Cell & Developmental Biology PhD Program

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MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR

Brian Link, PhD

 

Brian Link, PhD

Professor of Cell Biology, Neurobiology, & Anatomy
Director, Graduate Program in Cell & Developmental Biology

 

The Graduate Program in Cell & Developmental Biology provides outstanding doctoral level training in research to understand the fundamental unit of life, the cell.   Research groups in CDB study diverse aspects of cellular science including regulation of cellular differentiation, the molecular basis of regeneration, how neurons sense their environment, the intricacies of signal transduction, and the mechanisms of disease pathology.  The Faculty of CDB are committed to excellence in research, education, and career development.  We are very proud of our students, post-doctoral fellows, and staff who provide the foundation of a very strong scholarly culture.  Please consider joining us – it is such an exciting time to be a cell biologist!

blink@mcw.edu
(414) 955-8072

  • About
  • Students
  • Curriculum
  • Admissions
  • Tuition & Fees
  • Faculty
  • Documents

IDP Graduate Program in Microbiology and ImmunologyAbout

 

The Graduate Program in Cell and Developmental Biology (PDF) provides doctoral research training in cell and developmental biology and the neurosciences. Students are prepared through formal coursework, independent readings, seminars, journal clubs and faculty-supervised research for careers of scientific research in academia and industry.

Our current research strengths are in cellular and molecular mechanisms in developmental biology and neurobiology which employ genetic approaches offered by mice, zebrafish and stem cells. The developmental biology focus is on differentiation and specification in heart, liver, muscle and the nervous system. The neuroscience strengths include pain mechanisms, circadian rhythms, mitochondrial gene expression, color vision, sleep, muscle atrophy, and neuronal development and plasticity.

Our departmental and institutional facilities offer state-of-the art equipment for molecular-to-organism approaches to research problems and hands-on experience with modern cutting-edge technology, including automated protein and DNA sequencing. An imaging core and an electron microscopy service facility offer laser confocal microscopy and high resolution transmission imaging. The College supports medical imaging facilities equipped for scanning brain function (fMRI).

 

 

Puja AgrawalPuja Agrawal

pagrawal@mcw.edu
Mentor: Sridhar Rao, MD, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2015
Previous Education: BA, University of California, Berkeley, 2014
Research Interest: The role of nuclear architecture in regulating stem cell differentiation

 

Theresa BluemnTheresa Bluemn

tbluemn@mcw.edu
Mentor: Nan Zhu, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2015
Previous Education: BS, Biology-Cell and Physiology, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 2009
Research Interest: Normal and Malignant Hematopoiesis

 

Zachary BrandtZachary Brandt

zbrandt@mcw.edu
Mentor: Brian Link, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2014
Previous Education: BS, Biology, Wisconsin Lutheran College, 2014
Research Interest: Hippo signaling pathway in sensory neuron development and maintenance

 

 

Luke ChristiansenLuke Christiansen

christiansen@mcw.edu
Mentor: Nan Zhu, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2016
Previous Education: BS, Biology, University of Wisconsin - Parkside, 2015
Research Interest: The role of nuclear architecture in regulating stem cell differentiation

 

Eric ClarkEric Clark

eclark@mcw.edu
Mentor: Brian Link, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2011
Previous Education: BA, Albion College, 2012
Research Interest: Genetic basis of neurodegenerative diseases

Ismael BanlaAshley Cowie

acowie@mcw.edu
Mentor: Cheryl L. Stucky, PhD
Year Entered MCW:
Previous Education: BS, Marquette University, 2013
Research Interest: Mechanotransduction, pain transduction and sensation

 

Sarah DeBehnkeSarah DeBehnke

sdebehnke@mcw.edu
Mentor: Elena Semina, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2015
Previous Education: BS, Carroll University, 2013
Research Interest: Functional and mechanistic analyses of a MAC spectrum associated gene mab21l2 using a zebrafish model

 

Nathan EatonNathan Eaton

neaton@mcw.edu
Mentor: Herve Falet, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2016
Previous Education: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, BS in Molecular & Cellular Biology, 2015
Research Interest: Megakaryocyte and Platelet Physiology

 

 

Hannah FisherHannah Fisher

hfisher@mcw.edu
Mentor: Brian Link, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2016
Previous Education: UW-Milwaukee: BS-Biochemistry, UW-Milwaukee: MS-Biomedical Sciences
Research Interest: Mechanisms of retinal degeneration in Ushers Syndrome

