October 2021 updates from MUSC College of Graduate Studies from Dean Paula Traktman

Dean Paula Traktman
October 11, 2021
Dean Traktman

I hope this newsletter finds you well and enjoying the fall season. In this newsletter, rather than featuring an alumna/us, I wanted to tell you a bit more about “us” and a bit more about “you.” 

The College of Graduate Studies (CGS) now has three M.S. programs: M.S. in Medical Sciences, M.S. in Biomedical Sciences, and M.S. in Clinical Research. Approximately 50 students are currently enrolled in these programs.

We also have 131 students enrolled in our Ph.D. programs: Biomedical Sciences, Biostatistics- Epidemiology and an MUSC/Clemson joint program in Biomedical Science and Informatics. Beyond these, we have three dual-degree programs, with a small number pursuing D.M.D./Ph.D. and Pharm.D./Ph.D. degrees and 60 students enrolled in our M.D/Ph.D. (MSTP) program. In all, then, we have nearly 250 students enrolled in CGS programs! 

In addition, we have six NIH PREP (Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program) scholars and 120 post-doctoral fellows and scholars. During the summer, ~50 undergraduates join us for our Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP). The quality of training we provide in each of these programs is very important to us, and their success is our success. Maintaining smooth operations while continuously introducing innovations is our mission.

Enough about us – what about you? We are committed to getting to know you better, establishing a stronger alumni network, and promoting better communication between you and CGS. We want to know about your current pursuits and how a connection to CGS might be helpful. We also realize that you are a wonderful resource to provide our students with insights into career opportunities. 

Who are you? Well, our data are not yet refined, but we have 160 MSTP alumni and 360 MSCR alumni. In the past two years, 16 students have graduated with an MSBS degree and 47 with an MSM degree. Since 1997, ~583 students have graduated from the Ph.D. program, and we are working to have more complete records of our earlier graduates.

Clearly, we have a long way to go to build strong bridges with our community of alumni. CGS has an alumni group on LinkedIn, and we would very much like you to join the group so that we can reach out more easily. Please look for our posts and post news about yourself and items you think are of interest. We have just welcomed Grace Milauskas as the college’s new coordinator of communications and marketing, and she will be greatly enhancing our social media presence. Please let us know what you would like to see in this newsletter!

This newsletter is dedicated to you, and I hope you enjoy this issue. I think you will enjoy learning about our featured student, AJ Janneh (“A.J.”). Originally from Sierra Leone, A.J. is a very talented Ph.D. student who has just published an important article about a new diagnostic test that is predictive of severe vs. mild symptoms in COVID-19 patients.

I hope you will also enjoy reading about our SWIFT program, which provides our trainees with hands-on experience in science communication. Finally, I encourage you to follow the links to read an article written by our own Matthew Greseth about the contribution of immigrants to research and hear the “Science Never Sleeps” podcast developed by one of our Ph.D. students, Catherine Mills. 

My very best wishes for the rest of 2021!


Paula Traktman, Ph.D.
Dean, MUSC College of Graduate Studies

If you would like to be highlighted in our alumni e-newsletter for your work in science or other areas, please email Grace Milauskas at cgsmarcom@musc.edu.