Thomas Hohle didn’t know exactly what he wanted to study when he started graduate school. That’s why he was drawn to the Jacobs School’s biochemistry program.
“Labs in the department span very diverse research interests,” he says. “Almost anything that can be found in other biomedical research programs at UB can be found in biochem.”
The department’s practical approach to education and training also appealed to Hohle. In most basic science departments, PhD students write a research proposal as their preliminary exam. However, in biochemistry students write the proposal early—during their first year in the department—and on research they’d like to pursue in their mentor’s lab.
“Since our preliminary exam was based on our own work, it helped us plan and focus on what we need to do in the long haul of our graduate research,” he says. The exam served as invaluable career preparation, Hohle adds. “Grant writing is very important for those continuing in the science field, be it academia or industry.”
Another job skill Hohle has fine-tuned in biochemistry was public speaking. The department offers many opportunities for students to present their data. As Hohle became more comfortable addressing an audience, he also picked up useful tips to advance his research.
“Professors are always willing to help with a problem.”