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Message from the DGS

Welcome to New Students


Welcome to our community and what we hope will be a very exciting several years in your lives. For most of you, this will be the first opportunity to discover something new, that nobody else in the world ever knew before. You will be working on cutting-edge projects that shape our understanding of how cells work with colleagues who are just as excited about your projects as you are.

At the same time, many (most) of you will go through periods of tremendous stress and anxiety, because most projects start with an exciting idea that requires painstaking, hard work to explore, and there are many pitfalls and frustrations before you emerge with your own discovery. You may doubt your own abilities, as many of us who were graduate students before you did also. Persist, and there is a good chance that you will be rewarded. Your faculty advisor and your group and your thesis committee are all there to help you transform into first rate scientists.

We will have an orientation meeting early in summer, where our registrar Lisa Crotty and I will discuss the qualifying exam and thesis expectations and departmental procedures with you. They are also explained in the handbook, and mostly your PI’s and labmates will also be acquainted with them and can help you through them.

Graduate school is also an exciting way to learn about the world, because we have so many backgrounds, coming from many places and cultures. And it is a time when most of us forge friendships that will last the rest of our lives.

Happy discoveries!