Mentored Teaching Experience (MTE)
Basic MTE: All DBBS students are required to have a Mentored Teaching Experience (MTE) for at least one-semester, documented by registering for Mentored Teaching Experience (Dept. L41, LSG 600, Section # program dependent, Credit=0). This is typically completed during the second year of graduate training.
The mentored teaching experience (MTE) will involve one of the following:
- lead discussions and/or problem-solving sessions
- prepare and deliver one or more lectures as part of the regular lecture schedule
- provide regular instruction in a laboratory environment
The primary focus of the course is development of instructional skills, which includes live classroom practice and regular meetings between graduate students and instructors of the courses (course masters) to discuss:
- the teaching approach
- evaluation of their performance
- discussion of other matters
As part of DBBS MTE training, students are required to:
- Attend the University’s Orientation for the Mentored Teaching Experience.
- Read the Graduate School's Mentored Teaching Experience Handbook (received at orientation).
- Complete three 90-minute workshops, each covering a different topic, offered by the WUSTL Teaching Center-- The Teaching Center's Basic Mentored Teaching Experience-Training Workshops will introduce graduate students to effective pedagogical methods. A new topic will be offered each month, September-November and February-April. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT STUDENTS START ATTENDING WORKSHOPS PRIOR TO OR DURING THE SEMESTERS OF THE MTE. THE STUDENT WILL NOT RECEIVE A GRADE UNTIL PARTICIPATION OF 3 WORKSHOPS HAS BEEN RECORDED.
- Register for LGS 600 Mentored Teaching Experience in WebSTAC.
- Meet the expectations of the course master for the MTE.
- Complete a written evaluation of the MTE.
Students will receive a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade at the conclusion of their MTE only when the following has been completed:
- Participation in a minimum of 3 different workshops
- Mentored Teaching Experience evaluation (by the student)
- Course master evaluation (submitted to DBBS)
Students who receive an unsatisfactory grade for any reason will be required to complete a second MTE.
Advanced MTE: The communication of one's scientific knowledge and findings within one's field is a critical skill for all scientists. To foster this skill, all DBBS students must complete the Advanced MTE by engaging in a minimum of 4 scientific presentations. Presentations may include oral and poster presentations at scientific meetings and program retreats before faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and others in the field. The following will not count towards this requirement: lab meetings, journal clubs, thesis committee meetings, the thesis examination, presentations to undergraduates or a non-academic audience.
Students will be required to certify their Basic and Advanced MTE on the Teaching Requirements form, which is submitted to the Graduate School prior to the thesis examination.
Additional Teaching Opportunities: Division students interested in a teaching career may seek additional professional development through the Department of Biology’s Second Mentoring Teaching Experience Fellowship Program. Students who pursue this additional professional development will be hired as part-time lecturers by the department. The Chair of the Department of Biology can provide students with more information about this program. Students may also gain additional teaching experience through the Teaching Center's Teaching Citation Program. Students wishing to participate in either of these opportunities must obtain the approval of their thesis mentor and their Program Director. (MSTP students will also need approval of the MSTP).
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|DGSP Degree Requirements|
Section II - Alzheimer's
Section Leaders: Joy Snider, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Neurology & Nupur Ghoshal, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor,
John C. Morris, MD
Harvey A. & Dorismae Hacker
Professor of Neurology
Professor, Pathology & Immunology
Director, Center for Aging
Director, Memory & Aging Project
Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Research
John Cirrito, PhD
Anne Fagan, PhD
Abeta and tau
metabolism/fluid biomarkers in Alzheimer’s Disease
Beau Ances, MD PhD MSc
Imaging in dementia
Gregory Day, MD MSc FRCPC
The Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis Foundation
Timothy Miller, MD PhD
Professor of Neurology
therapeutic strategies for dementia
Nupur Ghoshal, MD PhD
Brendan Lucey, MD
Sleep science and
Wrap up discussion
|Pathobiology of Human Disease States Course|
Section I - Immunotherapy
Section Leader: Todd A. Fehniger, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, Divistion of Oncology, Section: Bone Marrow Transplant
Todd Fehniger, MD PhD
Associate Professor of
Medicine, Division of Oncology, Section: Bone Marrow Transplant
Intro to the Markey
Pathway & Course
Intro to Immunology
Concepts (Immunology Bootcamp)
Killer Cell Therapy
Rizwan Romee, MD
BMT & Leukemia
Haploidentical Transplant Program
John DiPersio, MD PhD
Virginia E. and
Samuel J Golman Endowed Professorship of Medicine, Pathology & Immunology
Professor, Pediatrics & Pathology
Chief, Division of Oncology
Siteman Cancer Center
targeting agents for cancer therapy
Gavin Dunn, MD PhD
Neurological Surgery, Pathology & Immunology
Center for Human
Immunology & Immunotherapy Programs
Personalizing T cell
immunotherapy for brain cancer and checkpoint blockade
personalized medicine clinical trials
LOCATION & TIME CHANGE:
Center, Cell Processing Lab, SCC Biological Therapy Core, and Clinical BMT
Follow the NK and
(Note: 2 hours!)
