rotating with Dr. Blake Meyers studying the translocation of mobile RNAs in grafted tomato plants and PhasiRNAs in Maize. The opportunity to rotate in these labs has given me a great opportunity to explore my research interests and learn about different fields of study.

Are you involved in any student groups, volunteer work or other ventures outside of the lab?
I am a member of a new student led podcast called GradCast. On GradCast, we strive to build community at Washington University and beyond by sharing the life experiences and work of graduate and professional students across all disciplines. Additionally, I recently joined the graduate student group ProSPER as the Communication Director. ProSPER serves to promote the use of science in policy-making through science advocacy and literacy, facilitate inter-professional communication, and increase scientist participation in policy.

What is your favorite part about living in St. Louis?
My favorite part about living in St. Louis is the endless events and free activities that are available throughout the year. I love the amenities available in Forest Park such as the Art Museum, the Science Center, and the Zoo. There are also tons of festivals and activities around the year like the Central West End Halloween Party or the Loop Ice Carnival.

What hobbies do you enjoy?
Some of my favorite hobbies include reading (I'm currently on an Oprah kick), and documentary watching. I'm also a huge fan of themed dinner parties and board game nights.

What is your favorite quote?
Due to my current Oprah kick, my favorite quote is, "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." -Oprah Winfrey

Is a hot dog a sandwich?
No way.

Who is your biggest role model?
It may be a cliché, but my mom is definitely my biggest role model.

What career would you like to pursue after completing your PhD training?
After completing my PhD, I would like to pursue a career studying ways to use genetic engineering for crop improvement use. Particularly for application in developing nations.

What advice would you give to prospective graduate students?
My greatest piece of advice would be to find a support network you can rely on. Graduate school can be challenging but having mentors, friends, and family you can count on can help you get through the ruts and keep you sane! I would also say take advantage of the many opportunities around you.

Past Student Spotlights
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Leeran Blythe Dublin
Leeran Blythe Dublin

Developmental, Regenerative, and Stem Cell Biology, incoming class 2014, lab of Dr. Heather True

What is your educational/professional background?
I received a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Kentucky University in May of 2014.

Why did you choose to attend Washington University DBBS?
What is your favorite part about pursuing your PhD training here?
I chose to attend Washington University in St. Louis because DBBS is very supportive of students. I was an Amgen Scholar at WashU before coming here for grad school and saw then that DBBS really cares about the students and their happiness. When I interviewed the older graduate students told me about how the coordinators support them throughout graduate school by helping them find housing, arranging tutors for classes they struggle with, setting up advising appointments, assigning student mentors to new students, and more. I also learned about the student run seminar programs that allow students to present to one another and offer feedback. Also, the students told me about the different student groups they participate in, including BALSA, which allows students to get consulting experience, and YSP, which allows students to teach and mentor high school students.​

What research are you currently working on?
I study protein folding fidelity and prion formation in yeast. The NAC (nascent polypeptide-associated complex) is positioned at the ribosome exit tunnel and the first point of contact for newly synthesized proteins. While NAC deletion is embryonically lethal in higher order eukaryotes, our lab has found that NAC partial deletion in yeast leads to protection against prion-induced toxicity, reduction of nascent prion formation, and impaired prion subunit joining. My research explores the mechanisms by which NAC deletion leads to better protein folding and the extent to which NAC deletion is protective of protein folding fidelity.

Are you involved in any student groups, volunteer work or other ventures outside of the lab?
I am Co-President of Connections, a diversity and inclusion student initiative that seeks to improve the experience of those in our community through disseminating knowledge and engaging in intergroup dialogue on topics of diversity. Connections hosts one lecture and one intergroup dialogue meeting a month focused on a social justice issue, such as mass incarceration, health disparities, first generation college students, systemic racism, and diversity in biomedical research. I truly believe that by educating our community on social justice issues we build a better environment for all, which leads to better and more efficient scientific discovery.

What is your favorite part about living in St. Louis? 
Right now I live in the metro east, however for three years I lived in the city and still love going out in The Grove, which is the "gayborhood" of St. Louis. Being able to socialize with other lgbtqia folx in my city is so empowering and affirming. I also love spending time in Tower Grove park and the surrounding shops and restaurants. There is a great variety of cuisine and culture to explore in Tower Grove.

What hobbies do you enjoy?
I love hanging out with my labradoodle Rainer, playing board and card games with friends, and putting together jigsaw puzzles.

What is your favorite quote?
I love Maya Angelou and so here are some of my favorite quotes by her: "We can learn to see each other and see ourselves in each other and recognize that human beings are more alike than we are unalike." "Nothing will work unless you do." "You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."

Is a hot dog a sandwich?
NO! You can't cut it in half.

