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Genetics and molecular biology are among the most important tools of modern biomedical research, impinging on essentially every aspect of modern biology. Molecular and genetic analyses have led to a sophisticated understanding of the basic cellular processes and have permitted dissection of many complex biological processes by enabling the manipulation of gene function experimental settings. This has provided the level of understanding needed to stimulate novel approaches to the treatment of human disease. The recent development of powerful genome engineering methods has expanded the use of genetic tools to biological systems ranging from human cell culture to non-model emerging model organisms. There is a strong need to continue to train outstanding scientists, teachers, policy makers, and others in this discipline.

Training in the Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology is designed to meet our core mission:

(1) 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.

(2) 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 designed a modern training program to achieve the following essential elements of the PhD:


  • Broad knowledge of genetics, genomics, and molecular biology
  • Deep knowledge in a field of specialization
  • Familiarity with appropriate quantitative and computational tools
  • Familiarity with principles of responsible and rigorous conduct of research

Essential Skills

  • Ability to think critically about research in genetics and molecular biology
  • Ability to define key questions and knowledge gaps in the field of specialization
  • Ability to design, conduct, and interpret experiments that address key questions and knowledge gaps
  • Demonstration of principles of rigor and reproducibility

Professional Competencies

  • Develop the ability to work in collaborative and diverse team settings
  • Acquire the ability to communicate research findings to both general and specialized audiences
  • Develop project management and/or pedagogical competencies

These are achieved through a combination of coursework, seminars, milestones, workshops, and career training events.

Please see this detailed list of program requirements.