For students with a strong interest in applied research, the new Master of Science in Translational Medicine (MSTM) program offered jointly by Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) and the Irell and Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences at City of Hope represents an unmatched opportunity.
“Students will have comprehensive courses in translational medicine and professional development opportunities at KGI, which specializes in the applied biomedical sciences, and receive hands-on research training at City of Hope,” says Yilun Liu, co-director of the MSTM program as well as an associate professor and the associate chair of the Department of Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics at City of Hope, a world leader in research and treatment related to cancer, diabetes, and other serious diseases.
The two-year MSTM program is designed to offer students with bachelor’s degrees and limited research experience an in-depth understanding of how to translate scientific research into commercial products that benefit society. Incorporating a full year of applied research experience at City of Hope, the program prepares students to perform hypothesis-based research, assess the scientific literature, communicate research findings, adhere to healthcare and life sciences industry ethics, and contribute productively to interdisciplinary teams.
The extensive research experience it offers students differentiates the KGI and City of Hope program from others in translational medicine. Nearly 60 researchers affiliated with City of Hope’s world-renowned Beckman Research Institute have expressed interest in having students in the MSTM program work with them, offering opportunities in disease mechanisms and therapeutics development, genomics and precision medicine, immunotherapy, diabetes and cancer research, and the molecular and cellular mechanisms of aging.
“The program provides a deep dive into research and offers the best of both worlds. City of Hope has great research opportunities, and KGI has a strong industry pipeline,” says Anastasia Levitin, research assistant professor at KGI and co-director of the MSTM program and director of KGI’s Master of Science (MS) in Applied Life Sciences program.
Graduates will be well positioned for growing job opportunities in life sciences research labs, especially in California. They will be able to pursue professional careers in biotechnology, pharmaceutical, academic, and hospital labs. Levitin notes that graduates will also have a strong background to become candidates for doctoral and medical degree programs.
KGI and City of Hope will welcome the first students to the MSTM program in the fall. The program will begin with approximately five students and is expected to grow to 20 students per year over time.
“I think this will be a very popular program at the same time it will be a high-quality program,” says Levitin. “We will be training students in an academically stimulating, collaborative, and diverse environment where they can apply their creativity, curiosity, and talents to advance understanding of the complexity of the life sciences and translate research discoveries to cures for disease.”
“The program provides a deep dive into research and offers the best of both worlds. City of Hope has great research opportunities, and KGI has a strong industry pipeline.” – Anastasia Levitin