Webinar: How to Prepare for and Apply to Ph.D. Programs

Date: September 14, 2022
Time: 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm Eastern Time


The Society for Developmental Biology is hosting a webinar for students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in developmental biology or related fields. In this webinar, you will interact with faculty from SDB’s leadership who have a wealth of experience in Ph.D. program admissions, as well as current doctoral students who recently went through the admissions process. This event is designed for current undergraduate students and post-baccalaureates looking to learn more about U.S.-based doctoral programs, the key elements of a compelling graduate school application, and the interview process.

The webinar will be presented by SDB President Victoria Prince (University of Chicago), SDB President-Elect Ken Cho (University of California, Irvine), and 2022 Viktor Hamburger Outstanding Educator Prize recipient Christopher Wright (Vanderbilt University). There will also be a panel discussion, featuring SDB Trainee Representative Madison Martinez (University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center), Choose Development! alumnus Evan Brooks (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital), and Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Program Ph.D. Candidate Shannon Dupont (Duke University).


SDB Members: Free
Non-members: $25

Become a member today and take advantage of the wide range of membership benefits. The seminar will be recorded and made available for a limited time to SDB members. The link to the webinar will be sent to registrants closer to the event date.

If you have any questions about the webinar, please email slee@sdbonline.org.



Victoria Prince

Victoria Prince
University of Chicago

Vicky Prince is the current President of the Society for Developmental Biology. She grew up in England and graduated with a B.S. degree in Biochemistry from Imperial College.  She was a graduate student at the National Institute for Medical Research in London, and completed postdoctoral training at King’s College, London and Princeton University, before establishing her independent lab at the University of Chicago in 1997, where she is now Professor of Organismal Biology & Anatomy.

Prince lab research has focused on vertebrate axial regionalization—primarily using the zebrafish model—making important contributions in Hox genes, hindbrain patterning, consequences of gene and genome duplications, and pancreas development. Ongoing projects are focused on neural crest and anterior lateral line development.

Vicky is committed to training and mentoring.  She served as Dean for graduate affairs at UChicago Biosciences from 2010-2022, directs an NIH T32 Developmental Biology Training Program, and co-directs UChicago’s myCHOICE (Chicago Options in Career Empowerment) program.

Ken Cho

Ken Cho
University of California, Irvine

Ken Cho is the President-Elect of the Society for Developmental Biology.  He grew up in Korea and Japan and graduated with a BA degree in Chemistry from Grinnell College.  He received a PhD. degree from University of Pennsylvania, and completed postdoc training at University of California, Los Angeles before establishing his lab at the University of California, Irvine in 1991, where he is Professor in the Department of Developmental and Cell Biology.

Cho lab research has focused on vertebrate gastrulation and elucidated the gene regulatory logic governing Spemann’s organizer formation and germ layer specification. In recent years, his research has focused on the interactions between maternal transcription factors and chromatin to address how the genome of embryos undergoes major structural changes as they proceed from pluripotent to differentiated cell states.

Ken has been an active researcher, educator, and administrator in developmental biology for ~30 years. He has taught many undergraduate courses in Developmental Biology and Cell Biology, and offered career counseling for undergraduates who are interested in developmental and cell biology, and served on graduate admissions committee for many years.

Christopher Wright

Christopher Wright
Vanderbilt University

Christopher Wright is the 2022 SDB Viktor Hamburger Outstanding Educator Prize winner. He grew up in England and graduated with a B.S. from the University of Warwick. He earned his D.Phil. in Biochemistry at the University of Oxford. Following postdoctoral training at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, and also at the University of California, Los Angeles, he established his lab at Vanderbilt University in 1990. Today he is a Professor in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Director of the Vanderbilt University Program in Developmental Biology, and Associate Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Stem Cell Biology.

His research program has focused on early embryonic development and organogenesis. Seminal publications were in the areas of homeobox gene discovery and functional analysis. He also collaborated productively with Dr. Brigid Hogan on many areas of Nodal and BMP intercellular signaling in early embryos. With respect to pancreatic fate acquisition and cell-type differentiation, he has focused on multi-potential stem cells, endocrine and exocrine cell ontogeny, as well as plasticity and interconversion during development, metastasis, and neoplasia. 

Chris has been Director of the Program in Developmental Biology at Vanderbilt for 30 years. Many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are now renowned lab leaders at major institutions worldwide. He has provided invaluable mentorship to students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty throughout his professional career, and is committed to training at all levels.

Madison Martinez

Madison Martinez
University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center

Madison is an incoming third-year doctoral graduate student at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. She received her B.S. in Biology at the University of Arkansas in 2020 and immediately went into graduate school that fall. She had two amazing research experiences during her undergraduate career: being a research assistant in Dr. Daniel Lessner's lab at University of Arkansas for two years and being a summer research intern through the summer undergraduate research program (SURF) at UT Southwestern in Dr. Linda Baker's lab. Both experiences were instrumental when it came to applying for graduate school. Madison is currently in Dr. Jane Johnson's lab at UT Southwestern where she studies the gene regulation of an important neural developmental transcription factor, ASCL1. She holds many leadership positions including the Society for Developmental Biology Graduate Student Trainee Representative, student mentor for two high schools in the Dallas area, and seminar coordinator for the Alliance of Women Scientists (AWS) club on campus.

Evan Brooks

Evan Brooks
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Evan Brooks is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Molecular and Developmental Biology Graduate Program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati.  He received his B.S. in biological sciences with a concentration in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology from North Carolina State University in 2018. While at NC State, Evan conducted research on the establishment of cardiac left-right asymmetry in the lab of Dr. Nanette Nascone-Yoder as an SDB Choose Development! Fellow and an NIH IMSD Scholar. His current research focuses on the role of primary cilia in musculoskeletal development of the lower jaw in the lab of Dr. Samantha Brugmann. Evan is funded by an NIH F31 predoctoral fellowship from the NIDCR and Albert C. Yates and Albert J. Ryan fellowships from the University of Cincinnati. After he finishes his graduate studies, he is interested in pursuing postdoctoral training to become a faculty member at a primarily-undergraduate institution.

Shannon Dupont

Shannon Dupont
Duke University

Shannon received her B.S. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018. While at UT, she was an undergraduate research assistant in the Kim Lab studying transcription factor dynamics in mouse embryonic stem cells. Shannon began her graduate training at Duke University in 2018, and is currently a rising 5th year Ph.D. Candidate. She is affiliated with the Developmental and Stem Cell Biology program, as well as the Department of Cell Biology at Duke, where she works in the lab of Dr. Blanche Capel. Her research focus is on epigenetic regulation of gene expression during mouse sex determination.