Welcome from Dean Triezenberg

A message from Dr. Steven Triezenberg, President and Dean of VAIGS

Welcome to the Van Andel Institute Graduate School (VAIGS) website!

The goal of this school is to train Ph.D. scientists to be research leaders in molecular and cellular biology.

Our unique doctoral training program takes advantage of remarkable opportunities in this field of science and in the scientific community at Van Andel Research Institute to prepare researchers for effective careers linking the discoveries of basic science with the applications needed for improved human health.

The VAIGS doctoral training program is built on the premise that graduate school is the time to transition from being a student to being a scientist, and the time to develop the broad set of skills required for effective research leadership. Our unique problem-based curriculum leads students to explore fundamental concepts in genetics, biochemistry, and cell and molecular biology through integrated courses based on current research questions. Our small class size emphasizes cooperative learning strategies. Professional development opportunities include courses in technical writing and lab leadership, and annual attendance at scientific conferences.  

We also offer innovative opportunities for training physician–scientists. In collaboration with medical schools in this region, we provide dual-degree (M.D./Ph.D.) programs. We have also built pathways that combine advanced clinical training (in residency or fellowship) with the research training of a VAIGS Ph.D.

Our alumni give evidence that this unusual training program works. They are effective and productive scientists in postdoctoral positions at leading research institutions around the country.

We encourage applications from students passionately motivated to do molecular and genetic research that makes a difference for human health. Successful applicants will be effective independent learners who work capably in a collegial, team environment. Those with a bold and pioneering spirit will make the most of this remarkable opportunity.

Explore the pages of this website to find further details about the curriculum, faculty, students and alumni of VAIGS.