Who is your biggest role model?
As a non-binary individual it has been very difficult to find people to look up to who reflect my identity. However, I have found that most of my role models are women, people in the queer community, and people of color, because I know they all had to overcome barriers to get to the positions they are in today. One of my biggest role models is Dr. Sharon Milgram, the Director of the Office of Intramural Training and Education at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Milgram encourages young scientists to pursue their dreams and see their identities as strengths in that pursuit. She has encouraged me to explore my interests in science, teaching, and diversity and find career paths that fulfill me, instead of pursuing a specific career because it is "safe" or seen as the "right" path for someone with a PhD. My PI Dr. Heather True is also an exceptional role model for me. Heather sees PhD training as much more than learning how to do research. She considers what training I need to go on to the next step in my career and encourages me to seek out opportunities to get that training. She has made sure I have had opportunities to mentor students, get experience teaching, and think critically about my project in order to propel it forward.

What career would you like to pursue after completing your PhD training?
I am interested in teaching science, developing curriculum, and designing diversity programming for the scientific community at the college level.

What advice would you give to prospective graduate students?
Graduate school is full of ups and downs. Make sure to surround yourself with friends from within and also outside of your scientific community. It is great to have friends to talk about your science with; it is also great to forget about your science for a little while with other friends. I love science and have loved my graduate school experience, but there are extreme ups and downs that are made easier by having non-scientist friends.​

Past Student Spotlights
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Chronology

PH.D. THESIS EXAMINATION PROCEDURES

See your student coordinator at least THREE - SIX months prior to thesis examination (defense).

If you are an International student, YOU MUST see the International Office prior to setting up a defense date to discuss your Visa status and its implication.

Intent to Graduate Form - The Office of Student Records requires that you complete the Intent to Graduate Form on-line through WebSTAC, see below for graduation deadlines. If you have any problems locating or completing the form in WebSTAC, please contact the Office of Student Records at (314) 935-5959.
 
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR STUDENT COORDINATOR WHEN YOU FILE YOUR INTENT TO GRADUATE FORM ON WEBSTAC. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOUR STUDENT COORDINATOR KNOW YOUR DEFENSE AND GRADUATION DATE.
 
Read through the Doctoral Dissertatio​n Guide for formatting guidelines and other important information (found at http://graduateschool.wustl.edu/guides-0).
 
 
ALL FORMS LISTED BELOW MUST BE SUBMITTED TO YOUR COORDINATOR.
 
One Month Before Thesis Examination:
  • Ask your coordinator for the Dissertation Committee Form, have your program director sign the form and return form to your coordinator.
  • Submit your CV and the dissertation abstract.  (Be sure to follow the guidelines in the Doctoral Dissertation Guide booklet). Each should be initialed by the thesis advisor.
  • Email your coordinator the dissertation title, defense date, time and location of thesis examination. It is the student’s responsibility to reserve a room for the thesis examination.  (Thesis Examination information will be published in the DBBS seminar calendar online.)
  • Submit the Payroll/Student Health Form
Two Weeks Before Thesis Examination:
  • Distribute copies of dissertation and a copy of your CV to committee members electronically.  If your PDF file is too large to send by email, we advise you to use the Washington University Large File Transfer System, https://box.wustl.edu/​.  It is a secure and encrypted tool for transferring large files between people and works in a similar manner to Dropbox.  Members of the Wash U community can access this system with their WUSTL Key.
    Note: Your thesis advisor should be listed as the chairperson on your title page and the date would be your degree date (May, August or December are the only options). If you have questions about permission to use published papers in your thesis, you may wish to visit https://media2.proquest.com/documents/copyright_dissthesis_ownership.pdf for help with this topic or you may wish to consult your subject librarian, or email WULIB_copyrighthelp@wumail.wustl.edu.
After Defense:
  • Submit your Thesis Examination Approval form to your coordinator.
  • Submit your finalized dissertation online.  Log on to http://www.etdadmin.com/wustl to create an account. Once your dissertation has been successfully submitted you will receive an email informing you that everything has been received. Final submission must be completed by the deadline, indicated in deadline section below.  Plan to submit your dissertation and paperwork a few days before the deadline. You may need to make corrections to your formatting or fill out additional paperwork.
  • Fill out the Post-Graduation Job​ Survey ahttp://graduateschool.wustl.edu/guides-0​
  • Fill out the Survey of Earned Docto​rates Form at http://graduateschool.wustl.edu/forms-0.
  • Check in with your coordinator to make sure you have submitted everything you need to submit. 
Binding Dissertation
  • If you would like to have your dissertation bound, visit http://wustl.thesisondemand.com/  to upload your thesis and order bound copies. No copies should be ordered until after the electronic submission of a dissertation to ProQuest has been approved by the Graduate School; the pdf uploaded at http://wustl.thesisondemand.com/ should be identical to the approved pdf previously submitted to ProQuest.
  • Note: The price for binding a single dissertation begins at $25 (shipping additional). A $35 Scholar Credit will be applied to each graduating student’s SIS account approximately 30 days after their last stipend check.
  • Should your PI want a copy of your thesis, they can also use the Thesis on Demand site at their own expense. You will need to provide them with an electronic copy of your thesis to utilize this site- http://wustl.thesisondemand.com/.
  • Questions regarding dissertation binding should be directed to Andrew Richards, Director of Alumni Affairs at richardsa@wustl.edu​.
 
