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PhD in stem cell bio, Yale MCGD vs Weill Cornell


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I am interested in pursuing a PhD in the field of stem cell and developmental biology and am deciding between the Yale MCGD program and the Weill Cornell graduate program (Weill also offers the option to work for PIs at Memorial Sloan Kettering). I have 5 years of post college research experience in industry working with human iPS cell lines. The iPSC model system is a tool that I know very well and hope to continue using in graduate school for modeling development and disease. A secondary interest is in immunology.


My thoughts through the interview process - I feel that Weill Cornell/Sloan Kettering program simply has more exciting projects going on using human iPSCs. Neural and pancreatic development were strongly represented topics.

Yale did not have as many faculty members interested in human stem cells as they did in other model systems. I also felt that the publication record of many of the Yale Stem Cell center faculty members was some what lacking given the Yale MCGD program reputation, though this is not a huge determining factor, it did surprise me. The immunology work from Yale that I have seen through publications and poster sessions has always been outstanding, leading me to consider going towards that focus.

I would prefer to live in NYC over New Haven, CT although I am more interested in trying to objectively compare the stem cell research at both institutes at this time.


I was wondering if any current students, applicants, or others have any insights into what the strengths of these programs are for these aims. Also I am considering Boston University, NYU Sackler, and Mt Sinai, but am pretty sure I have narrowed down my choice to Yale and Weill Cornell. Happy to discuss any and all things stem cells. Any information and advice is appreciated!!

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