My years as a graduate student in the UW department of Physiology & Biophysics were the best decade of my life! OK, so it was only a SEVEN-year stint, but I did get a full decade's worth of education out of it. Almost without exception, the other members of the department generously offered me their advice, reprints, and financial resources.
My co-advisers took their mentoring responsibilities very seriously and worked hard to train me in all aspects of scientific research, from planning experiments to dealing with cranky reviewers. With their help, I was able to complete several studies on the control of metabolic fluxes in muscle cells. While some of the other more neuro-centric faculty thought my data came from the wrong side of the neuromuscular junction, they helped me delve deeply into the primary literature and tolerated my singing of science songs at departmental retreats with remarkable patience.
Overall, the department does a good job balancing the need for intellectual rigor with the need to treat its members with compassion and respect. I suspect that the lessons I learned and the people I met during my time as a graduate student will continue to inspire me for many years to come.
--Greg Crowther, Ph.D.