Julia Meng

Graduate Student in the laboratory of Ellie Heckscher

The program of cell and molecular biology at the University of Chicago attracted me because of the breadth of core biological topics, engaging faculty, and access to high quality training. I have found that my success in graduate school is attributable to several features of this program. First, the program is part of a greater community consisting of four other programs in the Molecular bioscience cluster. Therefore there is a wide array of topics, often interdisciplinary, that are being studied in laboratories in the program. This allowed me to explore areas I hadn’t been aware of prior to grad school. Second, the program is structured to have all courses completed within the first year. This accelerated timeline gave me the opportunity to start designing and conducting experiments for my thesis by my second year. Lastly, the program emphasizes ongoing support of their students through regular committee meetings. This accountability has not only kept me on track to graduate within 5-6 years but has helped me identify aspects of my training that I want to prioritize.  I am grateful to be a part of the supportive community within the program of cell and molecular biology.