Meet Stepan

Stepan Budkin

Stepan Budkin

  • Hometown: Tula, Russia
  • Area of Research: Retinal Diseases (i.e. Diabetic Retinopathy)
  • Why is your research important? Retinal diseases commonly lead to blindness. Existing treatments for these conditions have short-term effects, are hard to deliver and are ineffective.
  • Why did you choose your degree program?  During my undergraduate studies, I really enjoyed doing research. The idea of accomplishing something significant that can improve the peoples’ quality of life, technological progress, etc., drove me to continue my education as a PhD in Biomedical Sciences. I hope that one day my research develops a new way for retinal disease treatment and to prevent people from blindness.
  • What have you found most beneficial about your program? I think that the fact that AU Biomedical Sciences PhD program is an umbrella program is the most beneficial. It allows students to explore different research opportunities at various departments.
  • What words of advice do you have for someone considering this program? I would suggest devoting your time during the rotation to learn more about how the whole lab functions and what the lab environment is like. It is very important that you enjoy working with the people that will surround you during you academic journey.
  • Have you been involved in any AU organizations? I have joined a volleyball club as well as the TGS book club.  Joining the volleyball club allowed me to make lots of new connections as it is mainly composed of undergraduate students here at AU. TGS book club, on the other hand, forces me to read books which, unfortunately, was never my favorite thing to do; however, I really enjoy discussing the books we read with a group of intelligent people!
  • What have been some of your most rewarding moments as a CBA student? I consider meeting and getting to know my classmates as the most rewarding experience so far. Since some of them became my best friends here in US, I am sure that we will stay in touch personally and professionally even when the program is over.
  • What are your career goals? My short term goals are to compose a committee for my research as well as make a final decision on what my thesis work is going to be on. As for the long term goals, after receiving my doctoral degree, I plan to either find an industry job right after graduation or work as a postdoc for a couple of years before joining the industry field.
  • What courses in your program curriculum stand out as most helpful for your specific career goals? I enjoy my Functional Genomics and Proteomics, as well as Computational Methods courses. The former teaches me about techniques that are used in the field of Genomic Medicine and their application. Whereas the second introduces me to the field of Bioinformatics that is used to decode the massive data that the newly advanced machinery generates. "
  • What AU resources have been most helpful? I attended a "Leadership and Resiliency" workshop last semester, and I have just joined an intramural volleyball team with campus recreation. I found that the "Leadership and Resiliency" workshop/seminar series that was offered by TGS was helpful in learning more about what makes a good leader, managing yourself in a workplace environment, finding a healthy life/work balance.
  • What do you do for fun?  I like spending time outdoors hiking, as well as working out in the gym. I also enjoy some of the books that students pick for the TGS book club, and I like to spend some time playing computer games. I like spending time outdoors hiking, as well as working out in the gym. I also enjoy some of the books that students pick for the TGS book club, and I like to spend some time playing computer games.
Stepan Budkin Stepan Budkin Dr. Shruti Sharma and Stepan Budkin

Former Student

Sai Karthik Kodeboyina

"I chose Genomic Medicine at AU because I was always interested in big data analysis and the translational aspect of biomedical research. Our Genomic Medicine program is very translational in nature and graduates have moved on to assume academic and industry careers."


Sai Karthik Kodeboyina >>







Lynn Tran

"I love coming out of a difficult quiz or test with my friends, then heading straight over to the student center gym as a group, so that we could work out and relax after a week of hard work. Then, we’d head out to lunch together or just spend some time on campus relaxing in some of the student lounges."


Lynn Tran >>