Perspectives

  • Revathi Balasubramanian

    Photo of Revathi Balasubramanian

    Why the University Rochester?

    I came here for my masters in Biomedical Engineering and took courses in Neuroscience. This, along with working with various neuroscience faculty gave me an insight into the research going on in the department and prompted me to apply for the Ph.D. program here.

    How do you like Rochester?

    I enjoy living in Rochester. It is a quiet and friendly city. Coming from India, the weather in Rochester seemed harsh at first but the environment is very friendly and accommodating.

    Why Neurobiology & Anatomy?

    I am interested in teaching apart from research and wanted to take the course, Human Structure and Function as a part of NBA course requirements.

    Why the Gan Lab?

    I chose to work in the Gan lab because my research interests included working on the visual system, specifically the retina. Currently I am studying the development of retina in mice. I also enjoy working alongside Ph.D.'s as well as M.D./Ph.D.'s.

    Plans for the Future?

    I want to choose a career that includes both research and teaching and hence the academic path.

  • Matthew Cavanaugh

    Photo of Matthew Cavanaugh

    Why Neuroscience at the UR?

    Neuroscience has always been a passion of mine, and growing up in the next town over I was always aware of UR's reputation. Once I came to visit the campus and met the rest of the program I was pretty much decided that this is where I wanted to go.

    How do you like Rochester?

    Rochester is amazing as a school and a city. There are always things to do and something new going on. I'm from nearby so this area has always been a lot of fun for me.

    Why Huxlin lab?

    I came from a pretty molecular/genetic background from my undergrad. But I joined lab that works on systems. I never expected it is something I would do. When I join neuroscience I wanted to try something new, so I did an early rotation with Dr. Huxlin in the summer. I greatly enjoyed the research and my experiences in the lab, and now here I am.

  • Adrianne Chesser

    Photo of Adrianne Chesser

    Why Rochester?

    Rochester is a great place to go to school. It provides an excellent combination of the medical school and graduate school curricula, with a truly integrative program for getting both degrees. Also, the faculty here are incredibly supportive and truly care about training students to be successful scientists. On top of that the city has pretty much every kind of activity available and is very affordable, so I can enjoy my time outside of school too!

    Why the Neuroscience program?

    I chose the NGP because I have pretty much always been interested in this field. To me, the brain is fascinating. I am also especially drawn to research into neurodegenerative diseases because these illnesses are so devastating and increasingly prevalent. If we can better understand how these diseases occur we can make great strides towards helping these patients and their families.

    Why the Tieu Lab?

    I chose Dr. Tieu's lab because of his fantastic mentorship and the research project on neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease.

    What are your plans after graduation?

    In the future I hope to combine basic research with clinical practice.

  • Nguyen Mai

    Photo of Nguyen Mai

    Why Neuroscience at the UR?

    I love the colorful seasonal changes in Rochester and the city's proximity to nature. I chose NSC and the Halterman lab because I wanted the opportunity to integrate clinical research and basic science.

  • Heather Natola

    Photo of Heather Natola

    Why NSC at the University of Rochester?

    I chose the NSC program for it's emphasis on translational research. During the interview weekend the students seemed to have the best work-life balance of all the schools I interviewed. The students have a strong support network in each other, which I think is important in graduate school, especially in a new city.

    How do you like Rochester?

    It is small but there is plenty to do. So far it has been a very affordable city to live in.

    Why did you choose the lab you are in?

    I joined Dr. Proschel's lab because I felt that his enthusiasm for science was contagious. His projects are very interesting and he gives me a lot of freedom to carve out parts of them and design my own experiments.

  • Susanne Pritchard

    Photo of Susanne Pritchard

    How do you like Rochester?

    I have really enjoyed my time in Rochester. Having grown up in a rural area in the foothills of the Adirondacks, I enjoy the fact that Rochester is dominated by quaint suburbs with many lakes, rivers, hiking trails nearby. At the same time, there is a decent amount to do in the city. We've got some great theaters, sports, and there's no scarcity of good food and drink. Add to that the endless spring-summertime festivals and a thousand Finger Lakes wineries in your backyard... I'd say I'm happy here.

    Why the University of Rochester?

