Exciting Research

The MCDB graduate program at Kansas State University offers a rich diversity of graduate training and research opportunities in a variety of life science specializations.  Faculty members of the MCDB program are united by their interest in the commonalities of life at the cellular and molecular level.  In this way researchers in developmental biology, genetics, microbiology, immunology, virology, plant biology, vector biology, cell biology and cancer research are joined by the MCDB program.  Whether you choose to conduct research in immunology or plant biology, the methods of molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics will be similar to those of your colleagues in other research specializations.

    Your first year in the MCDB program will be challenging.  In addition to finding your way around a new city and University, first year students will be enrolled in the MCDB core curriculum, will be conducting rotations in MCDB labs and will have teaching responsibilities.

    During your second year, things generally settle down.  You will have chosen a lab in which to conduct your Ph.D. research, the courses you choose will be electives, and everything else will be familiar.  The major hurdle in your second year is that you must take the qualifying exam.  During the second and subsequent years you will also present your research progress and receive constructive feedback at the MCDB Research Forum, which meets every week.  At the Forum, each week, a different speaker shares his or her research results with the rest of the MCDB group.

    Beyond year two, you should begin reaping the benefits of your training and lab experience.  You should be able to apply your creativity to the problems and unknowns in your research, design and execute experiments which yield definitive answers and communicate your findings to other experts in the field.  This communication of findings should involve attending national meetings where you may present your work, and publishing your findings in peer-reviewed journals.