Duc Dong, Ph.D., named associate dean of SBP’s Graduate Program

Written by 
Kristen Cusato
Duc Dong photo

There’s a new associate dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP), and he is looking for diamonds in the rough.

Duc Dong, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Human Genetics Program, will now also coordinate the admissions process for SBP’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The School is an interdisciplinary program that awards Ph.D. degrees to students with a desire to become a leading force in the next generation of biomedical scientists. As associate dean, Dong and members of the admission committee will identify talents students, and help place them with faculty advisors.

“I am excited because I’m passionate about educating students—and this lets me try something new,” says Dong. “SBP’s program is unique in that we look for applicants who already have a good idea of what they want to study. Most qualified candidates have already had significant lab experience so a big part of my job will be to help match them with faculty who can support and develop each student’s training and education.”

The graduate school was founded in 2005 and has awarded 29 Ph.D. degrees to date. The school admits an average of eight students per year. Students are attracted to the program for many reasons, including, renowned faculty, access to cutting edge technology at SBP, collaborative research opportunities, and of course the incredible opportunity to live in San Diego.

“We are looking for diamonds in the rough,” Dong says. “We evaluate candidates on a range of criteria that include lab experience, independence, academic background, and their passion for science.

“The graduate program is a critical part of SBP—it helps us expand our scientific resources, helps draw new faculty to our Institute, and graduate students contribute fresh perspectives and ideas to research our programs. Equally as important, the students energize our campus, creating a unique culture focused on learning and sharing,” adds Dong. “This is a great place to be a graduate student.”