Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars make significant contributions to the dynamic research at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies aims to help graduate students and postdocs maximize this pivotal state in their professional development. This office is dedicated to enhancing their experience.

    We invite you to explore the materials and information that pertain to you in the pages of this site. Please contact the office with any questions, comments, or ideas that you may have about graduate and postdoctoral studies at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

    Trainee Spotlight


    My name is Claire Westcott and I am a fifth year PhD candidate in the Microbiology and Immunology department. I grew up in an incredibly small, rural farm town in Missouri called Portageville, and I’ve loved science for as long as I can remember. I was fortunate to have two wonderful female science teachers in high school who supported me in my dream. I went to the University of Missouri for college with the idea that I would go to Mizzou medical school and become a radiologist. Some time in my junior year I joined a research lab that studied the effects of compounds from essential oils on microbes obtained from patients with Cystic Fibrosis. It was during that time that I realized I did not want to go to medical school, and I fell in love with the research world. After graduating, I moved to Louisville where I was a tech in Dr. Kevin Sokoloski’s lab and less than a year later I joined the M&I program as an IPIBS student. I am currently in Dr. Sokoloski’s lab studying the relationship between alphaviral RNAs and the host proteins that bind to them. My plan is to graduate (hopefully soon!) and start a career in scientific communication.

    I have spent my free time in grad school running several different organizations. I have been the director of the Science Policy and Outreach Group (SPOG), president of the Microbiology and Immunology Student Organization (MISO), and a co-director of Louisville Science Pathways. I am passionate about making science more accessible to everyone, especially to underserved populations. When I’m not at the bench or trying to convince someone to be involved in one of my science outreach opportunities, you can find me at the newest brewery or restaurant. I love that Louisville is a foodie town, and I’d like to consider myself a brunch connoisseur. I also have an adorable wheaten terrier named Fiona Pearl who is usually the mud gremlin at the dog park. My biggest piece of advice to my fellow graduate students is to find your crew. Graduate school can be tough sometimes, but it is always better surrounded by friends to help pick you back up!


    Faculty News

    Alan F. Smith, associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Disorders, has been elected president-elect of the Kentucky Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Smith's term begins August 2022. The KSHA empowers speech-language pathologists and audiologists through professional development, advocacy, collaboration and education.