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Where Should I Go? BIMS@UVa or Biomed@Mount Sinai


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#1 bean1989

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 05:31 AM

Hi all,

I have been considering this for a long time and still wondering where to go for graduate school. I narrowed down my choices between BIMS@UVa (biochemistry and molecular genetics track) and Biomedical Scicences@Mount Sinai School of Medicine (genetics and genomic science).

Both schools have almost equal number of faculty that I want to work with. I am interested in epigenetics. It seems that UVa has a tradition of researching epigenetics and many excellent professors are studying it while Mount Sinai, although has a couple of PIs researching epigenetics, their stem cells and cancer biology are more powerful. But I think it is not bad to study epigenetic problems in stem cells since Mount Sinai allow graduate student to have two mentors. Both schools have good publications, fundings and graduate students trying to convince me that their program are great. As a result, I don't want to give up either.

Although I am an international, I have been to both schools have some impression of what each schools is like. But I did not gather enough information for me to make up my mind about where to go. So I am asking for your suggestions. Any ideas are welcomed.

Thank you very much in advance!
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#2 Sulay Patel

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:06 AM

when did you got acceptance from mount sinai... i am yet to hear from them
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#3 JSmoove

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 06:43 PM

Hey I'll be going to Mount Sinai in the fall, and I'll be in Genetics and Genomic Sciences (although I'm considering moving to Microbiology instead). Both schools seem like they would be good choices for you, so I think you'd be fine going with either one. The GGS concentration seems like it's really expanding, so I think you might be ok even if there aren't many faculty that do epigenetics right now. Ultimately, I think you should probably go wherever you felt most comfortable. Grad school is gonna be a long, hard process, so I think you should go wherever you would enjoy yourself the most and find a compatible mentor, even I'd the research isn't exactly what you want to do. You should also consider location. I think it would be great living in Manhattan, but some people dont want to live in such a big city. Are you going to the revisit weekend at Mount Sinai next week? Going back and seeing it again might help you make a better decision.
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Accepted: Mount Sinai School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Jefferson, Rutgers/UMDNJ

Planning to attend: Mount Sinai!

#4 GradStudentY3

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 08:28 PM

First of all, congrats! Well done!

I think you should go where you have the most options for research in your field. If your passion is Epigenetics, and UVA has the most options for the kind of epigenetics you want to do, then it sounds like UVA is the place for you. I wouldn't count on co-mentoring, and/or new research opportunities coming up. Yes, both of those things are possible, but they are not guarantees and are not without complications. I am a grad student (was just browsing through this board today for a friend and saw your post) who has tried the "co-mentor" thing. A few months in, my mentors broke up with each other over grant-related issues, and I was put in a very difficult spot. I know that many people have had successful experiences with joint labs and co-mentors, but I also know quite a few people who have had bad experiences. Collaborations are a lot more complicated than I had expected - it takes a lot more than just having you join two labs. It takes two PIs who WANT to and CAN work with each other, it takes division of finances and funding, it takes administrative support, yada yada yada.

Grad school is mainly about research. Go where you will be certain to find a least a few options of research labs that will interest you right off the bat. That's how YOU will get the rest - good publications, funding, and all else. What the school gets on average for those things is not the most important question.
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#5 JSmoove

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:17 PM

Also, remember that you can always do epigenetics for your postdoc, if you can't find a lab with epigenetics for grad school. The most important thing about choosing a school and then a thesis lab is NOT the project. It is the mentor and the environment of the lab. As long as your project is interesting enough to you and you learn a lot, you will be in good position for the future. Because you can have a project that exactly fits your interests, but if you hate your mentor or your lab, it will be a miserable couple of years.
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Accepted: Mount Sinai School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Jefferson, Rutgers/UMDNJ

Planning to attend: Mount Sinai!

