Graduate School of Medical Sciences
A partnership with the Sloan Kettering Institute

Kirk Deitsch, PhD

What sets Weill Cornell apart from other institutions?

Weill Cornell’s location in Manhattan, and close proximity to Rockefeller University, MSKCC, The Hospital for Special Surgery and the New York Blood Center, places it within a hotbed of biomedical research and education. It is an extraordinary and unique environment. The integrated concentrations on translational research, patient care and basic science enable students and researchers to cross boundaries with ease, providing truly unique research opportunities.

What do you feel are the strengths of the Weill Cornell Graduate School?

The open nature of the graduate school allows students from one graduate program to work in labs headed by professors who have a primary appointment in a different field of study. This promotes integrated research that spans different approaches and incorporates complementary methodologies. Student who study at Weill Cornell have virtually limitless opportunities to gain experience in all modern approaches to biomedical research.

What do you enjoy the most about working and living in New York City? What types of opportunities does this allow you both professionally and personally?

New York City is a global center of trade, commerce and cultural exchange. There are people here from all over the world, including scientists, artists, musicians, etc. It is easy to explore new intellectual and artistic diversion of all sorts, both for professional development and for pleasure.

The Weill Cornell campus includes housing options for researchers at all levels, including graduate students, postdocs and faculty. This helps to build a cohesive community of scientists within the larger environment of Manhattan and New York City. If New York ever begins to feel overwhelming in its larger-than-life atmosphere, you can always return to the familiar confines of the Upper East Side and the Weill Cornell science corridor.

As a faculty member overseeing a basic science research laboratory, I find it easy to recruit students and postdocs from around the world to come to New York for training. So many people are interested in the experience of living in New York that finding high-quality, motivated individuals to join my lab is not difficult.

What do you enjoy most about working with graduate students?

Graduate students combine the energy of youth with an enthusiasm that is infectious. Having students working in my lab is rejuvenating for both me and my more senior colleagues.

Teaching in graduate level classes is both challenging and rewarding. You have to always strive to keep the material you are teaching at the cutting edge of your field. It is a learning process for the professor as well as the students.

What is your proudest accomplishment at Weill Cornell thus far?  

In 2014, a student who completed his PhD training under my mentorship was chosen as the commencement speaker for the spring graduation ceremony held at Carnegie Hall. During his speech he reflected on the value of the training experience he received at Weill Cornell, something that was gratifying for me to hear. I derive great satisfaction in seeing the success of my former trainees. 

What is your favorite part about Weill Cornell’s:

Academic offerings and programs?
One of the best aspects of the graduate programs at Weill Cornell is the diversity of the research subjects and the ability of students to work in any laboratory within the institution, regardless of what program the professor is affiliated with. This provides the student with an enormous amount of freedom to pursue a research topic from all angles.

Research opportunities?
The number of research laboratories on campus, the subjects being studied and resources available to students are all truly extraordinary. The environment here allows a student to consider a broad range of biomedical research topics for their graduate work.

Weill Cornell attracts top quality students from all over the world. This makes the student community a highly diverse environment that includes individuals from many different backgrounds. This diversity enhances the educational experience for both students and professors alike.

What advice would you give to applicants?

Consider a broad range of graduate programs. Visit the school, meet with faculty and current students, and don’t simply chose a certain institution based on reputation. You should enroll in a program that suits your interests and professional goals. Do they seem hyper-competitive or more collegial? Does the atmosphere suit your personality? Choose a place where you are confident that you will be both happy and productive.

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Weill Cornell Medicine Graduate School of Medical Sciences 1300 York Ave. Box 65 New York, NY 10065 Phone: (212) 746-6565 Fax: (212) 746-5981