Working at a lab bench

Student Perspective: Dara Strauss-Albee

Dara Strauss-Albee

Lab: Dr. Catherine Blish

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

In addition to the features that drew me to the Immunology program, I was struck by how Biosciences grad students at Stanford seemed connected— to their research, to the larger scientific community, to outside the "Stanford bubble," and to each other. I especially liked that they both worked with and had friends in many different Biosciences programs, which was different from other schools I visited.

Describe your research.

I am working to understand the early immune responses to HIV and other viruses, with the long-term goal of developing new vaccine targets.

What do you like about living in the Bay Area?

Most things, but especially outdoor activities and concerts! Trips to Tahoe, Yosemite, Sequoia, Monterey, Sonoma, and San Francisco have been some highlights.

Do you have any advice to share with prospective students?

Choose a grad school environment in which you can see yourself feeling comfortable and able to thrive. Leave yourself plenty of room to take your research in different directions— you never know how things will work out.

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

If you have the opportunity, hitch yourself to a rising star. Working with a new professor can be an incredible PhD experience.

Give us feedback