Working at a lab bench

Student Perspective: Liz Freeman Rosenzweig

Liz Freeman Rosenzweig

Lab: Dr. Martin Jonikas

Why did you choose the Biosciences PhD programs at Stanford University?

There's so much exciting research going on here, and I love how interdisclipinary it is, and that as a student you aren't shoe-horned into a niche department. Frequently interacting with people from different fields, both casually and in classes, is a great way to learn.

Describe your research.

I study photosynthesis in the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Specifically, I'm using and designing fluorescent biosensors to learn about how this algae takes up CO2 in a special way that lets it make sugars much more efficiently than do most land plants. The broader goal of my project is to learn about the molecular and cellular biology of this process so that we can one day create more efficient crop plants.

What do you like about living in the Bay Area?

The weather's great, there's so much fun stuff to do (we're right between two major cities in addition to being surrounded by some of the best parks in the country), and there are always smart, interesting people to talk to.

Do you have any advice to share with prospective students?

Before settling on a graduate program or school, make sure there are at least 3-4 labs that you're sure you'd like to rotate in (if the program does rotations), that you'd be happy living in that area for 5-7 years, and be sure to ask about funding!

What advice would you give an incoming student about choosing her or his thesis lab?

Think about not just the science that you want to do during your graduate career, but also the mentorship environment with whcih you want to surround yourself. Both are equally important in propelling your future career(s), but many people don't explicitly think about mentorship styles during rotations.

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