GradImpact: Improving Biological Education for Students with Disabilities

    As the first legally blind person to earn a doctorate in genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and possibly only the second blind UW–Madison Ph.D. in biological sciences, Dr. Andrew (Drew) Hasley wants to improve biological education so future students with disabilities can succeed in whatever field they choose.


    Hasley started his first biology research job as an undergraduate at Albion College in Michigan and continuing his study in graduate school seemed an obvious next step. His dissertation research blends statistical and computational analyses of large datasets with techniques from developmental and molecular biology to answer basic biological questions about the early development of vertebrate embryos, using zebrafish as a model.


    Hasley is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Pelegri Lab at UW-Madison and looking for his next opportunity. “Whatever it is must involve teaching,” Hasley says. “I see an opportunity to improve biological education in a way that will get more people into it who are like me. There is no reason for me to be this rare.” To learn more about Hasley and his research, visit the UW-Madison website.


    The CGS GradImpact project draws from member examples to tell the larger story of graduate education. Our goal is to demonstrate the importance of graduate education not only to degree holders, but also to the communities where we live and work. Do you have a great story to share about the impact of master’s or doctoral education? Visit our website for more information.


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