Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences


Steven Kezian, MSBS Class of 2017

Why did you choose WesternU?

I chose WesternU because it was the perfect small school environment for me and I could tell there was a great sense of family and community from my interactions with the faculty and students.  I was very intrigued by the research that was being done at this school as well and was quite impressed by the facilities when I first visited.  The fact that there was a dental school on campus was a very important factor for me because it allowed me the opportunity to explore the dental school environment.

How did being in the MSBS Program prepare you for professional school and where are you now?

The MSBS program was a crucial factor in preparing me for dental school.  The classes gave me the background knowledge to be successful, kept my study skills sharp out of undergrad, and offered me the opportunity to greatly improve my academic status as an applicant.  I was accepted to my top choice dental school, the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco and could not be more grateful to Western U for helping me get there!


Who at WesternU made you feel supported and how?

I was very lucky to work with my mentor Dr. Dominique Griffon. She had always given me a clear guidance and right feedback for my work. What I had learned from her became the core of building strategy to conduct research as a PhD student.

How did being in the MSBS Program prepare you for professional school and where are you now?

I am now enrolled in PhD program at School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University. In MSBS program, there are opportunity to publish papers, present in scientific conferences, and meet other scholars. All of these not only helped me to be where I am now, but also will be driving force to move my professional or academic career forward.


Why did you choose WesternU?

WesternU’s faculty and staff are one of the reasons why I chose this school. Whether it was a school related topic or not, faculty and staff were always available at any time of the day. The warm welcoming, compassionate, and family aspect of WesternU’s faculty and staff gave me a supportive and caring environment to learn.

How did being in the MSBS Program prepare you for professional school and where are you now?

The MSBS program gave me the opportunity to learn in a very independent, problem-based learning manner. Through the variety of courses along with a research component, I was given difficult problems to solve. This aspect of the program helped me understand what kind of a learner I am, how I can best study, and most importantly, the significance of taking study breaks. Without my experience from the MSBS program, professional school would be a much more difficult task to accomplish.

dulce Lopez, MSBS Class of 2015

Why did you choose WesternU?

I chose WesternU because it was the only school on the west coast that offered a Master’s in Biomedical Sciences. The MSBS program’s major philosophy was to provide students with a strong research focus and training that enabled graduates to enter a career in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, or public/private research institutions. I was looking to acquire some research experience and problem-solving skills and WesternU was the best fit. WesternU was a good choice because I feel that it prepared me well to enter the research industry. The skill set and problem-solving skills I’ve acquired are valuable and I’m sure I will use them in my future career.


Anna-Marie Kelemen, MSBS Class of 2015

What one or two elements of your education proved to be the most valuable to you in your career?

Because of the great research opportunity I received with my PI, I was able to present my research as a speaker at the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology national conference, which was a great opportunity for a Masters student as I was the only student presenting in my section.

How have you seen the University’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family?

Perhaps the best example of this was seen in my PI for my lab who treated me as an equal even though I was an entry MSBS student.


Jonathan Lee, MSBS CLASS OF 2013

Who at WesternU made you feel supported and how?

All of the faculty and staff members in the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences made me feel welcomed and supported. They are willing to help students out with any problems ranging from school work to financial aid. Furthermore, the faculty and staff in the Biomedical Sciences program are extremely friendly and are checking in with the students when they can.

How have you seen the university’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family?

The willingness to care and help one another out at WesternU is ingrained within the faculty, staff, and students. It is absolutely amazing to know that you can depend on nearly everyone at WesternU to help you succeed and become proficient in your profession.


Jonathan Alvarez, MSBS Class of 2013

Describe an engaging aspect of your program and why you like it.

What is great about the MSBS program is the interaction we as students are able to have. Our small classes allow us to become fully engaged in a topic or chapter that we are focusing on.

Describe your best clinical experience and why it was memorable.

While working in my first lab rotation under Dr. Doug Ethell I was able to have one of those “EUREKA!” moments. I didn’t make some groundbreaking discovery that was going to cure AIDS, but I did discover something within myself. It was one of those make-or-break moments. I wasn’t sure if this program was a right fit for me is that I had minimum research experience. But in this lab, I really, for the first time, experienced the feeling of getting positive results after a lab experiment that was going towards legitimate research and it was AWESOME!

Who at WesternU has made you feel supported and how?

Dr. Manal Swairjo has been an excellent support for me. She has an open-door policy that gives me the time to sit with her and discuss lecture, or even personal, issues.