David DeNardo, PhD
Division of Oncology
Andrea Wang-Gillam, MD PhD
Division of Oncology
microenvironment impact on the immune response
Amanda Cashen, MD
Division of Oncology
Section: Bone Marrow
receptor modified T cells for cancer immunotherapy
Wrap up discussion
|Pathobiology of Human Disease States Course|
Required - Division Sponsored
- Coursework: Depending on the program, coursework typically requires from two to five semesters; usually consisting of four to seven courses in areas fundamental to the student’s Program. The typical student takes two or three courses in the first semester of graduate study and one or two courses in each of the next two or three semesters; most often completing by the end of the second year.
- Mentored Teaching Experience: Students are required to do one MTE for the duration of one academic semester (Fall or Spring). In most cases the MTE takes place during their second year when the students are just starting in their newly chosen thesis lab. Sometimes students ask or are asked to do a ‘Second' MTE. This requires PI/Mentor approval.
- Qualifying Examination: In their first through third years and at different times of the academic year (depends on the program) students are preparing for their Qualifying Exam. Two examples: 1) Microbiology students begin studying for their qualifying exam (preliminary exam) one year in advance (January of their first year). They meet as a group and study one day each week for an entire year. 2) Neurosciences students are not expected to do any lab work during an 8 week exam period schedule, May-June, at the end of their first year. Check with your Program Director or Program Student Coordinator for more information.
American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship
Two year awards providing stipend and money towards health insurance and project support. Can receive a third year of funding but must reapply for competitive review. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, exchange visitor (J-1), temporary worker in a specialty occupation (H-1B), NAFTA professionals (TN), temporary worker with extraordinary abilities in the sciences (O-1) or student visa (F-1). Must pass qualifying or comprehensive exam prior to activation of the award. The deadline is November 1st.
For more information go to:
|Nationally Competitive Fellowships|
Future Educators is a student-run group including graduate students and postdocs who are interested in teaching and mentoring. Members are not necessarily committed to pursuing a teaching-focused career, but we feel that learning and thinking about teaching will have positive effects on our current and future careers. Our group meets regularly to discuss ideas related to teaching and mentoring in a research-based setting, and we also serve as a resource for locating teaching opportunities in the St. Louis area and around the country. Postdocs are strongly encouraged to attend the workshop on writing a teaching philosophy statement, and all first-year graduate students are welcome to attend our “How to pick a MTE-ship” panel in the spring. If you would like to receive more information about Future Educators, please visit https://futureeducatorswus.wixsite.com/about, email us at email@example.com or find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wustlfutureeducators/?fref=ts.
|Organizations & Campus Groups- Open to All |
The application deadline for Fall 2018 enrollment is December 1, 2017. All applicants are encouraged to submit ealry. Submission of the application prior to November 1, 2017 will allow for a discountrd application fee.
|PhD Application Instructions|
The application consists of:
- Three letters of recommendation
- Academic history
- Test Scores
- TOEFL (if applicable)
- Two essays and a 10 word research description
- Listing of Major coursework
- Work history
- 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|
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General test is required for all applicants. 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 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|
Can I submit a copy of my GRE/TOEFL score report until the official score report is received by your office?
You are able to upload/attach a copy of your score report into the application.
|Admissions- FAQ TEST SCORES|
What are the GRE or TOEFL Institution and Department codes for reporting test scores to be sent to DBBS?
Institution Code - 6929
Department Code - 0299
(Department code is located under Natural Sciences/Biological Sciences. We are listed last, after Zoology)
P.O. Box 6000
Princeton, NJ 08541-6000
Institution Code - 6929
Department Code - 045
Educational Testing Services
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-6151
Website : www.toefl.org
|Admissions- FAQ TEST SCORES|
Do students get vacation/sick time off?
Student appointments to the Division are considered to be 52-week appointments and do not follow academic vacation schedules. Planned absences should be approved by the supervisor and unplanned absences reported to them. “Supervisors” in the graduate years are program directors, rotation mentors, MTE supervisors and/or thesis mentors, as is appropriate. For MSTP students during their medical training, the Director of the MSTP program will serve as the supervisor. The total amount of excused absence should be consistent with that of academic employees of the University. This would include: University approved holidays; 22 days of vacation; and 12 days of sick time off annually. Sick time off and vacation are not carried over from year to year, are not accrued (available from time of appointment) and are not subject to payout at the termination of the graduate student appointment. Therefore, informal monitoring of this time off by supervisors and students will normally be sufficient. For students in Ph.D. training, disputes between supervisors and students should be addressed by the Program Director. For MSTP students in medical training, disputes between supervisors and students will be resolved by consensus between the MSTP Director and the clinical supervisor.
Section III - Hearing Loss
|Pathobiology of Human Disease States Course|
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.
- 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 for all applicants. 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 deadline. See “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|
Dixit, Ram: Dr. Dixit focuses on understanding on how the
microtubule cytoskeleton regulates plant cell shape. His lab uses transgenic
plants and follow fluorescently tagged proteins in living cells using total
internal reflection fluorescence microscopy to study dynamics and function of
proteins at the single molecule level. In addition, by combining mutational
analysis with live imaging of new two-color marker lines generated in the Dixit
lab, they examine the way in which microtubule severing proteins are responsible
for pruning unaligned cortical microtubules at crossover sites and how this
activity is involved in creating ordered arrays. Collaborators: Herzog, Piston.
