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Toral trains at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratoy

Jun 28 2018

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20/20 Blog

Cold Spring Harbor, NY —Marcus Toral, an M.D., Ph.D. student in the Mahajan lab at Stanford, gained admission to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) course on Statistical Methods for Functional Genomics

During the two-week course, Marcus worked alongside Ph.D. students, post-docs, and faculty members from around the world to train in techniques for analyzing complex genetic sequencing data. Marcus came back to Stanford inspired by these interactions.

“With my newfound knowledge and skills from this course, I will directly apply what I learned at CSHL toward my own research projects, which I think will take my work to the next level,” Marcus predicted.

Marcus’ Ph.D. work is focused on studying how abnormal gene transcription can lead to blinding eye disease. The end-goal of Marcus’ research is to identify molecular targets for the development of new and better treatments for eye disease. 

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is a prestigious scientific research institution located on the North Shore of Long Island, just outside of New York City. The institution has played a critical role in the founding of the fields of molecular genetics and molecular biology, is ranked among the top research institutions in the world, and has been home to eight Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine. 

Apart from its high level of research activity, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is deeply invested in promoting science education. Each year, from the spring through the fall, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory offers advanced technical science courses, gathering experts from around the world as instructors and speakers. The size of these courses is kept very small, and as a result admission is highly competitive. The courses are intense with diverse and carefully-curated groups of students working long hours and immersing themselves in hands-on coursework and technical application of what they learn. 

Dr. Mahajan attended a CSHL proteomics course during his training, and Marcus is the second student in the Mahajan lab to attend a prestigious course offered on the campus.

Mahajan said, “CSHL is a fantastic, intensive, immersive environment, a summer camp for serious scientists.”