PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences Hosts Third-Annual Accepted Applicant Visit Day

Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology Xaralabos Varelas, PhD, delivers a keynote address.

On Friday, March 22, the Graduate Medical Sciences Program in Biomedical Sciences (PiBS) hosted its third-annual Accepted Applicant Visit Day.

The event brought close to 50 accepted applicants from across the country to the Medical Campus, where they learned more about the academic, research, and professional development opportunities offered by PiBS.

Accepted applicants began the day by attending a networking breakfast with peers and Boston University faculty members. Following breakfast, applicants explored Boston on an Old Town Trolley Tour through the city, which highlighted the BU campus and other important sites close by.

Students returned to the Medical Campus for a busy afternoon program, which began with a keynote speech from Xaralabos Varelas, PhD, a professor of biochemistry and cell biology at the Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine. Varelas spoke on his experience as a PiBS faculty member, discussed some of the ongoing research in his lab and shared graduate outcomes of lab alumni.

PiBS student Kevin Hayes speaks on the panel.

The luncheon closed with a student panel moderated by PiBS student Devin Kenney. Students Viviana Dominguez, Margaret Downs, Kevin Hayes, and Erika Smith-Mahoney fielded questions about research, work-life balance and campus activities.

Accepted applicants then had the opportunity to explore four key laboratories and core facilities on campus. Each student chose two tours from the following options:

Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM) & Structural Biology Tour:

  • Led by PiBS students Devin Kenney and Joelle Johnson.
  • Presented by Professor of Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics Chris Akey; Instructor of Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics Michael Rynkiewicz; Assistant Professor of Vascular Biology Angie Serrano; and Professor of Medicine and Virology, Immunology & Microbiology Gustavo Mostoslavsky.

Zebrafish Facility and Proteomics Service Center Tour:

  • Led by PiBS student Elise Armstrong.
  • Presented by Associate Professor of Biochemistry & Cell Biology Daniel Cifuentes and Professor of Biochemistry Joseph Zaia.

Single Cell and Spatial Biology Tour:

  • Led by PiBS students Jason Weis and Anna Tseng.

Virology, Immunology & Microbiology Tour, National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) Information Session, and Flow Cytometry Core Tour:

  • Led by PiBS students Thomas Murphy and Kara Vasilew
  • Presented by Research Assistant Professor of Virology, Immunology & Microbiology Hisashi Akiyama; Research Assistant Professor of Virology, Immunology & Microbiology Adam Hume; and Assistant Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Anna Belkina.
Presenting during the day’s poster symposium.

Following the tours, accepted applicants networked with current PiBS students and faculty during a catered reception and poster symposium jointly held between PiBS and the Pharmacology PhD Program. During the symposium, students from both programs presented their research, and accepted applicants met with several campus resource centers: the BU Newbury Center, the GMS Community Catalyst Center (C3), the BU Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine Diversity & Inclusion Office and BU Student Financial Services.

The day concluded with a relaxed dinner in downtown Boston for accepted applicants and current PiBS students.

The BU Program in Biomedical Sciences is celebrating its 10th year in 2024. PiBS provides rigorous training towards a PhD degree by integrating the foundations of interdisciplinary biomedical research with focused investigation and preparation for career advancement. PiBS offers first-year students the opportunity to explore a variety of research areas over the course of three laboratory rotations along with a core curriculum to help determine the direction of their PhD focus.

Learn more about PiBS here!

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