Student Profile: Madison Bandini

Student Profile
Madison Bandini
(Nathan Sherer laboratory)

Where are you from? Why Madison and the Cancer Biology program?

I am from southern California (Huntington Beach).  I was first interested in Madison because it had my name, but when I visited the college and did more research into its graduate programs, I knew I wanted to come here.  I love Madison’s atmosphere, and I have always wanted to experience snow!  I am interested in cancer research and molecular biology, so the Cancer Biology program was a great fit.  The graduate students were super friendly, the PIs were easy to talk with, and Jenny (Schroeder), Dan (Loeb), and Elaine (Alarid) were so inviting.

What is your favorite place/activity when you need to de-stress?

My favorite activities are hiking at Devil’s Lake or sledding during the winter.

You came to Madison during a most unusual time, while the stay-at-home orders were still in place. What was it like trying to decide on and do lab rotations to find a home lab? How did you set those up and what was your experience like?

I set up my rotations by emailing professors to set up a Zoom interview after hearing about their research interests during orientation.  Talking to the professors over Zoom was very unusual and not as personal as I thought it would be.  However, asking the professors specific questions about their lab gave me the idea of who I would want to rotate with.  Rotations were different since not every lab member was around, there was limited interaction between lab members, and the PI was not always in lab.

Any new advice for incoming students, especially under these new circumstances?

My advice is to be patient, not be hard on yourself, and most importantly, talk to others!