Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Penn State Science
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Description of research opportunities for Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology graduate students

thomas at poster sessionGraduate students make discoveries and generate new knowledge through independent, original thesis research. Therefore, the research element is the major requirement of the Ph.D. degree, as this form of scholarship represents the creative process in its most fundamental state. The main objectives of the BMMB graduate program are to teach students to think critically, to become well-trained independent scientists, and to become effective at communicating their research to others. The choice of university, department, and laboratory are very important in supplying the environment in which such development can occur. Most professional interactions will take place with the research personnel of the particular department the student chooses. Our department's goal is to have the student join a laboratory that will provide an atmosphere and the morale that will allow students to develop research skills and reach their full potential.

Students attend brief research presentations from faculty as part of their orientation class to identify laboratories that fit their interests. Every effort is made to give students as much flexibility as possible in choosing the laboratory in which they will do their Ph.D. thesis research. Thus, students initially do five-week research projects ("rotations") in at least three faculty laboratories prior to choosing a Ph.D. mentor. Students generally select their dissertation research advisor at the end of their first semester. The selection process requires that there be a mutual acceptance by both the student and the faculty member. The faculty research areas within the department are quite diverse. We invite you to browse the web pages of many exciting laboratories in our graduate program.