Herzog, Erik: Dr. Herzog studies the cellular and molecular basis
for circadian rhythms, focusing on the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the
hypothalamus. By combining electrophysiological and molecular imaging
techniques, his lab is identifying pacemaking cells and how these cells
coordinate their activities to drive behavior. The lab compares the circadian
rhythms expressed behaviorally and by cells and tissues using a variety of
techniques including behavioral monitoring and imaging with multielectrode
recordings, bioluminescence and fluorescence from animals carrying transgenic
reporters. Trainees in the Herzog lab pursue optical and digital imaging of
low-light bioluminescence, fluorescence, and bright-field preparations. Dr.
Herzog received an Outstanding Mentor Award in 2008. Collaborators: Holy,
BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING (BME)
An, Hongyu: Dr. An has extensive experience in MR and PET/MR
imaging and is the associate director of the Center for Clinical Imaging
Research (CCIR). Her expertise includes MRI physics, MR sequence design and
programming, image reconstruction, image and data analysis, PET/MR attenuation
correction, and motion correction. Simultaneously acquired anatomical,
physiological and metabolic MR imaging and physiological and molecular PET
imaging provide unprecedented diagnostic and prognostic values in many diseases.
A specialty of Dr. An’s group has been developing novel MR based PET
attenuation methods. An application area is the important MR imaging challenge
of quantifying cerebral oxygenation. Collaborators: Ackerman, Hershey, Woodard.
Anastasio, Mark: Dr. Anastasio’s research interests include the
development of biomedical imaging methods, image reconstruction, and inverse
problems in imaging and theoretical image science. Almost all modern biomedical
imaging systems including advanced microscopy methods, X-ray computed
tomography (CT), and photoacoustic tomography, to name only a few, utilize
computational methods for image formation. Dr. Anastasio’s lab brings together
imaging physics with a deep knowledge of image reconstruction algorithms to
provide quantitative imaging with improved performance across a wide range of
metrics. In particularly they have been actively involved in the development of
several emerging wave-based bioimaging modalities including photoacoustic
computed tomography (PACT), X-ray phase-contrast imaging, ultrasound computed
tomography (UST) and optical tomography. Collaborators: Chen, Culver, Parikh.
Chen, Hong: Dr. Chen’s research is focused on developing
image-guided ultrasound drug delivery (IGUDD) techniques. A new assistant
professor, Dr. Chen has a joint appointment with Radiation oncology. Her
laboratory is setting up two experimental systems: an ultrasound-image-guided
focused ultrasound system and an MRI-guided focused ultrasound system. The goal
is to translate basic research advances in imaging and ultrasound therapy into
image-guided therapy devices that can impact cancer patient care.
Collaborators: Anastasio, Hallahan, Parikh.
Raman, Barani: Dr. Raman’s research focuses on examining the
spatio-temporal signals in neural systems to understand the design and
computing principles of biological sensory systems using relatively simple
invertebrate models (e.g., Drosophila melanogaster). His lab employ’s a
variety of multi-dimensional electrophysiological recording techniques and
computational modeling approaches to investigate how dynamic odor signals are
encoded as neural representations (odor coding). Recent work from Dr. Raman’s
lab, published in Nature Communications and Nature Neuroscience, has revealed
the behavioral relevance of combinations of neurons activated by an odorant
(i.e., ‘the combinatorial code’) and in the temporal structure of the neural
activity (i.e., ‘the temporal code’). Collaborators: Gruev, Holy, Petersen.
CELL BIOLOGY AND PHYSIOLOGY
Cooper, John: The laboratory uses a variety of light and electron
microscopy techniques to address questions of how cells control their shape and
movement. Those techniques might include low-light level fluorescence
microscopy of living cell preparations, including spinning-disk confocal and
total internal reflection microscopy. Collaborators: Bayly, Piston.
