The Professional Science Masters (PSM) in Applied Biosciences is designed to prepare students to enter a competitive, scientific workforce. The Applied Biosciences program consists of foundational and practical training in various areas of applied biosciences and along with a professional component that includes internships and "cross-training" in workplace skills, such as business, communications, and regulatory affairs. During the two-year course of study, students will gain a strong understanding of the applications of the biological sciences to real world problems, including those faced by public institutions and private industry. For more details about the nationwide PSM initiative see: http://sciencemasters.com.
What they say about the Applied Biosciences Program in GIDP:
1. From Members of the Industrial Advisory Board:
- From Paul August, Ph.D., Discovery Biology Dept. Head, Sanofi Tucson Innovation Center, member ABS-PSM Industrial Advisory Board (Paul.August@sanofi.com):
“We have found the PSM initiative and AB program to be a great source of interns. The students that we have brought on board have been motivated, hard-working and prepared to go the extra mile to benefit from their internship at Sanofi.
We have participated in this program because of the aim of the program to prepare students for a career in the biotech industry and to enrich the local talent in Tucson that could help drive our life sciences economy in the future. We look forward to our continued participation in this program and appreciate the support that students from the program receive from the faculty and staff at the U of A to make such a program possible.”
- From Marie Wesselhoft, President, MSDx Inc., member of the ABS-PSM Industrial Advisory Boad (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“We have found the PSM Interns to be a great resource for our early stage diagnostic company such as MSDx. Over that last five years we have worked with 1-2 interns each year. We appreciate the student’s scientific and business knowledge. The projects vary from technical market research to laboratory assay development. We work to tailor an internship to the interest and expertise of the intern. These are real world projects. We utilize the results of an intern’s work. The intern gets great experience and exposure. MSDx gains value from the quality output of each project. And, ultimately is a good opportunity to strengthen the PSM program!”
2. From Aubrey Cunninghan, ABS-PSM Alumna, track in Medical Diagnostics & Laboratory Sciences of Applied Biosciences-PSM, Spring 2013.
Currently I am working at Ventana Medical Systems in the Clinical Affairs Department. I am Clinical Research Associate (CRA) the main function of my job is to monitor clinical trials. As a CRA I ensure compliance with the clinical protocol, check clinical site activities, make-on site visits (with Ventana this means globally we have sites all over the world). Have a good understanding of good clinical practices and local regulations. For the US Title 21 of Code of Federal Regulations. I also need to be familiar with the regulations in Europe, Asia and South America.
Why I choose the PSM program was for a few reasons. 1. It prepared me for the real world, I can honestly say that the classes/course work offered by the program has been applicable to my current position. I did not want to fit into 1 category or have few job options because my degree limited me, with the PSM program it allowed me to become multi-dimensional 2. The thesis projects are extremely applicable to the real world and offer experience both personally and professionally with the ability to make industry connections 3. The flexibility of the program, I was able to tailor my courses and project to fit my career goals.
3. From Jared Jenssen, ABS-PSM Student graduated Fall 2013 from the Industrial Microbial Biotechnology track of Applied Biosciences-PSM
Starting in January 2014 I will be working towards a PhD in Plant Pathology at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. I will be studying various soybean seed treatments to confer resistance to soybean cyst nematodes, under the direction of Greg Tylka, PhD. The project I will be participating on is truly interdisciplinary, utilizing aspects of Engineering, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Entomology and Plant Pathology.
My tuition will be covered in full through a research assistantship. My research assistantship salary is being completely funded by Syngenta, an agro-biotechnology company based out of Switzerland. In addition, I was the first awardee of the Leath Fellowship in Plant Pathology and Microbiology, a $4000 fellowship awarded to first year PhD “students of high merits”. The Leath Fellowship is funded by Dr Stephen Leath, a fellow Plant Pathologist and the President of Iowa State University.
As a student in the Professional Science Master’s program I was given the opportunity to define who I wanted to be and how I was going to accomplish it. The structure of the PSM program allowed me to design my own course of study that fit with the type of scientist I wanted to become. I was able to take classes across multiple disciplines that broadened my understanding of biology while building on a foundation that previous courses had set. The classes I chose to take complemented each other in such a way that I was able to bring together knowledge from varying subjects and excel past whatever problem I confronted. I feel that I would not have had a similar opportunity in any other degree program. Classes like Biology of plant pathogens tied into what I was learning in Mycology. Foundations that I built in mycology aided in my understanding of Recombinant DNA methods. Skills I learned in recombinant DNA became the stepping stones to success in Microbial genetics.
In addition to a one-of-a-kind curriculum, the PSM allows students to participate as an intern at a biotechnology company to put to use the skills and knowledge they will have acquired in the classroom. During the summer between my first and second year I participated as a research intern at DemeteRx Pharmaceuticals, a local early-stage cancer pharmaceuticals research company in Tucson, Arizona. The courses that I had taken in the PSM program thus far provided crucial fundamentals for my success at this internship. Everything that I had accomplished during my internship was based on my knowledge gained in the classroom. At my internship I was able to harness that knowledge and use it to expand my understanding of scientific techniques. Furthermore, by interning at an early-stage biotechnology company, I was able to experience the business side of research, creating a full circle with the professional classes of the PSM program.
I think I was successful in obtaining admission to ISU’s PhD program and the awarding of the Leath Fellowship due to my interdisciplinary background. Through my participation in the PSM program, I studied Microbiology, Plant Pathology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Statistics. My ability to take that material and demonstrate my understanding through a research internship showed my aptitude to tackle long-term, complex problems that a PhD program requires.