I was most attracted to CBM by the cutting-edge science, location in NYC on the upper east side, and subsidized housing options, offering lower rental costs than average in the high-rent area of Manhattan. This reduction in housing provides more affordability for life in NYC. , . In terms of research, this program enables me to work with excellent scientists across a variety of disciplines. In addition to meeting with my collaborators, MSK and Weill Cornell frequently host talks and seminars so we can learn from prominent scientists around the world.
Background experience that led to this
I worked in the Terrence Furey lab at UNC, where I worked with ATAC-seq and RNA-seq data for Crohn’s Disease during my last two years of college. In the summer before my senior year, I participated in the Tri-I Computational Biology Summer Program (CBSP), where I spent 10 weeks working with Christina Leslie to develop a supervised method to embed CITE-seq data. This summer experience was a great opportunity to learn more about CBM and the range of research opportunities on the Tri-Institutional campuses.
What you’re working on now
My research in the laboratory of Christina Leslie at Memorial Sloan Kettering is focused on the immune response to cancer. Our collaborators in Emily Cheng’s group have developed a novel therapy that can be used to boost the effectiveness of existing immunotherapies. I’ve been analyzing the immune response to this new therapy while comparing it to alternative approaches. I’m also developing an automated tool to help researchers efficiently survey the tumor microenvironment.
What has been the best part about the program?
The flexibility and commitment to research. Since CBM is a research-based program, there are minimal program-mandated requirements to take our time away from lab work. We can choose the four courses we are required to take in our first year, are not required to TA, and can adjust the duration and number of rotations as needed to find the best long-term lab fit. I’ve felt very autonomous as a student in this program, which is exactly what I wanted from my PhD experience.
What do you like about NYC and what are your interests outside of your research?
It’s easy to find things to do with friends. There are an overwhelming number of restaurants, bars, and clubs. I’ve also gone to karaoke, board game cafes, rock climbing, and Broadway shows. If you are in the mood to go out, there is always something to do.
When I don’t want to leave my apartment, I cook, read, and play video games. Otherwise, I enjoy staying active through playing ping-pong and tennis as well as going to the gym, biking through Central Park and running along the east river. I also make frequent trips to see my partner, friends, and family along the east coast.