 

 

 

Michael FlinnMichael Flinn

mflinn@mcw.edu
Mentor: Brian Link, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2012
Previous Education: BS, Northern Illinois University, 2009; MS, Northern Illinois University, 2011
Research Interest: Upstream regulatory elements of the Hippo signaling pathway

Melanie GartzMelanie Gartz

mgartz@mcw.edu
Mentor: Jennifer Strande, MD, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2017
Previous Education: MS in Cell Biology, Medical College of Wisconsin (2014); MHS in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (2011); BS in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (2009)
Research Interest: Utilizing exosomes to examine the molecular mechanisms underlying cardiomyopathy in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Emily GronsethEmily Gronseth

egronseth@mcw.edu
Mentor: Ramani Ramachandran, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2013
Previous Education: BS, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, 2011
Research Interest: Determining the mechanisms of medulloblastoma metastasis, concentrating on microenvironment interactions

Katelyn HeimbruchKatelyn Heimbruch

kheimbruch@mcw.edu
Mentor: Sridhar Rao, MD, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2015
Previous Education: BS in Genetics, University of Wisconsin-Madison 
Research Interest: Cooperating Mutations in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

 

Kathryn HendeeKathryn Hendee

khendee@mcw.edu
Mentor: Elena Semina, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2013
Previous Education: BS, Wisconsin Lutheran College, 2013
Research Interest: Involvement of PITX transcription factor family in human ocular disease

Ryan HillmerRyan Hillmer

rhillmer@mcw.edu
Mentor: Brian Link, PhD
Year Entered MCW:
Previous Education: BS, Carroll University 2012
Research Interest: Molecular mechanisms governing retinal neurogenesis

Alison HuckenpahlerAlison Huckenpahler

ahuckenpahle@mcw.edu
Mentor: Joseph Carroll, PhD
Year Entered MCW:
Previous Education: BS, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2012
Research Interest: Ocular Disease Modeling and Imaging

Rachel LindermanRachel Linderman

rlinderman@mcw.edu
Mentor: Joseph Carroll, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2017
Previous Education: BA, Biology, Luther College, 2013
Research Interest: Retinal Vasculature imaging and changes with disease

 

Francie MoehringFrancie Moehring

fmoehring@mcw.edu
Mentor: Cheryl L. Stucky, PhD
Year Entered MCW:
Previous Education: BS, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2013
Research Interest: Mechanisms of mechanotransduction and the sensation of pain

Joshua NordJoshua Nord

jnord@mcw.edu
Mentor: Lisa Cirillo, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2013
Previous Education: BS, Concordia University of Wisconsin, 2011
Research Interest: Transcriptional Regulation of Liver Development

Dwani PatelDwani Patel

ddpatel@mcw.edu
Mentor: Daniel Lipinski, MSc, DPhil
Year Entered MCW: 2015
Previous Education: BS, Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2015
Research Interest: Investigating the role of endothelial cells and retinal pericytes in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy

 

Mike ReimerMike Reimer

mhreimer@mcw.edu
Mentor: Sridhar Rao, MD, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2012
Previous Education: BS, Biology, Wisconsin Lutheran College, 2011
Research Interest: Stem cell transcriptional regulation

Benjamin SajdakBenjamin Sajdak

besajdak@mcw.edu
Mentor: Joseph Carroll, PhD
Year Entered MCW:
Previous Education: BS, Biology, UW-Oshkosh, 2013
Research Interest: Visual Neuroscience - study of the structures of the retina using adaptive optics

Alexander SalmonAlexander Salmon

asalmon@mcw.edu
Mentor: Joseph Carroll, PhD
Year Entered MCW:
Previous Education: BS, Neurobiology, UW-Madison, 2014
Research Interest: Vision

Emily SeminaryEmily Seminary

eseminary@mcw.edu
Mentor: Allison Ebert, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2014
Previous Education: BA, Augustana College, 2014
Research Interest: Studying Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis using induced pluripotent stem cells

Michelle StorageMichelle Storage

mstorage@mcw.edu
Mentor: Rashmi Sood, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2014
Previous Education: Double majored Cellular Biology and Honors Chemistry with Mathematics minor, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 2014
Research Interest: Double majored Cellular Biology and Honors Chemistry with Mathematics minor, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 2014

Erica WoertzErica Woertz

ewoertz@mcw.edu
Mentor: Joseph Carroll, PhD
Year Entered MCW:
Previous Education: BS, Biology, Azusa Pacific University, 2012
Research Interest: Retinal and cortical structure and function in human albinism

