Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Penn State Science
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Laboratory Rotations and Research

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Tyler Goralski, a BMMB student, streaks out a bacteria sample at the Pell Laboratory for Advanced Biological Research.

Graduate students make discoveries and generate new knowledge through independent, original dissertation 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.

BMMB's goal is to have the student join a laboratory that will provide an atmosphere and mentoring that will teach students to think critically, to become well-trained independent scientists, to become effective at communicating their research to others, and reach their full potential. Therefore, the choice of laboratory and mentor is the most important decision a student must make. To assist in this process, BMMB provides the following resources.

  • Incoming students receive a list of faculty interested in taking new students in late July and are encouraged to begin contacting faculty to discuss rotations
  • Upon arrival, students meet with the one of the Directors of the Graduate Program to decide on the first rotation.
  • Students attend brief research presentations from faculty as part of their orientation class to identify laboratories that fit their interests.
  • Students schedule individual meetings with faculty and then choose their second and third rotations.

Most BMMB students 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 pages of the many exciting laboratories in our graduate program.