Mecham, Robert: Dr. Mecham studies the extracellular matrix, the
critical material that helps bind together and support the structures and
tissues of the human body. He is a well-known leader in uncovering the
structure of elastic fiber and understanding the complex process involved in
producing it. His laboratory focuses on learning how cells produce elastic
fibers, a major component of the extracellular matrix. His work includes
live-cell imaging of extracellular matrix assembly. Collaborators: Holtzman,
Piston, David: The main research focus of the Piston lab is the
understanding of glucose-regulated hormone secretion from islets of Langerhans
in the pancreas. To perform live cell measurements in situ and in
vivo, his lab develops unique, state-of-the-art fluorescence imaging
methods to assay responses along critical signaling pathways in both
glucagon-secreting α-cells and insulin-secreting β-cells. These quantitative
microscopy measurements are combined with standard biochemical and molecular
biological techniques to obtain valuable information that bridges the gap
between the known details of the signaling pathways in individual cells and the
overall response of a whole islet. Experimental work involves 5D live cell
imaging and high-content screening. Collaborators: Nichols, Urano, Gross,
Ackerman, Joseph: Trainees perform research in the development and
application of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and imaging (MRI) for
study of intact biological systems, from cultured cells to mice to man. A major
area of research is the development of MR techniques that will provide a more
complete understanding of the complex structure and operating organization of
mammalian tissues in the intact, functioning state. Collaborators: Bayly,
Mirica, Liviu: Dr. Mirica uses inorganic chemistry, organic
chemistry, and biological chemistry to address metal-mediated processes with
energy, biological, and medical relevance. One of his projects involves
investigation of the interaction of transition metal ions with Aβ peptides and
study of the role of metal ions in amyloid plaque and reactive oxygen species
(ROS) formation in patients with AD — whose plaques exhibit unusually high
concentrations of copper, iron, and zinc. He is developing Cu-64 complexes that
can be employed for PET imaging and early diagnosis of AD. Collaborators: Rath,
Gruev, Victor: Dr. Gruev’s research focuses on borrowing key concepts
from nature to develop ultra-sensitive, compact, lightweight and conformal
imaging sensors capable of recording spectral and polarization properties with
high spatial resolution and to bring these new sensory devices to clinical
settings. Gruev’s lab has been able to successfully mimic both the optics and
underlying neural circuitry from the visual system of both Morpho butterflies
and mantis shrimp by using various nanomaterials and nanofabrication techniques
and monolithically integrate them with circuits fabricated with advanced CMOS
technologies. The compact realization of these bio-inspired
spectral-polarization imaging sensors combined with wearable goggle devices and
real-time image processing implemented on FPGA platform, were recently used to
translate this technology into the operating room to provide instant visual
feedback to physicians. Collaborators: Achilefu, Culver, Raman.
Pless, Robert: Dr. Pless works on developing tools for the
fundamental mathematical modeling and analysis of motion in video sequences. He
co-founded the Media and Machines Laboratory, which now includes five full time
faculty and is a focal point for research on Computer Vision, Robotics, Graphics,
Medical Imaging and Human Computer Interaction. Driven by biological imaging
applications, the primary mathematical tools are data-driven, non-parametric
statistical models that represent scene-specific or patient-specific models of
common motions and behaviors. These models are ignore distracting motions
(e.g., breathing artifacts in CT). Collaborators: Bayly, Leuthardt, Miller,
Ju, Tau: Dr. Tau’ works on computer graphics and image analysis
with application to biological imaging. His early works pioneered the
cage-based deformation paradigm which is now widely used in both entertainment
industry and academics. In collaboration with a group of image processing
specialists and neuroscientists, his lab used geometric atlases to map the gene
expression patterns in the mouse brain. While the prototype of the mapped
database (see www.geneatlas.org) was initially done in 2D, his lab recently
completed a 3D version (hosted on the same website) with the support of an NSF
grant. His lab also is working on theoretical foundations and practical
algorithms to quantify how “tubular” or “plate-like” an object (or one of its
part) is. This work is mostly motivated by the analysis of biological
structures in biomedical images with applications to optical and electron
microscopy. Collaborators: Dacey, Zipfel, Prior.
ELECTRICAL AND SYSTEMS ENGINEERING
Lew, Mathew: Dr. Lew, a new faculty recruit, is interested in
developing imaging platforms for visualizing biomolecules in living organisms
across length scales, from subcellular to whole subjects. He trained in the lab
of W.E. Morner (Noble prize 2014). His work primarily focuses on
super-resolution microscopy. For example he developed method simultaneous
accurate measurement of the 3D position and 2D orientation of single molecules
and solutions for mitigating localization errors through modified labeling or
optical strategies. On the applications side, he works on labeling and imaging
internal cellular structures and external cell surfaces, in 3D, with resolution
beyond the diffraction limit. These techniques will enabled the mapping of
protein locations and interactions in studies of developmental cell biology.
Nehorai, Arye: Dr. Nehorai’s research deals with analysis of
space-time data in a number of biomedical areas. In biomedicine, he is
developing methods for locating electrical sources in the brain using arrays of
electrodes (EEG) or magnetometers (MEG) placed around the head. His solutions
are important for clinical applications such as finding origins of seizures, or
in neuroscience for mapping the brain functions. He is also developing
procedures that find the stiffness of the heart wall using MRI. In microscopy
imaging, he is working on algorithms to quantify targets (e.g., antigens,
proteins etc.) from 3D microarray-based images, and quantum-dot (q-dot)
barcoded microparticle ensembles. Collaborators: Achilefu, Garbow, Song.
O’Sullivan, Jody: Dr. O'Sullivan was the director of the Electronic
Systems and Signals Research Laboratory (ESSRL) from 1998-2007, and is now dean
of the new joint engineering program between University of Missouri-St. Louis
and WU. He conducts research in a wide range of science and technology for
security applications, including borders, target and object recognition theory,
information hiding for secure and clandestine communication, and spectral
analysis for biochemical agent detection. Current imaging research includes
spiral CT imaging in the presence high-density attenuators and microPET.
Collaborators: Tai, Culver.
