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2023 Retreat Group Photo
UNC Genetics Retreat, Asheville, NC, Sept 2023.

The Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology (GMB) is an interdepartmental PhD program whose mission is (1) to train students from diverse backgrounds to earn a PhD in the fields of genetics, genomics, and molecular biology by guiding them through the acquisition of essential elements of the PhD, including responsible achievement of significant original research; and (2) to provide opportunities for learning about the breadth of careers in research and research-related fields and acquiring the skills and experiences that will facilitate the transition into such careers.

We train outstanding students to be creative, sophisticated research scientists.  Our students have excellent publication records and are successful in obtaining grants and winning regional and national awards.  NIGMS highlighted our program for its “notable record of diversity recruitment and retention”.

The research interests of the faculty span a broad range of topics, from model organisms genetics to clinical and translational research; quantitative genetics and complex traits to virology and plant genetics.


UNC School of Medicine Names GMB Faculty Sarah Linnstaedt and Pengda Liu 2023-24 Yang Family Biomedical Scholars

Sarah Linnstaedt, Pengda Liu, and Benjamin Vincent
Sarah Linnstaedt, Pengda Liu, and Benjamin Vincent

Sarah Linnstaedt, PhD (GMB), Benjamin Vincent, MD, and Pengda Liu, PhD (GMB), were selected as Yang Family Biomedical Scholars in the eighth installment of this annual School of Medicine award.

The UNC School of Medicine has named three outstanding researchers as recipients of the eighth annual Yang Family Biomedical Scholars Award.

They are: Sarah Linnstaedt, PhD, associate professor of anesthesiology; Benjamin Vincent, MD, associate professor of medicine; and Pengda Liu, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics. Linnstaedt is a member of the Institute for Trauma Recovery, Vincent and Liu are members of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Read full story HERE in the UNC Health Newsroom.

GMB Graduate Student Isabela Gerdes Gyuricza Featured In UNC School of Medicine’s “Five Questions” Series

Isabela Gerdes Gyuricza
Isabela Gerdes Gyuricza

In this new UNC School of Medicine Vital Signs series, graduate student Isabela Gerdes Gyuricza in the Parr lab is featured. Through her research at UNC, Gerdes Gyuricza has developed a clearer vision of how her work in genetic epidemiology can influence public health policies and make a difference in people’s lives.

Isabela Gerdes Gyuricza is a PhD student in the lab of Jonathan B. Parr, MD, MPH, who is an assistant professor of infectious disease at the UNC School of Medicine and a founding member of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Ecology Lab at the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases. In the lab, Gerdes Gyuricza uses computational tools and genomic analysis to investigate the ways malaria parasites evolve and develop resistance to drugs and diagnostic methods.

Read full story HERE in the UNC Health Newsroom..



Micah Hysong (he/him) wins National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program Award

Micah Hysong
Micah Hysong

Micah Hysong (he/him), Genetics & Molecular Biology graduate student in Laura Raffield’s Lab (UNC Genetics), received the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program Award. This fellowship will pay for the remainder of his PhD and offer exciting opportunities. He got this fellowship based on both his research proposal “Leveraging Multi-omic data from Individuals with African Ancestry to Improve Polygenic Risk Score Accuracy and Portability Across Ancestry Groups” and his demonstrated commitment to advancing justice, equity, and belonging.





Ryan Salcido wins National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program Award

Ryan Salcido
Ryan Salcido

Ryan Salcido, Genetics & Molecular Biology graduate student in Mauro Calabrese’s lab (UNC Pharmacology) and received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program Award for his research proposal “Escape from X-Inactivation: A Model to Study Reversal of Epigenetic Silencing” and his commitment to science education and outreach.







Rachel Dumez-Kornegay publishes paper in PLOS Genetics

Rachel DuMez Kornegay
Rachel Dumez-Kornegay

Rachel Dumez-Kornegay & Rob Dowen: Probiotics in kombucha found to mimic fasting and reduce fat stores in C. elegans model


“These findings are significant as they are consistent with purported human health benefits of kombucha tea, which include protection against metabolic diseases, improved liver function, and reduced fat accumulation.” — Rob Dowen, PhD


Read more about the study in Medical News Today and PLOS Genetics



UNC BCB and GMB Graduate Students Baran, Flores, McAfee, and Szymanski Volunteer as UNC Ambassadors in the Shadow a Scientist program

Baran Flores McAfee SzymanskiOn November 29, UNC graduate students Kerstin Baran (Genetics and Molecular Biology in the Kathleen Caron lab), JP Flores (Bioinformatics and Computational Biology in the Doug Phanstiel Lab), Jessica McAfee (Genetics and Molecular Biology in the Hyejung Won lab), and Rachel Szymanski (Genetics and Molecular Biology in the Frank Conlon lab) volunteered their time and expertise for a Shadow a Scientist outreach event held on the UNC Chapel Hill campus. This event included visitors from the Roxboro Community School.

The Shadow A Scientist (SAS) Program brings high school students to UNC’s campus for a day to shadow two scientists in their respective labs. We split high school students into small groups of 2-4 and pair them with a scientist at UNC. In addition to the shadow sessions, high school students chat in small groups with scientists during lunch. In total, this requires ~40 ambassador volunteers each event day.

For more information on the Shadow a Scientist Program:

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