    I decided to study at the UR because of the collaborative atmosphere. Since the inception of my thesis work in Dr. Gail Johnson's lab, I have collaborated with Dr. Nerhke and learned techniques/used equipment from Dr. Olschowka, Dr. O'Banion, and Dr. Bowers. It's quite apparent that each researcher is interested in aiding in the success of their fellow researchers. If there's a new area or technique you'd like to get into, there's always someone right around the corner willing to help you out.

    Why the Johnson-Voll lab?

    Dr. Johnson-Voll is an excellent mentor and is ceaselessly excited about science. This stands to reason since she has a lot of interesting research on stroke, Huntington's disease, and Alzheimer's disease happening in her lab. My thesis focuses on the protein, tau, and its role in mitochondrial dysfunction caused by amyloid beta in Alzheimer's disease.

  • Rebecca Rausch

    Photo of Rebecca Rausch

    Why NSC at the University of Rochester?

    The NSC program at UofR combines a stimulating course curriculum with a wide range of laboratories to join. The faculty here are very collaborative and eager to help you succeed. Lastly, the students are a lot of fun which helps to provide a balance between work and having a social life.

    How do you like Rochester?

    There is always something to do in the city of Rochester, from the summer festivals and concerts to the variety of bars and delicious restaurants. Having four seasons was also an important factor for me - the winters here really make you appreciate the warmer months! Additionally, there are many opportunities to get involved in sports, including a neuroscience summer softball team.

    Why the Libby Lab?

    I chose to join the laboratory of Dr. Rick Libby due to both the supportive environment and my interest in the ongoing research. Topics in our lab range from developmental abnormalities in the anterior eye to neurodegenerative models of glaucoma.

  • Fatima Rivera-Escalera

    Photo of Fatima Rivera-Escalera

    Why Rochester?

    I decided to apply to the University of Rochester after spending a year in the Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP). I was interested in studying the role of neuroinflammation in the Alzheimer's disease and Dr. Kerry O'Banion's lab presented a good fit for me. Although, I must say, it took me some time to get used to Rochester weather. Coming from Puerto Rico, long and snowy winters were novelty for me. Now, on the other hand, it is too hot for me when I go back home.

  • Grayson Sipe

    Photo of Grayson Sipe

    Why Rochester?

    I was interested in studying at Rochester because there was a large group of visual neuroscience faculty doing interesting research. During my interviews, I felt they genuinely cared about my goals and interests. Being here for a year, this has held true and the atmosphere is friendly and supportive. There is lots of cross-talk and collaboration. As for the city of Rochester, it is a good mid-sized city with the country not far away.

    What are your plans after graduation?

    After graduating, I plan to secure a position as a post-doc and eventually teach and do research at an institution that requires excellence in both.

  • Aleta Steevens

    Photo of Aleta Steevens

    Why NSC at the University of Rochester?

    I really liked the collaborative nature of the Neuroscience Program. It fosters a supportive environment that is conducive for growth as a scientist. Along similar lines, the faculty take great interest in each student as a person beyond the results they generate. Together these factors make the U of R a very healthy and encouraging place to start one's scientific career.

    How do you like Rochester?

    Rochester has a great mix of factors that make it a perfect fit for me. I love how many opportunities there are for me to engage in an active lifestyle: several half marathons a year, beautiful trails for running or biking, and the lake for swimming, boating, or simply going to the beach. The artistic scene in Rochester is also a big draw for me. Myriad art galleries and museums, live jazz, and a classical ballet company complement my science interests to make this city a good fit.

    Why the Kiernan Lab?

    I have always been interested in the cellular processes in development and the potential for reactivating similar pathways as a regenerative therapy in a disease state. The research in the Kiernan lab complemented these interests perfectly.

  • Wei Sun

    Photo of Wei Sun

    Why Rochester?

    I like Rochester because it is a very clean city and it is not too busy or too quiet. I think it is a good place to do research.

    Why the Neuroscience program?

    The neuroscience program at University of Rochester has professors working at multiple fields of neuroscience, and some of them are quite good studying neurological diseases, neural stem cells and genetics, which are of my particular interest. It is very beneficial for graduate students to communicate with researchers in various fields.

    Why the Nedergaard Lab?

    Astrocytes are a very interesting cell type and are not as widely studied as neurons. Dr. Nedergaard has so many fantastic ideas on astrocytes, so I decided to come to her lab to study astrocytes.