Core Courses

GNET 621 – Principles of Genetic Analysis

Jeff Sekelsky, Greg Copenhaver, Shawn Ahmed
3 credits, Fall semester

Intended to provide an intensive introduction to modern genetic analysis based on classical and contemporary paradigms, drawing on examples from a wide range of model organisms. There are two lectures per week; the material covered in lectures is reinforced through problem sets and readings of research and review articles. There is also a weekly recitation at which students lead discussion of assigned articles.

GNET_621_Flyer             GNET_621_2017_syllabus

GNET 631 – Advanced Molecular Biology I

Jack Griffith, Dale Ramsden, Aziz Sancar
3 credits, Fall semester

This course focuses on DNA, the molecule most fundamental to life: organization of DNA into genomes, genome replication, recombination, repair, and cellular responses to DNA damage.

GNET 631 flyer

GNET 632 – Advanced Molecular Biology II

Albert Baldwin, Brian Strahl, William Marzluff
3 credits, Spring semester

The purpose of this course is to provide historical, basic and current information about the flow and regulation of genetic information from DNA to RNA in a variety of biological systems.  Topics include  mechanisms of gene regulation, transcription, histone modifications, protein translation and transport, and RNA structure, function, processing, and transport.

GNET 632 flyer

 Genetics Modules

GNET 645 – Quantitative Genetics of Complex Traits

Marty Ferris
1 credit, Spring semester, 1st module period

In this course, students will learn about various topics that form the basis for understanding Quantitative Genetics of Complex Traits with biomedical and agricultural relevance. The ultimate goal of quantitative genetics in this post-genomic era is prediction of phenotype from genotype, namely deducing the molecular basis for genetic trait variation.

GNET 645 Spring 2013 syllabus              Spring 2014 flyer for GNET 645, 646, 647

GNET 646 – Principles and Experimental Approaches of Mammalian Genetics

Folami Ideraabdullah and Scott Bultman
1 credit, Spring semester, 3rd module period

This course will focus on the laboratory mouse as a model organism to learn fundamental genetic concepts and understand how state-of-the-art experimental approaches are being used to elucidate gene function and the genetic architecture of biological traits.  For Mendelian trait, there will be an emphasis on the importance of genetic screens and gene-targeting technologies to create allelic series. For quantitative genetics, there will be an emphasis on the genetic diversity of mouse strains and how this can be exploited to identify the molecular basis of complex traits. A common theme linking the Mendelian and quantitative parts of the course will be the development and analysis of mouse models of human disease for understanding basic mechanisms and for initiating translational studies in the pre-clinical setting.

GNET 646 Spring 2013 syllabus               Spring 2014 flyer for GNET 645, 646, 647

GNET 647 – Human Genetics and Genomics

Karen Mohlke and Samir Kelada
1 credit, Spring semester, 2nd module period

The course covers principles and modern approaches of human genetics and genomics, including human genetic variation, linkage, genome-wide association analysis, sequencing for variant discovery in monogenic and complex diseases, regulatory variation, the molecular basis of human disease, and functional validation of disease variants.

GNET_647_Spring_2014 syllabus             Spring 2014 flyer for GNET 645, 646, 647


Computational Biology Modules

GNET 742 – Introduction to Unix and Python programming for biomedical researchers

Hemant Kelkar and Joel Parker
1 credit, Spring semester, 1st module period

This class is designed to teach the fundamentals of UNIX operating system and Python programming using practical “hands-on” computer instruction.  This module will concentrate on applications of Python programming to biomedical data/analysis. Target audience is biomedical scientists who are interested in getting familiar with computer clusters for manipulating, parsing, analyzing biological text format data.


GNET 747 – Development of New applications for Next Generation Sequencing

Piotr Mieczkowski
2 credits, Fall semester

This course is designed to shed light on the wide variety of tools available for developing new ideas for next-generation sequencing applications. Lecture and paper discussions.



Mauro Calabrese, Hemant Kelkar, and Joel Parker
2 credits, Spring semester, 3rd module period

This graduate-level course is designed to familiarize students with everything needed to run one complete RNA-Seq experiment, including the concepts behind experimental design, how to prepare samples, running them on a NextSeq 500, and analyzing data. There will be minimal emphasis on theory and heavy focus on practical aspects. There are no formal prerequisites required for this course and no prior experience with UNIX or the command line interface is expected.


 Seminar Courses

These courses count as the required journal club/seminar course. Additional courses outside of GNET can also count for this requirement, as long as they meet for the entire semester and count for 2 or more credit hours. These include (but are not limited to):


GNET/PATH 801 – Cell Cycle Regulation and Cancer

Cyrus Vaziri
3 credits, Fall semester

This discussion course will focus on molecular events that regulate normal cell cycle progression, and on how deregulation of the cell cycle leads to cancer. This course will follow the development of the cell cycle field chronologically, illustrating how current concepts and paradigms have evolved as a result of scientific inquiry. This will be a perfect starting point for students that would like to know more about the cell cycle as it pertains to cancer, but have no prior knowledge of this field.

GNET/PATH 801 course flyer

GNET/BIOL 625 – Seminar in Genetics

Greg Copenhaver, Corbin Jones, Jeff Sekelsky
2 credits, Spring semester

This is a journal club-style discussion course with a twist. We spend one or two weeks discussing articles from one lab that does research on meiosis, recombination, evolution of sex, or related topics. That P.I. then visits the class, either by teleconference or in person, to discuss another article. Visits begin with chatting about the person’s trajectory in science, how this project arose, what the publication process was like…or anything the students want to ask. This gives participants insight into a life in science. Visitors come from research I universities, primarily undergraduate colleges, private research institutions, and government laboratories in the US and abroad.


Additional courses that count toward the seminar/journal club requirement

BIOC 702 – Advanced Topics and Chromatin and Epigenetics

BIOL 639: Seminar in Plant Molecular & Cell Biology

BIOL 649: Seminar in Cell Biology

CBPH 850: Modern Concepts in Cell Biology

PATH 766 & 767: Current Topics in Cardiovascular Biology


Special Courses for GMB Students


GNET 701 – Genetics Seminar series

Jeff Sekelsky
1 credit, Fall and Spring semesters

Diverse but current topics in all aspects of genetics. Relates new techniques and current research of notables in the field of genetics. Content focuses on presentations by invited, non-UNC faculty and varies from week to week


GNET 702/703 – Student Seminars

Jeff Sekelsky
1 credit, Fall and Spring semesters

A course to provide public lecture experience to advanced genetics students. Students present personal research seminars based on their individual dissertation projects. Lectures are privately critiqued by fellow students and genetics faculty. New schedule is arranged every year.


GNET 850 – Training in Genetic Teaching

Jeff Sekelsky
3 credits, Fall and Spring semesters

Students are responsible for assistance in teaching genetics and work under the supervision of the individual faculty instructors of various courses, with whom they have regular discussion of methods, content and evaluation of performance. Opportunities exist to teach both undergraduate and graduate level courses.