The Genetics Program trains scientists in the principles and applications of classical genetics and molecular genetics for careers in research, teaching, and biotechnology. Interests among our faculty include Cancer Biology and Genetics, Genetics of Host-Pathogen Interaction, Immunogenetics, and Neurogenetics.
The Genetics Program partners with The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine to offer the Mammalian Genetics at JAX Track. Students in this track benefit from strong collaborative interactions between faculty at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and at The Jackson Laboratory and conduct their research in Bar Harbor.
Students are involved in research immediately. During the first year, students will be introduced to research training in genetics by completing four eight to ten-week laboratory research rotations in different laboratories. The rotations are designed to provide first-hand experience with the diverse research conducted in program laboratories and to teach techniques in genetics, hypothesis development, and research design.
At the end of the first year, students take a qualifying examination that consists of a written research proposal and an oral defense. The purpose of this examination is to test the ability of the student to create and critically test hypotheses. Upon successful completion of the first year courses and the qualifying examination, students select a research mentor and begin their thesis work.
The thesis research experience is considered the core of a student's training. Typically, graduates of the program generate at least two first author papers based on their research. The student is guided by the mentor with additional advice from a thesis advisory committee composed of three faculty members. Progress is also monitored by the committee and by a faculty member who serves as student advisor. The advisor acts as an ombudsperson and student advocate.