Jump to content

Bioinformatics PhD - UNC vs. UCLA?

Cal guy

Recommended Posts

Got accepted into UCLA (Bioinformatics Interdepartmental Ph.D. Program) and UNC (Bioinformatics and Computational Biology - BCB). Also to Baylor College of Medicine but will probably chose between the first two.

Any opinions/recommendations?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm still waiting to hear back from UNC (applied to a different department than comp bio though) and I've decided to go there over my other top choice if I am accepted (I wish they would hurry up and tell the rest of us already, I visited 6 whole weeks ago!)

At least in my experience with my own field (Tox) I felt as though UNC really understands where the future of the field is going, which is towards more of a high throughput -omics, and even come computational approach to solving environmental health problems, which I realized would be more valuable to me than my other offers who seem to be more old school (ie. their department head told me that he thinks big data is a fad that will go out of style in the future). Besides that UNC is a huge school with such a huge amount of people to work with in diverse areas, and I honestly felt like the people I met at UNC include the PIs I wanted to work with the most, so I have an idea of my what my first two rotations will be, with a list of 2-3 for the third (though I might branch out and rotate in a different department instead depending on how I'm feeling).


I'm coming from the Northeast where my other main choice is located and this past winter really convinced me that I hate and despise the cold, so UNC is good for me weatherwise, though UCLA would probably satisfy the warmth requirement for you too! Are you more of a city person or would you prefer small town with a relaxed attitude? That might help you, I know I think the local food scene in Chapel Hill is great, and I'm tired of big cities personally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Cal guy What type of Bioinformatics research are you interested in? I'm not very familiar with UNC's program, so I can't speak to that, but if you are interested in population genetics, epigenetics and gene expression, or biocircuits, UCLA is well regarded in those fields. There's also a $500+ Million challenge to help combat depression that just started the previous year. There are pretty exciting opportunities in precision medicine with crowd-sourced data, wearables, medical records, and mult-omics approaches. If you're interested in "Big Data/ML" in the Biosciences, the Institute for Quantitative and Computational Biosciences is very closely tied to the Bioinformatics PhD program. They have tons of seminars, classes, and professors who are developing ML methods for tackling new biological problems, so if you are all interested in that, UCLA would be a great fit!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.