#6 bean1989

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 01:39 AM

when did you got acceptance from mount sinai... i am yet to hear from them

Hi, Suley, I went for the interview of Mount SInai on Jan. 17-18 and got acceptance on that weekend.
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#7 bean1989

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:00 AM

Hey I'll be going to Mount Sinai in the fall, and I'll be in Genetics and Genomic Sciences (although I'm considering moving to Microbiology instead). Both schools seem like they would be good choices for you, so I think you'd be fine going with either one. The GGS concentration seems like it's really expanding, so I think you might be ok even if there aren't many faculty that do epigenetics right now. Ultimately, I think you should probably go wherever you felt most comfortable. Grad school is gonna be a long, hard process, so I think you should go wherever you would enjoy yourself the most and find a compatible mentor, even I'd the research isn't exactly what you want to do. You should also consider location. I think it would be great living in Manhattan, but some people dont want to live in such a big city. Are you going to the revisit weekend at Mount Sinai next week? Going back and seeing it again might help you make a better decision.


Hi, first, thank you so much for the suggestions.

I went to Mount Sinai for the interview on Jan. 17-18, when did you go for interview there? Maybe we have met each other there. I am not going to the revisit since the traffic fare for me is so expensive (I live in Beijing, China). But it is so true that Manhattan is a fantastic place to live and I love there so much, though I have been there only once for the interview in Mount Sinai and NYU. Sometime I even doubt whether it is because of NYC that I want to go to Mount Sinai. As for my decision, I have been contacting the PIs from both schools to know their suggestions.

You are going to the revisit next week right? Would you please tell me what do you think is great about Mount Sinai you see during the revisit? Maybe we are gonna be classmate. My email address is wangzc921@gmail.com.
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#8 JSmoove

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:16 AM

I interviewed Feb 13-14. Yeah, the fact that it's in NYC was one of the factors in my decision. Also the fact that the stipend is huge, but the cost of living would be lower for us because the housing is subsidized (only about $500-600/month). I'll definitely email you and let you know what I think about it after I go to the revisit weekend.
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Accepted: Mount Sinai School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Jefferson, Rutgers/UMDNJ

Planning to attend: Mount Sinai!

#9 bean1989

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 10:44 AM

First of all, congrats! Well done!

I think you should go where you have the most options for research in your field. If your passion is Epigenetics, and UVA has the most options for the kind of epigenetics you want to do, then it sounds like UVA is the place for you. I wouldn't count on co-mentoring, and/or new research opportunities coming up. Yes, both of those things are possible, but they are not guarantees and are not without complications. I am a grad student (was just browsing through this board today for a friend and saw your post) who has tried the "co-mentor" thing. A few months in, my mentors broke up with each other over grant-related issues, and I was put in a very difficult spot. I know that many people have had successful experiences with joint labs and co-mentors, but I also know quite a few people who have had bad experiences. Collaborations are a lot more complicated than I had expected - it takes a lot more than just having you join two labs. It takes two PIs who WANT to and CAN work with each other, it takes division of finances and funding, it takes administrative support, yada yada yada.

Grad school is mainly about research. Go where you will be certain to find a least a few options of research labs that will interest you right off the bat. That's how YOU will get the rest - good publications, funding, and all else. What the school gets on average for those things is not the most important question.


Thank you so much. I think I'll have to consider those issues concerning co-mentoring thing. I'll talk with the PIs that I would like to choose as co-mentors. Maybe learning some techniques from other labs are helpful enough so that I don't have to choose the other PI as mentor.
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#10 LeSenateur

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 11:02 PM

So, Bean1989, what did you decide to do in the end? Or have you decided yet?
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#11 800meters

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:48 PM

quick answer: Mt. Sinai
Mt. Sinai is very well-respected.
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#12 bean1989

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 03:28 AM

So, Bean1989, what did you decide to do in the end? Or have you decided yet?

Hi, I just decided to go to Mount Sinaiļ¼
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#13 bean1989

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 03:28 AM

quick answer: Mt. Sinai
Mt. Sinai is very well-respected.

Thank you! I am going to Mount Sinai!
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#14 LeSenateur

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:31 PM

Then we will be future classmates as I am going there too!
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#15 bean1989

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:50 AM

Then we will be future classmates as I am going there too!

Great! My email address is : wangzc921@gmail.com What's yours? I look forward to meet you there!
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