Bayly, Phillip: Dr. Bayly, Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering,
uses MRI to study deformation and to infer mechanical properties of soft
tissue, particularly in the brain and spinal cord. The changes in shape and
mechanical properties are important both in rapid events such as brain trauma,
and very slow events, such as brain morphogenesis. His students employ MR
tagging and analysis of tagged images to study the deformation of the brain
during linear angular acceleration of the skull. Dr. Bayly collaborates with
other researchers who use MRI measurement of water diffusion to characterize
the effects of trauma on the brain and spinal cord, in vivo, in animal
models. Collaborators: Ackerman, Carlsson, Cooper, Garbow, Pham.
Weilbaecher, Katherine: Dr. Weilbaecher’s laboratory investigates the
molecular mechanisms of tumor metastasis to bone. They utilize luciferase/GFP
labeled osteolytic cancer cell lines and evaluate tumor metastasis and bone
tumor growth using in vivo bioluminescence in genetically targeted
osteoclast and platelet defective mice. They also utilize MRI and PET imaging
to evaluate bone tumor growth and metastasis in spontaneous metastasis tumor
mouse models. Trainees gain experience in metastasis biology and host
cell/tumor cell interactions using an array of in vivo imaging
techniques, including PET, bioluminescence and MRI. Collaborators: Achilefu,
Ackerman, Garbow, Lanza.
Petersen, Steven: Dr. Peterson pioneered the use of brain imaging (PET
and fMRI) to identify brain regions that contribute to attention, learning,
memory and language. He also investigates the effects of disease and brain
damage on these cognitive processes. Currently, he has two main areas of
interest. The first focus is the development of neural mechanisms underlying
cognition. Methods have been developed that allow direct statistical comparison
of child and adult imaging data. The second focus is identifying and
characterizing fMRI signals related to task organization and executive control.
Recently his lab developed a series of seminal papers on functional
connectivity mapping with MRI related to the management of motion artifacts,
the applications of graph theory and the mapping of network hubs.
Collaborators: Barch, Culver, Hershey, Raman.
Bruchas, Michael: Dr. Bruchas’ lab is largely focused on optogenetic
techniques and the neurobiology of stress and motivation, as it relates to
neuromodulatory circuits, addiction, and GPCR signaling. In particular, a
strong theme of the lab is the use of in vivo optogenetics to dissect affective
behavioral circuits in reward, aversion, and anxiety (Science, Cell, Neuron,
Nature Communications). The work includes development of novel optogenetic
tools and optogenetic/physiological dissection of opioid, noradrenergic,
dopamine, corticotropin-releasing factors in neural circuits. New work combines
optogenetics with optical neuroimaging to produce cell type specific maps of
brain connectivity. Collaborators: Bauer, Culver, Gereau, Lee, McGehee.
Holy, Timothy: Dr. Holy’s research in imaging focuses on developing
new optical methods for imaging neuronal activity. He has devised a new method,
called objective-couple planar illumination microscopy, for imaging neuronal
activity simultaneously in large neuronal populations. This approach uses a
sheet of light to provide three-dimensional resolution without point-scanning.
The principal advantage of this technique is that hundreds or thousands of
neurons can be imaged at high speed and high signal-to-noise ratio. Current
work on this technology includes optical and algorithmic methods for enhancing
resolution deeper into tissue. Collaborators: Herzog, Raman, Taghert.
Taghert, Pau: Dr. Taghert’s
research focuses on (i) how peptidergic neurons differentiate and (ii) how
neural circuits are controlled by the circadian clock to generate rhythmic
behaviors. Both areas of study rely heavily on imaging methods, including
standard epifluorescent and confocal microscopy, low light level imaging
methods, and use of bioluminesent reporters to interrogate pacemaker neuron
function and peptidergic cell secretion mechanisms. Collaborators: Hanson,
PSYCHOLOGY and BRAIN SCIENCES
Barch, Deanna: Dr. Barch’s research program is focused on developing
and using a variety of neuroimaging techniques to understand the developmental
interplay among cognition, emotion, and brain function to better understand the
deficits in behavior and cognition found in illnesses such as schizophrenia,
depression and substance abuse. She has a long history of mentoring graduate,
postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty in psychology, psychiatry, and
neuroscience who have gone on to productive research careers. She was the
Director of Graduate Studies in Psychology 2004 to 2014 (now Chair of
Psychology) and is a co-Investigator on the Human Connectome Project. Cofounder
of our Cognitive, Computational and Systems Neuroscience integrative training
pathway, Dr. Barch and has been actively involved in training students in
cross-disciplinary neuroimaging research. Collaborators: Petersen, Hershey.
Hershey, Tamara: Dr. Hershey’s research is in the fields of
neuroimaging and cognitive and clinical neuroscience. Her lab uses a range of
neuroimaging, pharmacological and cognitive techniques to understand the impact
of metabolic and neurodegenerative conditions on the brain, particularly during
development. For example, her lab explores the neural underpinnings of
cognitive and mood dysfunction in disorders relevant to dopamine and the basal
ganglia (e.g., Parkinson disease, Tourette syndrome), the effects of diabetes
and obesity on the brain, particularly within development, and the
neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative impact of a rare monogenic diabetes.
