Graduates of the Ph.D. in biological sciences have pursued a variety of professional options. Most graduates pursue post-doctoral training upon graduation, with recent graduates having become post-doctoral scholars at Harvard, Cornell, Yale, Stanford, Duke, Vanderbilt or other research-intensive universities. Other students have gone on to work at government agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health or the Department of Defense, or private companies such as Google or Zeiss.
Ph.D. Alumni Success Stories
Alyssa Rodriguez ’21
Post-doctoral research fellow at UC San Diego, Cellular and Molecular Medicine
“The Department of Biological Sciences unveiled the wealth of research present in one department, such as neuroscience, DNA repair, and insect anatomy. I learned the importance of formulating hypothesis, diving into current literature, and formulating an experiment with adequate controls. The flexible curriculum requirement by the Department of Biological Sciences allowed me to tailor my studies to fit within my field of structural biology and biochemistry. Also, my Ph.D. studies went beyond the lab and I gained valuable teaching experience within the department while mentoring more junior students. I am confident moving forward in my career with the training received from the biological sciences department.
Advisor: Brandt Eichman
Thesis: Biochemical studies of replication-dependent DNA glycosylase endonuclease VIII-like 3
Edward van Opstal ’18
Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton
Receiving my Ph.D. from the biological sciences department at Vanderbilt not only gave me the technical background I use daily in my science policy career, but also the communication and teaching experience needed for me to receive a prestigious science policy fellowship. The Department of Biological Sciences didn’t just teach me to be a good scientist, but also a good communicator. I am very thankful for that. The well-rounded experiences I had in the department through research, outreach, communication, advocacy, teaching, and leadership, truly contributed to my career path and success. The broadness of the department prepared me for the opportunity to pick up on vastly different perspectives in biology, integrate them into my thought process, and communicate my work to a more diverse audience. At any given lunch break, I could be chatting with friends and colleagues about topics in neurology, ecology, evolution, microbiology, or physiology.
Advisor: Seth Bordenstein
Thesis: The Impact of Host-Microbe Interactions on Nasonia Evolution