Student Perspectives

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Jason McSheene

“Collaboration” was one of the buzzwords I heard tossed around at a number of institutions I visited as a prospective graduate student. However, at Princeton I saw how naturally true collaborations could occur on a daily basis. MolBio is the home to a very welcoming, supportive and interactive community that promotes sharing ideas and resources. It is difficult to get lost in the crowd here, which was a worry of mine when considering possible schools. Events like the weekly Graduate Student Colloquia encourage socialization along with the sharing of knowledge and current research throughout the department in a low-pressure setting. In addition, the atmosphere is focused on research and education instead of competition and rivalries. The research topics range from computer modeling of bacterial chemotaxis to potential cancer therapies.I decided to rotate in three very different labs before joining my thesis lab. Each brought a unique perspective to research as well as a unique lab group. I have enjoyed my time in the program and never doubted my choice for a moment. My experience as graduate student has been rewarding and I look forward to my remaining years here. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact at me. —Jason McSheene

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Scott Breunig

Princeton’s Molecular Biology graduate program has offered me a wide spectrum of choices for both research and coursework. I've been able to work with professors from different fields and departments and finally chose to continue my research as part of a joint project with the Chemistry and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology departments. The Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics engenders such collaboration, and reflects the rule rather than the exception at Princeton. The constant flow of speakers invited to Princeton from a wide array of research interests further stimulates cross-disciplinary investigations. Course offerings follow this interdisciplinary theme, and they are often taught by more than one professor, bringing classic biology and new techniques and ideas together. While some classes involve a large proportion of first-year graduate students, others are much smaller or include students from other departments and often promote a discussion-based curriculum. I love Princeton’s proximity to my East Coast home and a large number of major cities, as well as the Jersey Shore and even a chance to get away for a weekend and ski. The ease of getting to major airports makes domestic and worldwide travel easy and inexpensive. The Princeton campus hosts a number of events through the year thanks to a large on-campus undergraduate population, including performing arts, intramural leagues and world-renowned speakers. If you have any questions about the program or Princeton in general, feel free to email me.  —Scott Breunig

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Marshall Reeves

From the day I arrived at Princeton, I have been able to pursue my interest in interdisciplinary biology to the full extent.  In a single day, I may be taught historic microbial genetics, develop tools for computational analysis, and discuss modern papers on the cutting edge of genomic all with leaders in these fields. The educational atmosphere at Princeton nurtures my desire to branch out from my comfort zone by providing opportunities such as interdisciplinary courses, lectures, and journal clubs. At my undergraduate university, being on the border between disciplines was difficult or even impossible.  At Princeton, it is accepted and even encouraged.  The Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics proves this by involving diverse faculty members from Physics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Engineering in addition to Molecular Biology.  Princeton has allowed me to realize what kind of science really drives and excites me.I enjoy the graduate student life unique to the Princeton Graduate College.  Social events, intramural sports, dining, and graduate organizations foster strong relationships with fellow graduate students.  Moreover, the Molecular Biology Department's activities work to form a close student community within the department itself.Coming to Princeton was the best decision I made to enhance my academic creativity. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. —Marshall Reeves