Dr. Hershey is deputy lab chief of the WUSM Neuroimaging Labs, and has mentored
numerous undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs and junior faculty and
co-directs a WU Peer Mentoring Program. Collaborators: Barch, Culver, Raichle.
Achilefu, Samuel: Dr. Achilefu is interested in molecular optical
imaging, the design and development of new molecular probes and nanomaterials,
specific delivery of imaging agents and drugs to target cells or tissues,
development of tissue-specific multi-modal imaging molecules, and
tumor-specific photodynamic therapy agents. He is co-leader of the oncologic
imaging program for the NCI-designated Siteman Cancer Center, and Director of
WU molecular imaging center. His Optical Radiology Lab provides a
multidisciplinary environment for students in a variety of disciplines,
including the chemistry, physics, and biology of optical imaging of diseases.
The lab is equipped with state-of-the-art instruments to train the student in
all aspects of optical imaging, depending on the expressed interest level of
the student. Collaborators: Culver, Gruev, Lew, Shokeen, Weilbaecher, Woodard.
Benzinger, Tammie: Dr. Benzinger`s research focuses on translating advanced neuromagnetic
resonance imaging techniques from small animal research in the Department of
Radiology, to translational research in the Center for Clinical Imaging
Research (CCIR), and into clinical practice. In particular, her current
research focuses on using directional diffusivity measurements derived from
diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to measure axonal and myelin damage in pediatric
and adult demyelination, dysmyelinating diseases, in traumatic brain injury
(TBI), and as a function of aging. Diseases under study in Dr. Benzinger`s
laboratory include multiple sclerosis (MS), acute disseminated
encephalomyelitis (ADEM), adrenoleukodystrophy, Krabbe`s disease,
Pelizaeus-Merzbacher`s disease, and head trauma. In addition, Dr. Benzinger
combines advanced neuromagnetic resonance techniques, such as DTI and
spectroscopy, and positron emission tomography (PET) to study interactions
between normal aging, Alzherimer`s disease, depression, and delirium in older
adults. Collaborators: Achilefu, Ackerman, Hershey, Culver, Woodard
Culver, Joseph: Dr. Culver’s Lab develops neurophotonic technology for
mapping brain function in humans and animal models. With the goal of producing
high-performance portable brain imaging in humans, his group has been
developing a series of innovations for diffuse optical tomography (DOT)
instrumentation and algorithms. Recently they presented the first DOT system
capable of mapping distributed brain function and networks (Nature Photonics).
Applied projects include mapping brain function in infants in the neonatal ICU,
and in stroke patients in the Adult ICU. In parallel with human imaging
efforts, the Culver lab is also developing mouse equivalent measurements of
functional connectivity using optical intrinsic signal imaging (fcOIS) - so as
to link human fcMRI with mouse models of disease (e.g., amyloid-beta models of
Alzheimer’s, stroke, brain tumors, autism). Recently, to work with faster
physiological signals, they have extend fcOIS to mice with genetically encoded
calcium indicators and are exploring transitions between awake/sleep and
anesthesia. Collaborators: Achilefu, Ackerman, Anastasio, Bruchas, Hershey,
O’Sullivan, Petersen, Shokeen.
Shokeen, Monica: Dr.
Shokeen’s lab has expertise in the development and evaluation of molecularly
targeted small molecule and multi-functional macromolecular bio-conjugates for
nuclear and optical imaging of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Her group
aspires to utilize the translational capabilities of quantitative imaging
modalities (PET, SPECT, FMT and MRI) to bring the bench side discoveries into
patient care. Working on the chemistry of imaging, the Shokeen lab has been
evaluating high-affinity 64Cu labeled-Very Late Antigen-4 (VLA-4) targeted PET
radiopharmaceuticals to assess disease progression and response to treatment in
pre-clinical mouse and human models of multiple myeloma by quantitative
receptor measurements. The ultimate goal of these studies is successful
clinical translation. Her group is also investigating the unique metabolic
pathways and metabolite fate tracking in multiple myeloma tissues by using 13C edited 1H NMR and 11C-Acetate/PET-CT
imaging. Additionally, as part of a multi-PI team, the Schokeen lab is
developing a high-throughput optical in vivo imaging platform for the
detection of unstable plaque in carotid arteries using a novel custom built
Fluorescence Molecular Tomography (FMT) system. Collaborators: Woodard,
Tai, Yuan-Chuan: Dr. Tai’s team conceived and demonstrated the
feasibility of the virtual-pinhole PET insert technology for improving the
image resolution of existing human and animal PET scanners. This technology is
currently being evaluated for whole-body cancer staging to improve the
sensitivity of metastatic cancer detection. Additionally, Tai’s lab has
developed several high resolution PET and multimodality imaging systems for
preclinical, clinical, and functional plant imaging applications. The plant PET
imager is now used routinely for molecular plant imaging research and has
brought the in vivo imaging technology to plant scientists and triggered
new interdisciplinary researches across multiple universities and institutions.
Collaborators: O’Sullivan, Laforest.
Woodard, Pamela: Dr. Woodard’s expertise is in translational
imaging and clinical trials, particularly in cardiovascular MRI, CT and PET.
