This proposal is for continued NIH support for predoctoral training within the interdepartmental Training Program in Genetics (TPG) of Yale University. For 2010-2011, there are 30 TPG graduate students, of which 14 (in years 1 to 3) are currently supported by the NIH predoctoral training grant in Genetics. The program is overseen by two co-Directors, Christine Jacobs- Wagner and Valerie Reinke, and an executive committee of 7 faculty members representing a cross-section of the genetics research community at Yale. Seventy-three faculty from departments of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and the Yale Medical School are involved in the program as trainers. The principal administrative and training entities are within three departments: the department of Genetics at the Yale Medical School and the departments of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCDB) and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) in the FAS. The program offers training in all aspects of modern genetics, including clinical genetics, DNA repair and cancer genetics, genomics and bioinformatics, microbial genetics, developmental genetics, immunogenetics, and evolutionary and population genetics. All students admitted to the program have at least a Bachelor's degree in a relevant field and enter via application to the Yale interdepartmental program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS) or to the EEB program. Two major improvements have been made to the program. Starting Fall 2012, the students will receive full institutional support (stipend, tuition and health benefits) from Yale during their first year, whih includes formal course work and three research rotations. A new course in modern genetic and genome analysis, with emphasis on quantitative methods, has been designed and is now available during the spring semester. At the end of year 1, students select a doctoral advisor from the pool of participating TPG faculty. Year 2 consists of intensive research, course work, and the qualifying examination, which has written and oral components. The Training Program in Genetics also features a student-organized annual symposium, an in-house research-in-progress seminar series, and various workshops. All students experience at least one-year of supervised teaching and receive travel funds to attend and present their work at national or international scientific meetings. All TPG students are mentored by the TPG directors, in addition to their thesis committee. The majority of graduates go on to leading positions in academic and research institutions or in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Given the new institutional support for the first year, the quality and depth of our pool of applicants, and the strengths of our current training in Genetics, we request funds to support 16 graduate students in years 2 to 3 for a five-year period.
The Predoctoral Training Program in Genetics at Yale University supports the education of the next generation of research scientists in genetics. Graduates from this program go on to leading positions in universities, research institutes, and industry, where they contribute to finding medical and practical solutions to genetic diseases, cancers, and other disorders that afflict humans.
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