Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences

College of Pharmacy

My Story:   BPS Students Share Their Experiences

Steve Jurkovic
Current Graduate Student

"I was looking for a program where I would be able to learn as many techniques as possible and not be held back by a program’s narrow scope."


Once I graduated, I began looking for as unique of a graduate experience as I could find.  When I visited the BPS program at UIC I was greeted by faculty that were eager to not only discuss their own research, but to incorporate my chemistry background into their work.  Two main points put UIC’s BPS program above the others I had visited: the faculty members were extremely engaging and were working in almost every field of science, and UIC’s academic environment is unmatched by any other institution.

There are many opportunities to work not only in the biopharmaceutical sciences, but also in molecular biology research, neuroscience, endocrinology, and toxicology.  I was looking for a program where I would be able to learn as many techniques as possible and not be held back by a program’s narrow scope.  Once I left the campus visit, I felt the opportunities here were as open ended as I could make them and it was an inspiring feeling.  I also noticed that at UIC there was a confidence amongst the students around campus as if what they were working on would really help science in the real world; and with one of the most preeminent hospitals in Chicago right next to the BPS building, I could see where the confidence came from.  The BPS program does an excellent job of exposing its students to real world examples of pharmaceutical science and it is in part due to the connections they have at UIC.

I have started a research rotation working for Dr. Wang and have really enjoyed getting to know him and his lab.  In choosing an adviser, I was really looking for a faculty member who I could easily get along with and solve problems with and of course somebody whose research interested me.  His area of research focuses on the mechanisms of pain as well as drug dependence but what made me most excited was while visiting him he mentioned a couple of related projects that spread into different areas as well.  His easy going nature and wide range of interests made his lab my first choice for a rotation project.

Since arriving here I have only been reassured that I have made the right choice of program. I have already been introduced to new techniques in the classroom as well as in the laboratory and I thoroughly enjoy working with the faculty and my new classmates. There is an excitement created by the faculty and mirrored by the students that makes it easy to get up and go to school every day. On top of looking forward to working with the people in the program, my preliminary classes have given me a good understanding of how my training here will prepare me to excel in the future. I am extremely excited to continue my education here as I’m confident whatever challenges come my way the faculty and my classmates will provide more than enough support to overcome them and help me advance the field of science.

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