She is Radiology’s Vice Chair of Clinical Translational Research, has an
appointment in Biomedical Engineering and is the Director of the Center for
Clinical Imaging Research (CCIR). She has been principal investigator (PI) or
co-investigator on numerous NIH grants and subcontracts, including the PIOPED
II and III Trials. Most recently, her lab has developed a receptor-targeted
nanoparticle PET imaging agent for assessment of atherosclerosis, brought it
through preclinical safety testing, applied for and received an FDA eIND for
testing in human subjects, and have begun testing in normal volunteers and
patients. New extensions of the same receptor targeted nanoparticle include
optical labelling for imaging with fluorescence molecular tomography.
Collaborators: Shokeen, Achilefu, Culver.
Does the Division provide short term loans?
Students (PhD students and MSTP students in PhD years) may apply for a short-term emergency loan through the Graduate Center.
Short-term loans are available for $500 or less to eligible students for a short period of time. Short-term loans are billed to your student account and must be repaid in one month.
Please contact the Graduate Center, located on the 3rd floor of the Danforth University Center, in Room 300, 9am – 5pm, Monday - Friday.
Who can I contact regarding problems with my WUSTL Key or email account?
Do students get travel money?
The Division provides up to $600 toward travel expenses for all students during their graduate training (research meeting, conference or career development). Students may request use of the Division travel funds after the thesis proposal has been approved by the Thesis Advisory Committee. Any exceptions to these requirements must be approved by the Program Director and the Associate Dean of Graduate Education (DBBS). Students must complete the Travel Funds Request Form (MS Word)and turn it in to the Graduate Student Coordinator. Washington University does not reimburse business expenses on a per diem basis. Reimbursements are based on actual expenses incurred and an original, detailed receipt for each expense must be provided. Automobile expenses will be reimbursed at the current IRS mileage rate; gas receipts cannot be reimbursed (if the mileage reimbursement exceeds the cost of air travel, the amount of the reimbursement will be the lesser airfare). If the cost of the trip is greater than $600, the additional expense must be paid by a source other than DBBS. Travel on United States Flag carriers should be used to the maximum extent possible and is required for all international travel. Alcoholic beverages will NOT be reimbursed.
FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS: When traveling internationally, DBBS asks students to review the WashingtonUniversity International Travel Policy and strongly encourages the completion of the International Travel Registry. Both documents can be found on the Washington University Global Opportunities website: http://sa.wustl.edu.
PLEASE NOTE: If total expenses of the trip exceed $600 (and the thesis mentor will be providing the additional funds), the student should turn all receipts in to his/her thesis department. That department will contact the DBBS Financial Projects Assistant (Laura Delmez, firstname.lastname@example.org) for the $600. If the total expenses are less than $600, all receipts should be turned in to the student coordinator and a travel expense report completed.
National Institutes of Health Individual Predoctoral Kirschstein Fellowships
Note – Always check the NIH website for the most current PA Announcement: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/search_results.htm?year=active&scope=pa
The standard deadlines for F31 and F30 applications are April 8th, August 8th and December 8th.
National Research Service Awards for Minority Students (F31) Five year awards providing stipend and institutional allowance. Applicants must be US citizens, nationals or permanent resident aliens and must be a member of one of these groups: African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives or Pacific Islanders.
National Research Service Awards Fellowships (F31) Five year awards providing stipend and institutional allowance. Applicants must be US citizens, nationals or permanent resident aliens. The NRSA individual predoctoral fellowships (F31) are awarded to promising applicants with the potential to become productive, independent investigators in the scientific mission areas of these Institutes. This program will provide predoctoral training support for doctoral candidates that have successfully completed their comprehensive examinations or the equivalent by the time of award and will be performing dissertation research and training. Please review the Program Announcement for the appropriate institute and Center for details regarding submission guidelines.
Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD Fellows (F30)
Six year awards providing stipend and institutional allowance. Applicants must be US citizens, nationals or permanent resident aliens. Each NIH Institute and Center has a unique scientific purview and different program goals and initiatives that evolve over time. Prior to preparing an application, it is critical that all applicants consult the appropriate Institute website for details of research areas supported by that Institute and contact the appropriate Institute representative, to obtain current information about each Institute's program priorities and policies. This action is of utmost importance because applications with marginal or no relevance to the participating Institutes or ODS programs will not be accepted for review or possible funding.
|Nationally Competitive Fellowships|
Which program is right for you?
|Admissions- FAQ WHICH PROGRAM IS RIGHT FOR YOU?|
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The Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences is a degree program of Washington University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences (DBBS) is responsible for graduate education in the biomedical and biological sciences at Washington University. DBBS is organized into 11 academic programs, each representing a different scientific area. Students receive current guidelines for these programs upon matriculation, and periodic updates as changes occur. Those guidelines provide students with policies, procedures, and requirements specific to the academic program in which they are enrolled. This document consists of the policies and procedures that apply to the graduate education of all Division students, regardless of their program affiliation. The hallmark of the Division is flexibility, and students should always feel free to explore the possibility of individualizing their programs where appropriate.
