After a long process of PhD applications, interviews and waiting for results, I’m happy to announce that I’ve settled on a home for the next 5 years. Stanford’s PhD program in genetics was exactly the right fit for my scientific, career and lifestyle interests.
I chose the genetics program over the biomedical informatics program for a few reasons. First, BMI proclaims to be focused on algorithm development and expects students to draw their main interests from algorithms. Although I find algorithm development interesting, it has to be motivated by an underlying biological problem. The genetics program will allow me to work on biological problems that excite me (probably related to chromatin structure and conformation) from a computational angle. Second, when I searched for faculty that I want to work with, they were most commonly in genetics or other biology-focused departments. That being said, I plan to do an entirely computational PhD if I can manage it. That’s where my interests and expertise lie.
Students typically complete 3 rotations their first year. At the top of my list are chromatin biologists William Greenleaf and Alistair Boettiger, and Computer Science/Genetics expert Anshul Kundaje.
A few months to finish up at the Broad, a few months of travel and a big move out west are in my future. It’s an exciting time.