GSBMS Hosts Inaugural Lab Coat Ceremony for Ph.D. Candidates
The ceremony formally welcomed first-year candidates while also honoring second-year and third-year cohorts in front of proud family and friends.
Students with their families and faculty gathered in the John W. Nevins, M.D. ’44, Auditorium as the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences (GSBMS) began an exciting new tradition on October 1, with the inaugural Lab Coat Ceremony for Ph.D. candidates. The event witnessed first-, second-, and third-year Ph.D. candidates ceremoniously don their lab coats with their family, friends and mentors in attendance for the milestone.
GSBMS faculty addressed the Ph.D. students, which included entry cohorts from 2019, 2020 and 2021, beginning with the welcome address by Marina K. Holz, Ph.D., dean of the GSBMS and professor of cell biology and anatomy. She shared a brief history of the significance of white lab coats and what the students can expect in the years to come. “White lab coats were originally worn by laboratory scientists, before the medical profession adopted their use. The scientist’s lab coat has always been, and continues to be, part of their personal protective equipment and signals our commitment to research and the scientific method,” Dr. Holz said.
The presentation of the lab coats was led by Tetyana Cheairs, M.D., M.S.P.H., assistant dean for Ph.D. programs and assistant professor of pathology, microbiology and immunology. The Ph.D. candidates individually proceeded to the front of the auditorium and donned their coats, assisted by their mentors.
“I could feel joy and pride irradiating from our Ph.D. students who were honored in this inaugural ceremony as well as from their mentors, family members and friends who came to support them. This was a great opportunity to bring the GSBMS community together in a celebration of a very important milestone, to show support for each other during these tumultuous times,” Dr. Cheairs said.
The ceremony concluded with a keynote address by Francis L. Belloni, Ph.D., professor of physiology and former dean of the GSBMS, and the doctoral candidates reciting the Graduate Student Code, affirming their commitment to ethical conduct in their profession.
“The Lab Coat ceremony was a significant and meaningful event for our young scientists because it reminded them of the goals and responsibilities of the noble profession that they are entering,” Dr. Belloni said.
“Getting a Ph.D. is an emotional roller coaster and it’s not always easy to do research for years to become an expert in a field. Moments like the lab coat ceremony are a great morale booster for students to show them that their contributions matter and they are celebrated. It is also a great way to show our friends and families that what we are doing matters and we will eventually advance science and hopefully improve the lives of others,” said Saqlain Javed, a doctoral candidate in the 2021 cohort.