Dr. Breyean

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 14, 2006
54
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm planning to apply to MD/PhD programs in the future and I am considering what schools I would like to apply to. I am particularly interested in doing my research for the PhD on parasitology. I know Tulane is one of the best universities for parasitology and tropical medicine. I love Tulane and all, but I'm just not sure I could ever see myself living in New Orleans. Anyway, I was wondering what other schools l have good research programs in parasitology? Or even if the school isn't known for parasitology, any specific faculty that are doing good research in this field?
 

URHere

10+ Year Member
Nov 20, 2007
1,775
546
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I'm planning to apply to MD/PhD programs in the future and I am considering what schools I would like to apply to. I am particularly interested in doing my research for the PhD on parasitology. I know Tulane is one of the best universities for parasitology and tropical medicine. I love Tulane and all, but I'm just not sure I could ever see myself living in New Orleans. Anyway, I was wondering what other schools l have good research programs in parasitology? Or even if the school isn't known for parasitology, any specific faculty that are doing good research in this field?
There is a lot of parasite research going on at OHSU (I know of at least 4 large lab teams here working on malaria alone). I am actually doing a rotation through one of the parasite labs at the moment and have been mostly enjoying the experience...

However, there is one very large downside to parasite research: most research has been done by people with only clinical endpoints in mind. I've found that there are papers everywhere on which drugs kill which bugs, what resistance profiles look like, etc, but there are absolutely no papers on what I would consider basic research questions. In one way, this is a good thing because there are so many places to go with research, but on the other hand you end up with the task of inventing new protocols for just about any question you want to answer and it gets very, very frustrating. Bugs are also time consuming to culture and synchronize correctly. Personally, I have a fairly straightforward rotation project, and it is taking about ten times longer than I expected, just because there aren't any papers for me to use as a diving block. I like the lab, but I doubt I would ever graduate if I stayed here for my PhD. If you want to chat about specifics, feel free to PM me.
 

mercaptovizadeh

ἀλώπηξ
10+ Year Member
Oct 16, 2004
6,887
987
Status
Other than top 10 schools, I've heard good things about tropical disease research at Case and NYU.
 

bd4727

10+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2008
361
26
USA
Status
Attending Physician
Or even if the school isn't known for parasitology, any specific faculty that are doing good research in this field?

I would be vary weary of going to a school like this. Many reasons. In 2 years, the person may move. The person may not have room for you in 2 years. You may end up not liking the person and have no other options. There will be no one else to discuss your research with. There won't be grad courses offered in areas you are most interested in. Etc etc etc. I truly believe choosing and MSTP based on 1 or 2 researchers at that school is possibly the worst decision an applicant can make.

Find out which schools are most reputable for parasitology. Apply to those. See where you get in. Then you can be picky about cities (if you have the luxury). Also, try to keep an open mind. Unless you have spent considerable time in a city, I find it hard to believe that anyone can realistically "not see themselves living there."
 

sanktank7

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2008
90
0
Status
Attending Physician
Thought Id bump this post in an effort to get more feedback. Im currently applying md/phd and looking for infectious disease research. Some good schools I have found for my interests are Case, NYU, Maryland, Emory, UNC, and Hopkins but was hoping to get some additional opinions about this. Im particularly interested in molecular epi so Im also trying to find schools with solid public health. Not the most popular research area for md/phds but I think its growing quickly.

Appreciate anyones opinions, particularly if youre currently enrolled!
 
OP
D

Dr. Breyean

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 14, 2006
54
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I would be vary weary of going to a school like this. Many reasons. In 2 years, the person may move. The person may not have room for you in 2 years. You may end up not liking the person and have no other options. There will be no one else to discuss your research with. There won't be grad courses offered in areas you are most interested in. Etc etc etc. I truly believe choosing and MSTP based on 1 or 2 researchers at that school is possibly the worst decision an applicant can make.
Great points. A lot of things I really hadn't thought about before. I particularly like your point about grad courses. Most universities I've checked just have basically one course...parasitology. Then you look at somewhere like Tulane and they have courses in medical helminthology, medical entomology, medical protozoology, immunoparasitology, malaria, and the list goes on...

So yeah, I guess that brings me back to my original question of what other schools have strong programs in parasitology...