REGARDING STUDENT HEALTH COVERAGE:
In most cases, outpatient benefits cease the day the finished dissertation is submitted to the Graduate School, with a grace period providing emergency benefits to continue for an additional 30 days. However, students presenting their thesis in late summer months may find it necessary to pay additional fees, since the billing cycle for the previous semester ends on June 30, with the 30 day grace period extending limited coverage to July 31. Hospitalization and emergency room services only are provided during the grace period.
Getting Ready to Graduate
1
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Application Process
Eligibility:
Students applying in year 1 must be good academic standing. 
Students applying in year 2 must have completed the Program-specific qualifying exam. 
Students are encouraged to have completed one or more of the following courses: Genomics (Bio 5488), Advanced Genetics (Bio 5491) or Fundamentals of Mammalian Genetics (Bio 5285), however all interested students should apply.    
 
Application:    
- Name, birth date, address, academic program and year and citizenship.  
- Contact information (e-mail and telephone)
- PI in which thesis work is being conducted
- CV or resume (include a list of graduate courses taken and grade)
- Paragraph description of why the student is interested in the Pathway
- Paragraph description of thesis research.* 
- Assemble these components into a single PDF, and send to
pmpathway@genetics.wustl.edu
- Two letters of recommendation, one of which is from the thesis advisor*, should be sent directly to
pmpathway@genetics.wustl.edu
 
*If you have not yet joined a thesis laboratory then a rotation lab project and a rotation advisor can be used as a substitute.
 
All application material should be submitted by June 15, 2018, to
pmpathway@genetics.wustl.edu
 
Applications will be reviewed by the Pathway Co-directors, Tim Schedl (Genetics), Chris Gurnett (Neurology) and John Welch (Medicine).
Genetics & Genomics Pathway Application Process
1
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2018 - Cherilynn Reynolds Shadding
Cherilynn Reynolds Shadding, PhD

Assistant Professor of Genetics
Director of Outreach, McDonnell Genome Institute
Interim Director of Diversity, DBBS

Education:
B.A. (Biology), Fisk University
M.A. (Biology), Fisk University
Ph.D. (Physiology), Meharry Medical College

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Washington University DBBS team?
By far what I enjoy the most about my time and work at WashU is working with the students. I’ve been fortunate to establish three NIH funded programs that focus on diversity in STEM, an issue for which I care very deeply (sometimes too much). But I’ve been given a lot of freedom to do what I enjoy and to make change that I hope will last beyond these grants and beyond my career at WashU.

What are your research interests? What are your research goals?
My research focuses on diversity in STEM and efforts to enhance the diversity of the biomedical workforce. Specifically, I am interested in the assessment of interventions utilized to increase and retain underrepresented minorities (URM) in STEM fields. My goal is to establish best practices in these areas for effective outcomes and efficient operation of STEM outreach programs.

How has your time at Washington University helped further your research goals?
I came to WashU as a bench scientist. And that’s all I knew was science and teaching. As a grad student I thought I would take the then traditional route until I became involved in outreach. I had the opportunities to do outreach and teach as a graduate student where I worked in a middle school and conducted hands-on experiments and created lesson plans for 7th and 8th graders in Nashville and I loved it. Since I wasn’t brave enough to tell my parents I wanted to teach middle school, I went on to do two postdocs and I thought I was headed to becoming a professor at a primarily undergraduate institution. I didn’t know that being director of outreach was a thing and I certainly wasn’t aware of research opportunities within outreach and STEM diversity. So being here helped me develop in an area that I didn’t know existed and helped me create a path where I can live out some of my passions every day.

What is your favorite part about living in St. Louis?
I’m from St Louis but St. Louis changed a lot from when I grew up here and is still changing. So I enjoy going to new places (or new to me). But for sure my favorite thing to do is to hang out in Forest Park, whether for an event, or taking my son to the playground or just for a walk. I also just enjoy having my family nearby.

What hobbies do you enjoy?
My recent hobby apparently is building massive train track designs with my son that look more like roller coasters. I don’t know if I have hobbies per se, but when I have time I enjoy reading (typically non-fiction, but recently more fiction), writing (one day I’ll finish my creative non-fiction writing certificate from U College) and cooking (not the daily boring cooking; but cooking for gatherings or recipes that I make up in my head).

