Working at a lab bench

Student Perspective: Rachel Goldfeder

Rachel Goldfeder

Biomedical Informatics
Lab: Dr. Euan Ashley

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

Biosciences is an extremely supportive community of scholars. I really love that my program (BMI) is a small, tight-knit group of friends, while Biosciences provides a larger umbrella for me to meet others with similar interests.

Describe your research.

My lab studies the genomics of cardiovascular disease. In other words, we try to determine which variants cause heart disease; this can be useful for developing a treatment plan or for screening family members. My work involves developing new methods to identify these genetic variants (specifically insertions and deletions) from next-generation DNA sequencing data.

What do you like about living in the Bay Area?

I love hiking - there are so many great places to hike within an hour of my apartment.

Do you have any advice to share with prospective students?

There are a lot of fantastic PhD programs - my advice is to find the one that is the best overall FIT for you, rather than best by an objective measure.

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

Your labmates essentially become your family for the next 4+ years. Of course you should choose a group that is pursuing exciting science, but don't forget to think about the people, too— choose a group you enjoy spending time with and who support your scientific (and other) interests.

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