Working at a lab bench

Student Perspective: Natasha Meyer O'Brown

Natasha Meyer O'Brown

Developmental Biology
Lab: Dr. David M. Kingsley

Why did you choose to come to graduate school at Stanford University? What attracted you to the Biosciences PhD Programs?

I liked the quality of science and the relaxed atmosphere that surrounds Stanford. I loved that cutting edge science didn't necessarily mean uptight and secretive. This is a very open community where people are always willing to help, even if they haven't met you before.

What do you like about your Home Program?

The greatest thing about Developmental Biology is the fact that you get close with not only your peers but also the faculty. I love how conversations on the floor easily range from personal and light-hearted to troubleshooting an experiment, usually with people who aren't even in your lab.

Describe your thesis research

I'm studying the molecular basis of evolution in two ways and in two organisms: repeated armor plate reduction in threespine stickleback and human brain expansion.

Why did you choose to join your lab?

I chose my lab because I loved the research and the questions people were asking. I also found it easy to talk with my PI [principal investigator] candidly about both professional and personal issues.

Do you have any advice to share with prospective students?

Pick a lab based on the questions people are asking as well as by your relationship with the PI. The people in a lab fluctuate, but your PI is the one constant. I think it's really important to choose a lab where you feel like your PI is in your corner.

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