I am extremely worried about application and want to know your opinions. Here's some info:
Undergrad Institution: big public research school in florida
Major(s): cell, developmental and molecular biology as well as public health sciences (dual degree)
GPA in Major: 3.8+ ( all my upper level cell and molecular biology classes are A+)
Overall GPA: 3.83
Position in Class :top
Type of Student: International and female.
GRE Scores (revised/old version): didn’t take it yet, most don’t require it anymore.
Research Experience: Cancer research for 3 years. Topic – next generation sequencing/genomics. Led to a publication in a top oncology journal as 1stauthor (YAYY!). However, it was more clinical research than wet lab research. But, due to studying in a big research school, our lab classes were extensive and led me to know a lot of the molecular biology techniques and running gels and e.t.c. I graduated a month ago, and one of my professors recommended me to my current PI, where I am doing wet lab research and I absolutely love it. Uptill my application, I would have around 5 months and would continue till I start grad school.
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: I completed my dual degree in 9 semesters out of the usual 11 and out of 9 semesters, received dean’s list for 6 of them.
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: volunteered and tutored Basic science to kids who are refugees/minories/low economic status (who were between 2ndgrade and 5thgrade). Had 2-3 leadership positions while at school. Went on service trips to talk and motivate young girls to pursue stem careers. Lots of other EC’s.
Special Bonus Points: 4 recommenders
1- Doctor I worked on research with – doctor at one of the top cancer hospitals in the country.
2- Professor who knows me very well – for developmental biology – did his post doc at UCSF – well known name
3- Professor who knows me very well – molecular biology – did his post doc at Dana Farber at Harvard – known scientist within his field
4- Current PI – also post doc from Dana Farber.
I have been interested in research all long and extremely passionate about cells (specifically chromatin structure, mitotic spindle, cell signaling and, DNA repair) but due to time commitments and a lot on my plate, was unable to actual independent bench research. However, I don’t regret my decision to pursue clinical genomics research in one of the rarest cancers in the world in a top cancer hospital. It was a great experience, but I am worried that I would be at a disadvantage for not having enough wet lab experience under a certain PI.
Applying to Where:
Well, I need some suggestions. I have read a lot about molecular biology programs and have spent days reading about various labs in universities, but here are some places where I liked more than 1 lab. Not too sure if I should apply this year or next.
UChicago Cancer Biology
JHU – BCMB (long shot)
Princeton cell biology, development and cancer
UT Austin – Cell and Molecular Biology
Duke – Molecular Cancer Biology
Georgetown – BMCB
Cincinnati Childrens – Molecular and developmental biology
Harvard MCB (extremely long shot)