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Student Perspectives

Jayme Olsen, 6th Year

Jayme Olsen

Undergraduate Education

B.S. in Genomics and Molecular Genetics Michigan State University

Research Focus/Interest

Understanding human erythroid precursor self-renewal as part of the normal erythroid stress response and to improve the output of ex vivo culture red blood cells for cell based therapies.

Why The University Of Rochester 

Frontline R01 research with a friendly and collaborative scientific environment.

Advice for Prospective Students

The laboratory you chose to do your thesis in is one of the most important decisions you make in graduate school. It is key to find a mentor that is focused on your training and a lab that provides a supportive environment. In essence: choose a lab, not a project.

Favorite thing To Do In Rochester/Hobbies Outside The Lab 

Going to festivals in the summer. Being outdoors- hiking in the summer and snowboarding in the winter, traveling, and participating in URBEST program.

Andy Allbee, 4th Year

Andy Allbee

Undergraduate Education

BA in Microbiology, Miami University (Oxford, OH)

Research Focus/Interest

Developmental Biology.  Interested in the basic mechanisms of how tissues develop and maintain themselves. My work focuses on the function of the highly conserved transcription factor Lmx1a in the establishment of Drosophila ovary stem cell niche units. 

Why The University Of Rochester 

As an aspiring MD/PhD student, I was looking for a place that had an excellent reputation for collaboration between basic science and medicine. URSMD research facilities and the medical center are largely all under one roof. The size of the institution is also just right. Large enough to have extensive research options/opportunities while being small enough to have a close-nit feel with easy access to strong mentorship. Rochester, as a city, has the same feel, just big enough to have a city vibe but small enough to have plenty of affordable housing and also not feel overwhelming. Rochester also has a lot to offer for those, like myself, who are into the outdoors as there are plenty of lakes and park areas to explore. 

Advice for Prospective Students

Try, if possible, to have two projects: one that is your main focus (your safety project) and another where you try something related but completely new, perhaps something like a new tool or method for the lab or just something you find intriguing and a bit outside your (or the lab's) comfort zone.

Favorite thing To Do In Rochester/Hobbies Outside The Lab 

Running (check out Rochester Running Company!), playing music with friends, food and wine. 

Dalia Ghoneim, 4th Year

Dalia Ghoneim

Undergraduate Education

B.S., Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY

Research Focus/Interest

RNA secondary structure prediction, and the “awesome power” of yeast genomics

Why The University Of Rochester 

I chose University Of Rochester because I love the collaborative and friendly culture. Also, doing research at a medical center offers many advantages.

Advice for Prospective Students

University of Rochester faculty, staff, and students are very friendly and accessible. They are an extremely valuable resource for any questions both in the lab and outside of research.

Favorite thing To Do In Rochester/Hobbies Outside The Lab 

Ice skating at Bill Gray's Iceplex and exploring the many parks, museums, and festivals in the area. The finger lakes are nearby and perfect for overnight camping or day trips. I am also a mother of four who enjoys drawing, running, and spending time with my family.

Beresford Crick, 2nd Year

Beresford Crick

Undergraduate Education

B.S. in Biology, SUNY College at Brockport

Research Focus/Interest

Understanding sexual dimorphism in the nervous system; specifically, how the nervous system responds differently between two sexes to various stress stimuli.

Why The University Of Rochester

 As a born and raised Rochesterian, I’ve always been up to date on the goings-on at the University of Rochester, and as a result of the rich history and huge scientific advancements at UR, it was always my first choice for graduate school.

Advice for Prospective Students

When you come to do an interview, have your own idea for a project and don’t feel limited to the focus that any particular lab may have. Many of the professors at the University of Rochester have very diverse backgrounds.

Favorite thing To Do In Rochester/Hobbies Outside The Lab 

The Strong National Museum of Play is fun, even for adults! I like having board game nights with other students, and enjoy playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, Risk, Monopoly, and many others. I also put together a podcast with a few other graduate students where we try to make complex science more accessible to the general public.