What is your favorite quote?
"I am a human being; nothing human can be alien to me." – Terence. I first heard this quoted by Maya Angelou when she was the keynote speaker at a conference I attended. So this for sure is one of the more treasured moments in my professional life.

What is the most ridiculous fact you know?
Not sure but I'm certain it has something to do with the length of the human genome and comparing it to the height of the St. Louis Arch or how many years it would take to read our genome in volumes of books.

Who is your biggest role model?
My mother. She was my toughest critic and my biggest supporter and she often made miracles happen with very little.

What advice would you give to both prospective and current graduate students?
While I give individualized advice on a regular basis to many students, one piece of advice I give to all is summed up in three words: READ, READ, READ! I don’t think students do this enough. My general life advice: Live YOUR life. Own YOUR life. Don’t settle. Make life better for someone else.

Fellowships, awards, and publications while at Washington University:
I have recently published data from one of the programs that I created, Opportunities in Genomics Research that I run at the McDonnell Genome Institute. My goal is to publish data from every program I direct.

Whittington, D, Wallace, LE, Shadding, CR. Proxies for Success: How the Application Process Correlates to PhD Pursuit for a Small Diversity Research Program. SAGE Open 2017: 7(3)

R, Whittington, D, Wallace, LE, Wandu, WS, Wilson, RK, Cost-effective recruitment strategies that attract underrepresented minority undergraduates who persist to STEM doctorates. SAGE Open 2016: 6(3)​

Past Faculty Spotlights
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Transportation

​Washington University U-Pass Program

Washington University in St. Louis offers a comprehensive transportation program through Metro St. Louis, the region's public transportation agency.  The U-Pass program provides Metro passes for full-time students, benefits-eligible faculty and staff, and full-time employees of qualified service providers.  This program provides students and other members of the University community unlimited access to the St. Louis Metropolitan region on public transit.  In addition, there are three bus routes that specifically target the connection of Washington University's campuses to nearby residential and shopping areas.  For more information on the U-Pass program, please call (314) 935-5601 or visit parking.wustl.edu/transportation/Pages/u-pass.aspx.  Metro route and schedule information is available online at metrostlouis.org.  Faculty, staff, and students who use the U-Pass as the primary mode of transportation to and from campus may enroll in the Occasional Parking program and are also eligible for the Citizens for Modern Transit Guaranteed Ride Home program.  See your DBBS Program Coordinator to register for the fall semester to become eligible for the U-Pass.

For information on parking & shuttle routes on the Med School campus, visit the Washington University School of Medicine(WUSM) Transportation Office online or call 314-362-6824.

For information on parking and shuttle routes on the Danforth (main) campus, visit the Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) Transportation Office​ online or call 314-935-5601.

Entering Students
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Rotations

When searching for a lab in which to rotate, the PI of the lab may ask your DBBS Program Coordinator to view your application. Please complete the File Permission Form to ensure a seamless transition to each rotation.

Setting Up Your First Rotation
We encourage all DBBS students to research our faculty database and to contact potential research mentors before arriving on campus. Here are a few tips to make setting up your first rotation a success: 

  • Review faculty and their research interests to get an idea of where you want to rotate.
  • Most faculty members prefer to be contacted initially by email, so contact faculty before you arrive.
  • To prepare for your first meeting with the faculty member, read some recent papers from the faculty member's laboratory.
  • Download and fill out the Research Rotation Form and give to your program coordinator.  
  • Please visit the Student Forms section of the DBBS website for all student forms.
Entering Students
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Health

All incoming students to WUSM are required to meet certain entrance health requirements.  These entrance requirements include proof of immunity to certain communicable diseases, in accordance with immunization guidelines, and a physical within one year of matriculation. Incomplete information will result in a student’s inability to attend classes.  The student alone is responsible for ensuring that all required forms are completed and returned to Student Health Service by July 15th.  For those students starting in the summer, form submission is required one month prior to your start date.  Failure to comply will result in a $95.00 late fee.  Please visit the Student Health web-site at http://wusmhealth.wustl.edu for detailed requirements, instructions and forms.  Using your WUSTL key, you are able to submit your information using electronic record submission.​

If you need a physical, contact the following organization; they offer a reduced rate for WUSTL students.

BarnesCare Midtown
5000 Manchester Ave. 
314-747-5800 (call for appointment)
Hours:  Monday – Friday 7:30am – 6:00pm

Cost for physical:  ~$62.00 - $118.00
Immunizations could be ~$405.00
You may want to have this done at your undergraduate school.
In addition, they DO NOT accept insurance.

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