The Division presently includes over 500 faculty; ~475 students working toward the Ph.D. degree; and ~190 students working toward the combined M.D./Ph.D. degree in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). Member departments of the Division include the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, and the seven preclinical departments of the School of Medicine, namely: Neuroscience, Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, Cell Biology & Physiology, Molecular Genetics, Developmental Biology, Molecular Microbiology, and Pathology & Immunology. In addition, there are members of the Division faculty located in the Departments of Chemistry, Psychology and Brain Sciences, Physics, Earth and Planetary Sciences, and the School of Engineering on the Danforth Campus and in the clinical departments of the School of Medicine.
- The chief administrative body of the Division is the Executive Council, composed of the Heads of the eight member departments, the Departments of Chemistry and of Biomedical Engineering, two members of clinical departments, the Associate Dean for Graduate Education, the Director of the MSTP, and the Director of Ph.D. Admissions and Recruiting. The Chair of the Council is the executive officer of the Division.
- The Associate Dean oversees day to day operations of the Division and chairs the Program and Student Affairs Committee, which consists of the directors of the twelve academic programs.
- Each of the academic programs is managed by a Steering Committee. A committee of faculty oversees the recruitment and admission activities of DBBS.
Please consult the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Bulletin when Graduate School policy is referred to in this guide (all students receive a copy of the Bulletin prior to matriculation). (http://graduateschool.wustl.edu/policies-and-guides) M.D./Ph.D. students should refer to the School of Medicine Bulletin (received by those students prior to matriculation) for policies governing the medical phase of their graduate education.
Do you accept students during the spring semester?
We only offer enrollment for the fall semester. To obtain admission to one of the 11 graduate programs in the Division, you must apply to DBBS. Our online application is available starting in early September, and the deadline for applying is December 1st.
|Admissions FAQ- DBBS Overview|
What type of programs does DBBS offer?
DBBS offers PhD education and research in 11 different areas of study. Please click here to visit our 11 programs webpage.
|Admissions FAQ- DBBS Overview|
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 mid-March. Applicants being interviewed on campus will arrive on Thursday afternoon and leave either Saturday afternoon or Sunday.
|PhD Application Instructions|
NIH Institutional Training Grants/Other Training Grants
- Please conatct the Senior Grant Specialist for specific DBBS data requests.
- Three months advance contact is needed for Insitutional Grant or other award application/renewals in order to allow adequate time to meet all internal and external requirements.
Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement
Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 2 pm, Holden Auditorium
More info: http://dbbs.wustl.edu/Resources/Pages/calendar_event.aspx?EvID=4605
Addressing Inclusion & Diversity in Job Market Materials
Thursday, October 20, 2016, 2 pm, Holden Auditorium
More info: http://dbbs.wustl.edu/Resources/Pages/calendar_event.aspx?EvID=4681
Faculty Career Hiring Panel
Thursday, November 3, 2016, 1 pm, Holden Auditorium
More info: http://dbbs.wustl.edu/Resources/Pages/calendar_event.aspx?EvID=4798
The Chalk Talk
Tuesday, November 8, 2016, 2 pm, Holden Auditorium
More info: http://dbbs.wustl.edu/Resources/Pages/calendar_event.aspx?EvID=4877
Thursday, December 1, 2016, 2 pm, Holden Auditorium
More info: http://dbbs.wustl.edu/Resources/Pages/calendar_event.aspx?EvID=4908
Thursday, January 12, 2017, 3 pm, Holden Auditorium
More info: http://dbbs.wustl.edu/Resources/Pages/calendar_event.aspx?EvID=4917
|Faculty Career Search Series|
Multiple dates and times: Jan. 20-Jan. 24 (Danforth Campus)
Using Mentoring and Individual Development Plans
Prepping for the Career Fair + SLAMs
Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, 6 pm, Danforth Campus, Danforth University Center, Tisch Commons
Thursday, Feb. 17, 2017, 12 pm, Schwarz Auditorium
Selecting a Journal for Publication
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, 12:30 pm, FLTC 214
|Professional Development Programming|
In the Lab
WUSM sets a minimum salary/stipend amount for Postdoctoral Research Scholars/Associates, but does not set an amount for each level of experience or a maximum amount. We recommend that postdocs be reviewed annually and given raises as appropriate. (Link to Annual Review Template.) Postdoctoral increases are decided by the faculty advisor and may be of any amount. Postdoctoral increases are not subject to the staff percentage limits set by Human Resources for raises. Some faculty may also choose to follow the NIH stipend scale, here is a link to the most current scale (NIH’s FY17): https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-17-003.html.
In fall 2010, WUSM Executive Faculty approved a proposal to tie the WUSM postdoctoral minimum salary/stipend amount to the NIH year 0 postdoctoral stipend amount with a delayed start. Due to the differences in the federal and University fiscal years, occasional delays by congress in passing budgets, and the need for advance salary planning, the WUSM minimum for a particular fiscal year will be the NIH year 0 amount from the federal fiscal year two years prior. Therefore, the WUSM FY18 minimum starting on July 1, 2017 will be $47,484. All postdocs are required to meet the minimum on July 1, but may be paid any amount above this.
|Postdoc Appointments (top)|