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Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by Fermata, Apr 18, 2004.
Which MSTP programs are strong in these areas:
Thanks in advance.
I don't cheerlead too often, but I think Penn is one of the best in both Immunology and Microbiology. As for toxicology, I have no idea
Nationally, Wash U, Harvard, UCSF, and Yale are also especially well known for Immuno. (My strongly biased view puts extra emphasis on WashU). Emory is excellent for Infectious Disease Immuno/Micro and UTSW is also notable, but very translational oriented. Hope this helps.
(blah blah blah)
UAB is good in Micro and Immuno [2 x HHMI, strong AIDS, ID, rheumatology, virology]. Strongest division at our institution.
Bedwell, Hunter, Luo, Prevelige, Wertz, Burrows, Chaplin, Kearney, Saag, Britt, Cobbs, Cooper, Hahn, Kaslow, Kimberly, Morrow, Shaw, Whitley
I would say that WashU has some of the best bacterial Microbio folks around. UCSF, Rockefeller, and Columbia all have very strong virology. I was actually pretty underwhelmed with Emory's ID/Microbio when I was looking there...I thought that the close proximity to the CDC would make for good basic research in this area, but it didn't really strike me as such. UAB has an excellent clinical rep for Infecitous Disease...and I'll take JPaikman's word for it on the basic front. And yeah - toxicology...no clue.
UW-Madison has some great micro research going on, and the town is really fun. I have a lot of great things to say about Emory, they have a great primate research center and focus on vaccinology. There are also a lot of collaborations going on with CDC and the other organizations in Atlanta; you may have to forge your own connections a bit, but the school is very open to that.
What about for neuroscience? What are good neuro PhD programs?I really like Weill, but how does their neuro compared to other programs.
ok, I think I have throw in my 0.02$ here (look at my user name)
Harvard, WashU, UCSF are the best. Other top tier includes PENN (PENN is particularly good in microbiology), Stanford, Rockefellor (so the Tri-I), Minnesota, etc , and of course NIH (not an option for MSTP, but there is a NIH-PENN immunology graduate program if you are PhD oriented). Remember there are a lot more good immunologists at other universities too. The most important thing is to find an institute where there are most people you will like to work with in a most comfortable city to you.
i feel like every single school told me they're tops in neuro
Columbia, UCSF, UCSD, and WashU are definitely tops in neuroscience. Rochester, UCLA, Northwestern are quite good as well.
I wouldn't put Rochester or Northwestern high up there. I remember the top 5 Neuroscience grad programs by USNews were UCSF, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, and Hopkins. Last time I saw the rankings, Penn was tied for tenth with two other programs.
I definately remember alot of programs trying to sell me the strength of their neuroscience departments. However, when I tried to find researchers in my fairly broad area of interest, most fell flat on their faces.
I don't think USNews ought to be the baseline indicator for reputation for the basic sciences - NIH funding ought to be, as well as number of NAS, HHMI, AAAS, etc. faculty. If you absolutely have to have information, the NIH CRISP database can even search what grants are being funded at a particular institution for your area of interest, which is useful in addition to Pubmed.
I'm sorry, I was slightly drunk when I posted that. My point was not that USNews is the end-all be-all of how to evaluate a program, yet applicants need independent sources of information for evaluation. One way I found it useful to evaluate a program was to see how many faculty they could offer me in my areas of interest.
PS: Kinda funny with this karma system that when I post helpful stuff, I rarely get any positive feedback. When what I say is not correct, I get blasted. Oh well, that's the way it has always been. Nevertheless, I like it. When I'm wrong, I typically get corrected within minutes. It's kind of a peer review system.
C'mon now, people basically disagree on all things good and bad. You'll get blasted whether you make a wrong statement, a not-so-correct statement, or an unpopular statement. It's much easier to point out a wrong statement than to dispute a thoughtful statement, but it doesn't make the thoughtful statement any less susceptible to anonymous criticism than the wrong statement.
I am not sure about Hopkins' neuroscience though. I think they are much better in clinical experimental neurology and public health than the traditional basic neuroscience research (or I just haven't read enough lately). I should also add that neuroscience is one field where there is a giant gap between disease research (Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, etc) and basic functional research (basic neuropeptides, fMRI), so many programs could excel at one but totally fail at the other simply because of funding discrepency and institutional discretion in recruiting and retention.
there is also a ton of variation within the different neuroscience subfields. for example, i would say that, with the exception of john dowling, harvard's general neurobiology group is rather weak... on the other hand, the developmental neurobiology group (with sam kunes and catherine dulac) and the newer systems neurobiology group (with markus meister and new wash u recruits josh sanes and jeff lichtman) are really coming along. and that's just the cambridge campus... i'm really not as familiar with the HMS faculty.
anyway... so, yeah, the point is that, while usnews rankings are useful as a starting point in the search, neuronix was right in saying that applicants should spend a lot of time independently researching the strengths and weaknesses of different programs and their faculty, particularly when trying to make a final decision.
beyond that, i think that there should be at least five to seven people with whom you would be interested in working, of which at least three should be tenured faculty members. but, again, those are things to think about down the road... when (or if) you have to make the decision between two or more schools.
sanes went to hms? that stinks.
I would say that this is a good list overall, but once again it depends on the field within the field, so to speak, that you are interested in.
Stanford should be considered, as well at U of Toronto (Tak Mak et al).
Emory has an excellent transplant immunology group.
Funny you mention Tak Mak, gosh, a formidable figure ..... his lab generates one KO mouse every week, study it, and publish it within 2 months ...
Flavell is right up there as well
hah - flavell's son is a 2nd year in our program - i asked him the other day if his dad has always been bada$s, or if he has seen his career get better over time. he was embarassed to be put on the spot, but the answer was definately the former. when i think of immuno i think of yale [almost all of their 16 hhmi investigators are immuno - the rest are rna people].
i remember meeting kenneth murphey [washU] on my revisit and being really impressed. they really have an wealth of immuno faculty, as does harvard and ucsf [cyster, locksley, weiss come to mind].
the rockefeller faculty is small but extremely good [ralph steinman, jeff ravetch, michel nussensweig, alex tarakhovsky] - and there are a lots more at sloan kettering [jim allison is moving from chair of mcb at berkeley to head recruitment as the new chair of immuno], kathy anderson [she found toll's function in immunity many years ago in drosoph system, getting big now] to name a few. there are many more younger, yet-to-be established investigators at sloan who are doing some interesting stuff if immuno/cell bio is your bag.
Vanderbilt has some good virologists (which isn't the same as a good program, I guess). Denison and Dermoody (coronavirus and reovirus, respectively) are really good scientists and quite personable too!
And no, I'm not at Vandy!
True. i have great respect for dr. dermody (the way he asks questions and talks will put a warm smile on your face, you'd know if you were there ). [email protected] it, didn't request to talk to dr. denison ...
I had the honor of being the student host for a recent visit by Dr. Flavell. He is truly one of the most interesting and brilliant people I have ever met (while still being incredibly down to earth). Did you know that he has a rock band? We had a potluck with him that turned into a "jam session", where he played guitar and sang. It was quite memorable. I would normally hesitate to venture into a postdoc with someone this "big", but I got the impression that if you are motivated that you can have a lot of success in his lab.
Here is a funny article about science bands:
Battle of the Bands