August 10, 2015 | by Jeanne Kelley
When it comes to science, the best graduate schools don’t just train scientists, they prepare their students for a lifetime of learning, accomplishment and positive impact on society. At City of Hope, the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences goes one step further – by preparing students to transform the future of health.
That reputation for excellence in translational medicine is garnering accolades – and an impressive accreditation. The school recently received its first 10-year accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Part of the Accrediting Commission for Senior College and Universities, the association is the regional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
The school was commended for “its increasingly strong contribution to the field of translational research by preparing capable researchers to engage productively in finding cures for some of society’s more intractable health issues.”
Although the graduate school is young, having been founded in 1994, it offers a rigorous program of coursework and laboratory research culminating in a Ph.D. degree. The faculty of 75 scientists train a select number of students recruited from across the country and the world, preparing them for high-achieving careers at universities, research institutions, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies such as Genentech Inc., Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of California, San Francisco, and New England Biolabs Inc.
“This is an esteemed accomplishment and it is gratifying to have won approval without follow-up for the next 10 years,” said John Rossi, Ph.D., the Morgan & Helen Chu Dean's Chair of the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences, and chair and professor of molecular and cellular biology at City of Hope. He credited the school’s progress to the hard work and cooperative attitude of staff and students.
The site visit team that conducted the review praised the energy, engagement and creativity of the student body, and the dedication and expertise of the professors. The team applauded the high student success rate, with 86 percent of students graduating in an average time of 5.5 years, and reported that the institution is actively committed to ensuring that is program is aligned with best practices at other institutions.
“Obtaining 10-year accreditation so early in the school’s history is strong proof of the school’s excellence,” said Steven J. Novak, Ph.D., associate dean of the graduate school and academic liaison officer to WASC. “This is a truly remarkable accomplishment and our scientists and students are deservedly proud.”
Steven T. Rosen, provost and chief scientific officer at City of Hope and the Irell & Manella Cancer Center Director's Distinguished Chair, commended the school and the faculty who are preparing students for a career in translational medicine. “We have the best scientists of today training the best scientists of tomorrow,” he said. “They will change the world, and City of Hope is proud to be a part of helping create that change.”
Learn more about the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences at City of Hope.