School of Integrative Biology

Uploaded by Illinois1867 on 30.10.2012

Integrative Biology to me is a major where I can explore all levels of biology.
Including all aspects of biology, whether it be medical or conservation.
Our interests really start at the level of the cell, and up.
Integrative Biology is the new biology. It’s the biology of studying organisms across scales.
It’s really true to its name that it’s integrative.
You get people from different, who have different goals coming into IB. And I think it gives
you a very expansive view. And we’re looking at problems that we - incorporate
multiple different fields, to help solve different issues that are really important today.
And that’s really helped me grow as a person. It’s really helpful to know a basic understanding
before I’m going to be learning the details when I’m in medical school.
The professors still take the time to get to know most of the students.
With Integrative Biology, there are plenty of classes with a wide range of time slots,
so you’re really available to do whatever you want.
There’s tons of different areas of, you know, water, like marine biology.
Mammology, Herpetology, Ornithology, Evolution, Genetics, Ecology, and Anatomy
are all pretty essential if you want to become a doctor, I think.
It’s a fun atmosphere for learning. You’re really coming into a University that’s
known for its research. So you’re not only going to get a classroom environment, you’re
going to get the research environment.
In the lab, I mainly do experiments on ecology and competition.
Do gel electrophoresis, and DNA extraction. Science is fundamentally about discovery.
And it’s very exciting when you make a discovery. Any person majoring in Integrative Biology
can go out and seek a lab to participate in. I got replies back the same day from multiple
professors. All those opportunities have really opened
the door for me to grad school, and were really the reason I got in.
The first research paper that I am a co-author to just got published.
In general, I would expect one out of every five students to get involved in research
actually do get a publication out of it. It’s quite an awesome feeling.
The University of Illinois as a whole is very interested in providing experiences for students
to take classes abroad. My studying abroad was a very big component
of my study here at U of I. We can talk about behavior all we want in
a lecture setting, but until you’re in a place like Kruger National Park, watching,
you know, prides of lions hunt, or cheetahs, wildebeests, elephants behave in a natural
setting, you really can’t appreciate what some of these behaviors are.
My sophomore year I actually got to go on a trip to Costa Rica for a month during the
summer. That was a lot of fun, because I worked on a wildlife sanctuary, so I got to work
hands on with a ton of tropical animals. The University of Illinois has tons of opportunities
for these spring break and summer trips, that are a little less time committing.
After I graduate, there are a lot of options for me.
I plan to go to optometry school in Florida. I plan on going into genetics or genomics
research. Well right now, I’m still in the process
of applying to medical schools. I have two startups that I’m working on.
Hopefully they’ll be launching sometime soon.
One of the big options that I’m looking at now is joining Americorps, and helping
with disease education. I’ll probably wind up going to grad school,
trying to get a doctorate in biology, conservation biology.
You can do so many things with a degree, it’s really your choice what you want to do.
I don’t view us as training only biologists. I really view us as training well-rounded
scholars. Integrative Biology has so many open doors.
There’s just a lot of different things out there in the world that people study in biology,
and I think we have a really good representation of all that diversity.
I very much hope that students will leave our program with the critical thinking skills,
the analytical skills, the quantitative skills, and the basic foundation knowledge to tackle
big questions facing society.