Meet Our Students

Read profiles of our PhD students to learn about their experience and research. 

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The Columbia University Department of Systems Biology invites applications from students interested in pursuing careers at the frontiers of modern biology. You will learn to apply powerful, multidisciplinary approaches and address critical biological questions from the perspective of complex genomic and molecular systems.

PhD education at Columbia stresses the importance of high-throughput experimentation, quantitative analysis of large biological data sets, and innovative technology development. Whether your primary interest is in experimental or computational research in systems biology, the experience you gain will prepare you to participate in cutting-edge science that integrates the two.

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This year’s application deadline is December 1, 2018.


Same Microbe, Different Effect
Our gut microbiome has been linked to everything from obesity and diabetes to heart disease and even neurological disorders and cancer. Researchers have been sorting through the multiple bacterial species that populate the microbiome, asking which of them can be implicated in specific disorders. But in a new study, co-led by Dr. Tal Korem and published in Nature, addressed a new question: "What if the same microbe is different in different people?" The study details a novel computational method that systematically identifies structural variants across human gut microbiomes, and could help scientists pinpoint the connections between our microbiome, health and disease.
Identifying High-Risk Factors of Pancreatic Cancer
Armed with a new two-year, $1 million grant from the Pancreatic Cancer Collective, a global team of researchers, led by Dr. Raul Rabadan, is working to develop a comprehensive computational framework that will identify high-risk factors for pancreatic cancer. The team will attack pancreatic cancer research from multiple disciplines—genomics, mathematics and medicine—to provide an integrated approach to studying the contributing factors to this lethal disease. The need for a deeper understanding of pancreatic cancer is pressing--it is projected to become the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality within the next decade.