Neuroscience PhD at Wake Forest University at Wake Forest University

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Olivier Thibault

Graduated with a PhD - 1993 (1st Neuroscience Program Graduate)
Current Position – Associate Professor, Department of Molecular and Biomedical Pharmacology at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine
Comments about the Neuroscience Program - This program was new at Wake Forest when I started my PhD and I felt at home getting a degree in the Neuroscience field. It fit my science focus perfectly and was the main reason why I joined and really liked the program. (Also, being the first to defend had its perks). The professors where new to me and really welcomed me to the program which at that time was still in its infancy.



Edward Schicatano

Graduated with a PhD - 1995
Current Position - Associate Professor, Department of Psychology at Wilkes University
Comments about the Neuroscience Program – I thought that the coursework required did a great job in representing the entire field of Neuroscience. The research expertise of the faculty allowed me to keep current with the field and also learn about the latest innovative techniques used to address the research questions.



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Albert Lo

Graduated with a PhD - 1997
Current Position – Associate Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology at Brown University
Comments about the Neuroscience Program - I thought my experience at WF was invaluable in my professional career. I continue to use the fundamentals that I learned in neuroscience content and methodology on a daily basis even though some of my research is quite varied (from peripheral nerve repair to robot rehabilitation).



todd kirby

Todd Kirby

Graduated with a PhD - 1998
Current Position - Director, Clinical Development and Medical Science at Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Comments about the Neuroscience Program - The curriculum and interdisciplinary nature of the Neuroscience Program provided me with an excellent background and skill set for a career in industry.




Rachna Sinnott

Graduated with a PhD - 1999
Current Position - Director of Foundation & Corporate Relations, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA
Comments about the Neuroscience Program - I appreciated the multidisciplinarity of the neuroscience program, which allowed me to explore multiple area within neuroscience.




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Joshua Grill

Graduated with a PhD - 2004
Current Position - Assistant Professor of Neurology at Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research at UCLA
Comments about the Neuroscience Program - I enjoyed the opportunity to learn about, and participate in, a diverse array of neuroscience research topics before choosing the laboratory in which I would do my thesis work. I also enjoyed the collegial nature of the program, especially the relationships I forged with my colleagues in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, where my mentor Dr. Riddle had a primary appointment. Lastly, Dr. Riddle and the other members of his laboratory were kind and patient teachers. They and the other program faculty gave me the tools to continue my career in neuroscience.


Robin Stromberg

Robin Stromberg

Graduated with a PhD - 2004
Current Position – Lead Medical Writer at JK Medical Communications
Comments about the Neuroscience Program - Learning to think – and write! – scientifically.





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Anna Taylor

Graduated with a PhD - 2006
Current Position – Health Science Administrator, NINDS/NIH
Comments about the Neuroscience Program - Approachable faculty, interest-focused learning, and student camaraderie.




Christina Hugenschmidt

Graduated with a PhD - 2008
Current Position – Assistant Professor in Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine.
Comments about the Neuroscience Program – My favorite things about the Neuroscience program were the collegiality of students, faculty, and of course Jody, and the breadth of research opportunities.




Jennifer Mozolic

Graduated with a PhD - 2009
Current Position – Psychology Professor at Warren Wilson College, Asheville, NC
Comments about the Neuroscience Program - I really valued the wide variety of perspectives and approaches that the neuroscience faculty brought to the study of the brain and behavior.  This presented a great opportunity for rotating through several different labs and learning many different techniques and skills.



Eric Hudgins

Eric Hudgins

Graduated with a PhD – 2010
Current Position - Neurological Surgery Resident at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Comments about the Neuroscience Program - The Neuroscience Program at Wake is a richly collaborative and intellectual environment to freely explore research interests and hone investigative skills.




Erik Oleson

Erik Oleson

Graduated with a PhD - 2010
Current Position – Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Colorado Denver
Comments about the Neuroscience Program – I liked that the Neuroscience program provided a focused Neuroscience core curriculum, yet provided you the opportunity to work with laboratories from different departments.




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Elizabeth Burnett

Graduated with a PhD – 2012
Current Position – Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs at the Medical University of South Carolina
Comments about the Neuroscience Program - Wake’s Neuroscience Graduate Program is  recognized for its expertise in addiction, neuroplasticity and neurodevelopmental disorders among other things. The program stands out from many others in its highly collaborative nature, which means that students’ projects frequently crossover multiple laboratories and as a result, ease students into an existing and extensive network of talented faculty in their field of interest.  In my opinion, the greatest strength of the program is the expertise of program faculty in successful grant writing. This coupled with the program’s push for students to write and submit their own F31 predoctoral NRSA (or equivalent) has resulted in a remarkable success rate of funded predoctoral grants. My own experience in grant writing and success in obtaining funding as a grad student in the program has been instrumental in advancing my career in academia.



Walter Wiggins

Graduated with a PhD - 2012
Current Position - Resident Physician, Diagnostic Radiology, Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Comments about the Neuroscience Program - The flexibility of the Neuroscience Program is one of its greatest strengths. You can really tailor everything to your own needs and interests, whether it be a specific course offering or a collaboration with a research team in another department.