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would genomics clinical research be a disadvantage?

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hi everyone,

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

UCSF Tetrad 

Cincinnati Childrens – Molecular and developmental biology

Harvard MCB (extremely long shot)

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Posted (edited)

Bench work/wet lab is a dime a dozen both in and out of a university setting; clinical research in genomics, not so much.   For what it is worth, depending on the application pool you have an experience that may be unique to your application. 

Edited by Crucial BBQ

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