Put the “Ph” Back in PhD

Story by Arturo Casadevall, as told to Maryalice Yakutchik. Illustrations by Xiaohua Yang:

I traveled light when I moved earlier this year from New York. The walls of my office here are still bare, and I’m debating even hanging my diplomas—except for one I’m particularly proud to display: a degree in pest control operations. My father thought that killing rats would be a good way for me to make a living. I listened to him but ultimately refused to accept that I couldn’t do better.

Some 30 years later, I feel the same way about science and the way we prepare scientists. As the new chair of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology (MMI), I’m eager to unpack a big, bold plan that challenges postgraduate training as we know it.