Moua YangMoua Yang

moyang@mcw.edu
Mentor: Roy Silverstein, MD
Year Entered MCW: 2012
Previous Education: BS, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 2012
Research Interest: Role of scavenger receptor CD36 in vascular pathobiology

Jonathan YoungJonathan Young

jbyoung@mcw.edu
Mentor: Iris Kassem, MD, PhD
Year Entered MCW:
Previous Education: BS, Marquette University, 2014
Research Interest: Pediatric Ocular Disease

Hanmeng ZhangHanmeng Zhang

hanmzhang@mcw.edu
Mentor: Daniel Lipinski, MSc, DPhil
Year Entered MCW: 2016
Previous Education: BS, Beijing Sport University, 2014
Research Interest: Gene therapy on ocular disease

 

Curriculum

 

The Cell and Developmental Biology PhD Program is the only graduate program offered by the Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy at MCW. The purpose of this program is to provide state of the art research training leading to a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Cell and Developmental Biology. This is accomplished through a combination of coursework, seminars, journal clubs, and "hands-on" laboratory research in the laboratory of a faculty mentor. To maintain full-time status, graduate students are required to take a minimum of 6 credits in the summer, 9 credits in the fall and 9 credits in the spring semesters. Accrual of at least 60 graduate course credits is needed for the PhD degree. Students are required to meet with their thesis committee starting in the third year of training. The student will write a 1-2 page summary of the meeting, detailing what was presented and discussed and any bench-marks or time-lines that were established. As part of the training process, it is also required as a minimum that the student thesis research culminate in publication of at least 2 articles in peer-reviewed journals for which the student is first author.

Admissions

Start Your Application Now

Those interested in pursuing education and research within the Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy should pursue admission through either the Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences (IDP) and/or Neuroscience Doctoral Program (NDP) as well as the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD).

A Bachelor’s degree (either completed or in the process of completing) is required for admission to any MCW graduate program. Applicants will ideally have a 3.0 or higher grade point average (GPA), as well as quantitative and verbal reasoning GRE scores at or above the 50th percentile (3.5 or higher writing score). Personal statements and letters of recommendation from professors, advisors, and research supervisors. who know you well are highly regarded in the admission process. Prior research experience is also strongly considered.

The MCW Graduate School operates on a rolling admissions basis. However, applications accepted by the priority application deadline of December 15th will receive first priority for admission the following Fall. Students are admitted once per year.

TUITION AND FEES INFORMATION

If you have questions regarding tuition or your account, please contact the Office of Student Accounts, at (414) 955-8172 or mcwtuition@mcw.edu.

PhD Students

All full-time PhD students receive a full tuition remission, health insurance and stipend.

2017-2018 Stipend: $29,136.00

The following fees are covered by the tuition remission:

  • All Students Fee (Fall & Spring Semesters Only): $40.00
  • Graduate Student Association (GSA) Fee: $35.00
  • Tuition Per Credit - Fall, Spring & Summer Semesters: $1,250.00

Masters, Certificate & Non-Degree Students

Students seeking financial aid for MPH, MS or MA degree programs, visit the Financial Aid Office website.

  • Tuition Per Credit - Fall, Spring & Summer Semesters: $1,010.00
  • Master’s in Medical Physiology Tuition: $42,000/year
  • Continuation: $225.00
  • Audit - Per Class: $100.00

Current MCW Employees

Tuition Course Approval Form - Human Resources (PDF)

Late Fees

There will be a $250 late registration fee for anyone not completing registration by the date indicated on the schedule each semester. There is also a $250 late payment fee for tuition not paid on time according to the Tuition Payments policy in the Student Handbook.

Late payment fee is in addition to any late registration fee.

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Forms (Documents)

 

Preparing for Graduation

Depending on your degree and program within MCW’s Graduate School, there will be several forms that you will need to complete in preparation for earning your degree. Here you will find information on the steps you need to complete before you will be awarded your PhD, Master degree, or graduate certificate from MCW.

Current graduate students in Cell & Developmental Biology Programs

PhD and Master's Degree Forms

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences General CAMPUS CONTACT INFORMATION

Mailing Address:
MCW Graduate School
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226


(414) 955-8218
(414) 955-6555 (fax)
gradschool@mcw.edu

Department of Cell & Developmental Biology

(414) 955-8261
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