Genetics, Genomics & Cancer Biology PhD Program
This program provides aspiring students with the training and experience necessary to launch careers as independent scientific investigators and scholars in the field of molecular genetics of disease, genomics, and cancer biology. The program provides sufficient flexibility so that graduating students can pursue research careers in either an academic or industrial setting. In the first year of the program, students complete Foundations in Biomedical Sciences, a course that provides a foundation in Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Genetics, and Molecular Biology. They then proceed to basic courses in Genetics, followed by more advanced specialized training. Course work during the first year is enhanced by three laboratory rotations in which students learn advanced laboratory techniques and the principles of sound experimental methods.
At the end of the first year, the student selects a faculty supervisor for his or her thesis research. During the second year, specialized courses are taken which focus on different aspects of the genetics of cancer and human diseases, including the molecular genetics of growth control, oncogene activation, tumor suppression, regulation of gene expression, receptor-ligand interactions, and signal transduction. Students may also take additional courses in advanced special topics and are required to attend regularly scheduled faculty and student seminars in molecular genetics and cancer biology as well as seminars given by invited speakers. Students are also trained and encouraged to present their work at both in-house and outside scientific meetings.
Typical areas of research include: functional genomics and epigenetics, analysis of the human genome, genetics of cancer susceptibility, genetics of the immune system, molecular genetics of animal models of human disease, molecular genetics of hematopoietic neoplasias and solid tumors, mechanisms of altered growth regulation by oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, transcriptional regulation, chromatin organization and the control of gene expression, translational research, molecular therapeutics and personalized medicine.